Use of portfolio as a tool for assessing on-going development of students writing skills

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Action research is a qualitative study through which, one can improve the existing practice. Classroom teachers are actually action researchers, who can improve their teaching and the students' learning through critically reflecting on their practices. My interest evolved as a result of my dissatisfaction of the existing practice of the assessment system in my school, which, motivated me to work on this issue. Teachers consider teaching and assessment as two different aspects. Assessment is done at the end of the term or yearly basis which teachers judge the students learning. The problem is that teachers can't do justice to the students through summative assessments. In contrast, formative assessments help the teachers to assess students' progress on an on-going basis. It also helps teachers to improve their practices. We can try our best to use new and modern techniques and strategies in our classroom, but we cannot be effective teachers until and unless we assess the students' learning on an on-going basis. . This research study was done in my own school keeping in mind the possibilities and challenges of using portfolio as a tool for on-going development of the students' writing skills. The process approach was used to teach the students writing where both the mechanics and structure of the story were focused. Assessment of writing is integral to effective teaching and learning. Portfolio is a manageable, effective, and a fair way of assessing individual student's on-going development of writing skills. It helps the teachers to diagnose the students' needs and interests. In this way the teachers become more aware of them as individuals. That's why we say that it helps teachers to improve their teaching. Certainly when you know the students problems you will probably think about some ways to help them to re-solve those problems. Students need encouragement and qualitative feedback. This is the basic purpose of portfolio assessment so that students bring improvement in their work. Teachers feel it as a burden only because they are not aware of the advantages and the effective uses of portfolio assessment. Once they realize its effectiveness and its contribution in their teaching as well as the students' learning they would not feel it as a burden or extra work.

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