A portfolio is a collection of products or results to illustrate a persons capabilities. For example artists and architects present a portfolio with work, photographs of products and recommendations of clients to convince the new client or customer, that he or she is the right person to get a job or assignment.
Many companies use portfolios to show the kind of projects or business they are good in to obtain new orders.
In education the portfolio is a collection products and evidences to give an impression of what the student has learnt and is able to do.
A definition: “The term portfolio as used in the UK generally describes a collection (or archive) of reflective writing and associated evidence, which documents learning and which a learner may draw upon to present her/his learning and achievements. A portfolio therefore encompasses the concept of personal development records (PDRs) ...() ."
Portfolios can include all kinds of information:
(From: Bom, W., Klarus, R. en Nieskens, M. ,2001, blz. 21)
In the literature on portfolios four different types of portfolio are usually distinguished (Wolf (1997) in Ritzen en Kösters 2002):
The different types and functions of the portfolio may very often overlap.
A portfolio may consist of a ile with data, descriptions en
evidence on paper. If necessary, one can make copies for assessors.
Nowadays you find more and more electronic or digital portfolios: the e-portfolios. These portfolios will be placed on the intranet of the school or institutions. Sometimes they are even accessible on internet. Electronic portfolios have a lot of advantages:
Some suppliers of E-Learning products deliver portfolio systems, which may linked to a virtual learning environment.
Portfolios can be used for all kinds of purposes and in different fields:
Bom, W., Klarus, R. en Nieskens, M. (2001). Portfolio in opleiding en bedrijf: Hertogenbosch: CINOP.
Ritzen, M. en Kösters, J.M.P. (2002). ‘ Mogelijke functies van een portfolio binnen een competentiegericht curriculum'. Onderzoek Van Onderwijs, jrg.31, nr.1, pp. 3-7.
Wolf, K., Lichtenstein, G., Stevenson, C., (1997). Portfolios in teacher education. In: Strange, J.H. (Ed.), Evaluating teaching: a guide to current thinking and best practice (193-214). Thousands Oaks, CA: Corwin Press Inc )