Portfolios as a tool for AfL and student motivation: are they related?

Diana Baas*, M. Vermeulen, Jos Castelijns, R.L. Martens, Mien Segers

*Corresponding author for this work

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    The power of portfolios in enhancing student motivation is frequently emphasised. Portfolios are conceptualised as a tool to implement Assessment for Learning (AfL) in classroom practice. However, the relation between portfolios and AfL on the one hand, and student motivation on the other hand, is complex and subject to many assumptions. This study investigates whether portfolio use actually supports the integration of AfL in classroom practice and the relation with students’ motivation. Questionnaires were administered to a total of 419 grade 4 to 6 students from seven Dutch elementary schools. The results of structural equation modelling did not confirm a direct relation between portfolio use and students’ motivational orientation. The findings indicate that the relation between portfolios and motivational orientation is fully mediated by students’ perceptions of AfL. The findings indicate that the tool portfolio is not related to students’ motivation, however, AfL practices do affect motivation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages19
    JournalAssessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice
    Early online date22 Aug 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2019


    • Assessment for learning
    • elementary education
    • motivation,
    • portfolio assessment,


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