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Using Self Evaluation And Student Generated Portfolios For Assessment Of Student Learning And Course Effectiveness

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Accreditation and Related Issues in ECE

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1273.1 - 7.1273.7



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Jeff Jalkio

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Session 2532

Using Self-Evaluation and Student Generated Portfolios for Assessment of Student Learning and Course Effectiveness

Jeffrey A. Jalkio Department of Engineering University of St. Thomas


One advantage of having clearly articulated learning objectives for courses is that students can focus on these objectives to unify course material. Unfortunately, students often ignore the stated course objectives and focus their attention on the specific work required to earn good grades from the instructor. This paper presents a technique for shifting the student focus from the external validation of course grades to a self-evaluation of accomplishment of course learning objectives. Preliminary results from a classroom trial of this technique will be presented.

This approach aims to tie the course grade directly to the student’s self-assessment. At the beginning of the semester, students are given a detailed list of course learning objectives and a grading rubric that relates letter grades to demonstrated levels of accomplishment of these objectives. During the course of the semester assignments are collected and graded to provide formative feedback to the students. At midterm and at the end of the semester, students are required to give the instructor a portfolio of work demonstrating accomplishment of the learning objectives and a summary evaluation specifying the letter grade earned and how the attached portfolio supports their self-assessment. The portfolio primarily includes graded examinations and reports, but can also include other material selected by the student. Summative feedback for the course is based directly on the student self-assessment.

In addition to focusing the students’ attention on course learning objectives, this approach has benefits for program assessment. The portfolio submitted by the student is documentation of successful accomplishment of course objectives and the student self-assessment provides useful information to the instructor on the efficacy of instructional methods and the adequacy of graded work in providing feedback to the student.


The grading experiment described in this paper arose in response to the convergence of three separate issues that confront all engineering faculty. First, how do we assign grades that provide accurate feedback to our students on their overall academic progress in achieving course objectives. Second, how do we assess the efficacy of our instruction so that we can improve our

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright  2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Jalkio, J. (2002, June), Using Self Evaluation And Student Generated Portfolios For Assessment Of Student Learning And Course Effectiveness Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10483

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