An example of this approach, plus: pros and cons; requirements; resistance to academic misconduct and suggestions for making this approach more robust.


Students submit collections of work in hard copy format or digital, learning outcomes achieved through systematic, structured evidence.

Portfolios are particularly useful in practical and applied disciplines where evidence can be provided in diverse forms including text, image, video, audio, practice notebooks etc.


  • Opportunity to present wide-ranging evidence of achievement, and to show originality and creativity alongside mastery of subject knowledge.
  • Can be built up over time and therefore show development over time so authenticity can be high;
  • Good for assessing digital and academic skills; knowledge; personal growth; development of ideas.
  • Very good for designing-in and tracking dialogic feedback, use of which can be demonstrated over time.
  • The personalised nature helps to ‘design out’ plagiarism: student used their own ‘voice’ (more difficult for 3rd party cheating and motivational drawing in via authenticity).


  • Can take a long time to mark
  • Reliability can be quite low: different markers may look for different things.


You may want a blog or similar web space to put all this alongside narrative

University of Edinburgh - academic blogging service

Resistance to academic misconduct – 2/5

As above, quite resistant, though some students may have access to more ‘help’ than others. Peers, family members may be major risk rather than outsourcing for this type of task.

Making it more robust

Information to follow