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OnTrack – Assessing student portfolios

At the end of each teaching period, student portfolios need to be assessed and final numeric grades are to be awarded. There are four steps to this process:

  1. Select the student
  2. Review their progress
  3. View their portfolio
  4. Select a grade

These steps are elaborated upon in the following sections.

Selecting the student

The first step in assessing the student portfolios is to switch view, and to select the student to assess. The following image shows this page in action.

Example of how to select student portfolios.
  1. Switch to the Student Portfolios section in the staff view to start assessing student portfolios. This page should contains all of the necessary details to perform the assessments.
  2. The Select Student tab is focused on selecting the student. The body of the page contains a list of students, their target grades, task status, and awarded numeric grade.
  3. You filter the student list with a search term that looks at student identifiers, names, and tutor names.
  4. Buttons on the right of the table header allow you to filter the student list. The first filter allows you to switch between all student and students with a portfolio. By default only students with a portfolio will be listed in the table. If you want to enter grades for students without portfolios you can change this option to show all students.
  5. The students can also be filtered to show all students or my students. By default all students are shown. Selecting “my students” filters the list, to show only the students in the tutorials you are teaching.
  6. Lastly, students can be filtered by target grade. By default all students are shown, clicking on the “P” will only show those aiming for a Pass grade, “C” will show only those aiming for a Credit grade, and so on. It should be noted that multiple filters can be applied. If you select students with a portfolio, my students, and P as filters, the list will only contain students in your tutorials who have a portfolio, and are aiming for a Pass grade.
  7. Click on each row in the table to select the student to assess.
  8. This tab also includes buttons to download all of the student portfolios (a slow process) and to download student grades. Downloading portfolios will download a zip file containing all of the student submissions. Downloading grades will download a CSV containing student identification details along with the final numeric grades and rationales.

Review progress

Once a student have been selected, you can switch to the View Progress tab to review their progress in the unit.

Example of how to view progress with student portfolios.
  1. Select the View Progress tab to show the students progress in the unit.
  2. The main objective here is to review the Task List. Colors here indicate the task status for each of the student’s tasks. These should be linked back to your unit assessment criteria, and should give you a quick way to verify the grade the student has achieved. Hover over the tasks to see additional details if needed.
  3. Graded tasks in the list will have the grade awarded next to the task abbreviation. Similarly, tasks with quality points will have the number of points awarded shown.
  4. The burndown chart shows the rate of student progress. You can use this to inform your assessment of the student’s portfolio. Ideally, the students To Complete line should be close to or below the Target line.
  5. In some cases students may have completed tasks for higher grades that are now shown. You can view and change the target grade to quickly get a sense of the proportion of each of the grades the student has completed. It would be advisable to return it to the original target grade when finished.
  6. Use this page to get a quick overview of the students work, and to set your expectations for their portfolio.

View the portfolio

Now you are set to review the work in the student portfolio, select the View Portfolio tab.

Example of how to view student portfolios.
  1. Select View Portfolio, and the page will download and display the portfolio for you to review.
  2. The PDF will appear in a viewer as the main body of the panel. You can scroll to view different sections.The portfolio will start with the learning summary report. This should outline the grade the student is applying for, and how they believe they have met this grade. Reflections within this report should confirm the general picture you received in the view progress page.Following the learning summary report is a table of contents that will allow you to switch to any of the tasks the student has included. You can click the items in the table to jump to that part of the PDF.Use the status and importance of a task to determine which tasks to review.Tasks signed off as Complete, Discuss, or Demonstrate should not need to be checked. These have been checked and indicated that they meet the desired qualities. Items still on Discuss or Demonstrate at this point have been checked, but the student has not subsequently discussed or demonstrated these to their tutor.Other tasks may need to be checked. In general you should have key tasks that you will focus on, if they are not complete you will need to check to see determine which grade to assign.
  3. If needed, you can download the Portfolio PDF.
  4. The key at this point is to remember that the work has already been assessed during the formative feedback within the teaching period. At this point the focus is on identifying an appropriate grade for the work presented. If this is requiring a large amount of time it would be advisable to review the task design to help ensure you have key tasks that indicate the achievement of each grade.

Assigning a grade

The final step is to enter the grade for the student.

Example of grading for student portfolios
  1. Select the Assess Portfolio tab
  2. Enter a rationale. This is text for other teaching staff in the units to help indicate why that particular grade was awarded. This is not shown to students, but can be used if a students wants to review their grades.
  3. Select the grade to associate with the work presented.Numeric grades are setup so that the difference between grade bands is larger than the difference within the grade.In general the x3, x5, x7 (eg 53, 55, 57) are the main scores awarded for a particular grade. These represent poor, average, and good outcomes within that grade band. Qualities necessary for higher scores should be indicated in the unit assessment criteria and can include things like quality of reflections, timeliness of submissions, quality of work, other factors, or a combination of these.The 50, 60, 70, and 80 scores are used as indicating a borderline result – something only just sufficient for that grade.Clicking the button will record the score and save the rationale. If you update the rationale, remember to reselect the grade to save both.Grades are not shown to students, and should be reported in other ways.
  4. Once a grade is recorded you can switch back to the Select Student tab to assess the next student.
  5. Final grades can be downloaded using the Download Grades button on the Select Student tab.
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