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A Portfolio Based Assessment Program

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.28.1 - 1.28.8



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Paper Authors

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Michael J. Pavelich

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Barbara Olds

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2313

A Portfolio-Based Assessment Program

Barbara M. Olds and Michael J. Pavelich Colorado School of Mines


In this paper we describe the process, successes, and pitfalls of the decade-old portfolio assessment program at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). We will also discuss how we anticipate building a new version of the assessment program into our current campus-wide curriculum reform efforts. CSM has agreed on its overall educational goals and has articulated them in a Profile of the CSM Graduate; these goals determine what materials are collected for the portfolios we maintain and evaluate for selected students. The data compiled from annual portfolio reviews help the faculty to identify strong and weak aspects of our programs and address the latter in a continuous improvement loop.

In this paper we will briefly describe the history of our assessment program and its current process, discuss why we chose the portfolio approach, provide examples of the materials we collect to address various goals, give examples of curricular changes resulting from our assessments, discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of portfolio assessment, and look to the future of our assessment efforts at CSM.

A Brief History of Assessment at CSM

In the late 1980s, Colorado, like many other states, became interested in higher education accountability and assessment and passed legislation (HB1187) requiring the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) to "develop an accountability policy and report annually on its implementation." In addition, the legislation required that institutions of higher learning be held accountable for improvements in student knowledge between entrance and graduation; that these improvements be publicly announced and available; that institutions express clearly to students their expectations of student performance; and that these improvements be achieved through effective use of time, effort, and money. The state required each institution to report assessment of general education, discipline-specific education, retention and completion, alumni/student

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Pavelich, M. J., & Olds, B. (1996, June), A Portfolio Based Assessment Program Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6241

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