Assessors' approaches to portfolio assessment in Assessment of Prior Learning procedures

Desirée Joosten-ten Brinke, Dominique Sluijsmans, Wim Jochems

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    In an effort to gain better understanding of the assessment of prior informal and non-formal learning, this article explores assessors’ approaches to portfolio assessment. Through this portfolio assessment, candidates had requested exemptions from specific courses within an educational programme or admission to the programme based on their prior learning. The assessors judged the portfolios according to set rating criteria, and subsequently discussed their approaches. Their decision-making processes, perception of portfolio use in the Assessment of Prior Learning (APL), deciding factors in portfolio assessment and use of the rating criteria were key elements in this discussion. The results show that they do use the rating criteria as an indicator in decision-making, but have mixed perceptions regarding the fairness of APL portfolio assessment. They perceive the portfolio evidence in combination with sound argumentation as the deciding elements in portfolio assessment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-70
    Number of pages16
    JournalAssessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
    Issue number1
    Early online date15 May 2009
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


    • assessment
    • portfolio
    • APL


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