CCE Theses and Dissertations


Electronic Student Portfolios A Tool Performance-Based Assessment ( A Pilot Project in the Berks County Pennsylvania Schools)

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Getrude W. Abramson

Committee Member

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Daniel Balkiewicz


The Pennsylvania Department of Education (POE) under Chapter 5 - Curriculum state regulations (Outcomes Based Education Act) requires each school district to implement a performance based assessment system. To meet this regulation the Department of Education requires all school districts to create and maintain portfolios for each student. The 18 school districts that comprise the Berks County Intermediate Unit had identified a need to develop a comprehensive program to implement student portfolios within their districts. A Goals 2000 federal government grant was secured (1995) to support a pilot program to evaluate the feasibility of implementing electronic portfolios in the Pennsylvania's Berks County schools A systematic approach to creating, storing, managing, and assessing student electronic portfolios was instituted and refined based on feedback from the pilot groups.

Both qualitative and quantitative research formats were chosen to present the information derived from the pilot study. A quantitative analysis of a survey was used to choose the school districts which would participate in the pilot and to identify important trends and concepts needed to be included in the pi lot project. Computer resources and comprehensive training were provided to all the participants during the length of the pilot study. A qualitative analysis of all the data was performed at the end of the pilot project using the surveys, interviews, and observations collected during each of the pilot studies. The study concluded that the computerization of the portfolio process aided in managing the collection and assessment activities performed by students and teachers. The pilot participants preferred software especially created for the management of electronic portfolios such as Grady Profile. Nevertheless, the electronic portfolio process must be supported with the appropriate computer technology, training, instructional time, and staff resources to be a viable measurement of performance and assessment.

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