Portfolio Assessment

Andrews University recognizes that college-level learning can occur outside of the classroom. When advanced standing, credit-by-exam, and performance or credential validation are not appropriate, prior learning credit may be possible through portfolio assessment. Use the resources on this page to prepare.

  1. Describe what you have learned thatmay be aligned to the student learning outcomes for a class with your academic advisor or the Prior Learning Director. Get their approval to complete a portfolio after your first semester and before your last semester of Andrews University classes. 
  2. Download the syllabus from the course schedule. Check several previous semesters to find when this class was last offered, or contact the department to request a recent syllabus. Review each outcome. If you have learned most outcomes outside classes at this academic level, make a list of evidence you might collect to demonstrate this prior learning through work and life experience or self-study.
  3. Use the learning narrative checklist (below) to prepare the portfolio reflexively reporting learning aligned to each outcome.
  4. Save the syllabus, artifacts gathered, and your learning narrative into a google folder (preferred, but a dropbox or onedrive may be approved). 
  5. Request a portfolio development coaching session with the Prior Learning Director (or PT and Seminary prior learning coordinators) if you have not taken a portfolio preparation class or previously completed an Andrews portfolio for prior learning credit assessment. Bring any questions from your review of the syllabus, and your reflections and questions on documentation you are gathering.
  6. Once you have a complete draft, fill in the student section of the Portfolio Evaluation form. Email it, including the portfolio folder link (shared for anyone with the link to view), to the Prior Learning Director. Make final edits based on the formative feedback, then email the Prior Learning Director when the portfolio is ready for assesment.
  7. The Prior Learning Director arranges for review by a faculty evaluator within the discipline for the class to be assessed.
  8. Faculty evaluation is requested within 30 days, with another 10 days for College Dean approval and Record entry. Your account is billed the portfolio assessment fee (including evaluation and recording fees) after the evaluation, for a pass or fail outcome, but only passing grades are entered into your student record.
1. Your name, AU ID, course abbreviation, number and title and the word ‘portfolio’ head the first page.
2. The introduction outlines who you are, why you prepared this portfolio and lists the student learning outcomes for a specific course, including a link to a recent syllabus referenced.
3. Key concepts are discussed in well-formed paragraphs at level-appropriate depth and breadth.
4. The conclusion summarizes the significance of learning aligned to each course outcome and how this learning has impacted your life and work.
5. The essay is clearly organized with a section for each learning outcome in the order presented in the syllabus.
6. The narrative is typed in 12 Times New Roman or similar font, including page numbers, with 3 to 5 pages per credit.
7. Each paragraph has a topic or thesis sentence with additional sentences describing applicable LEARNING through experiences, observation, self-study, practice, and reflection.
8. Writing shows critical thinking and reflection on HOW you know you learned something, on how you used this learning, and the most valuable INSIGHTS gained from this learning aligned to the academic level of outcomes.
9. Writing uses terminology and connects principles, theories, and core concepts foundational to the course’s outcomes. 
10. Writing articulates how learning aligned to outcomes has been applied to personal and professional life.
11. Where books, audio, video or other learning sources (e.g. the current textbook) are referenced, the discipline-preferred academic referencing style is used and a reference list included after the conclusion. (Recommended tool: Purdue Online Writing Lab has free, concise APA and MLA Guides.)
12. Explanations of supporting artifacts provide evidence for achieving the learning outcomes and are hyperlinked into the learning narrative (in brackets).
13. Careful editing of the final version has minimized punctuation, spelling, capitalization errors. (Recommended tool: Grammarly - free install for AU students here)
14. All artifacts and the learning narrative are saved in a google folder, shared so anyone with the link can view.
15. The link to the fully edited portfolio is emailed to the Prior Learning Director, noting it is ready for evaluation. 
  1. The department chair selects the faculty evaluator, usually a faculty member who is currently teaching the class for which credit is being assessed. Within 30 days of receiving the portfolio, the faculty evaluator uses the portfolio assessment rubric and course-specific rubrics.
  2. A passing grade is awarded for evidence of learning aligned to the challenged course’s student learning outcomes at a C or higher grade level for undergraduate and B or higher for graduate classes. The grade and a short paragraph documenting the quality and range of evidence reviewed are entered in the portfolio evaluation form within email, sent with the portfolio to the evaluator from the Director for Prior Learning usually. It includes instructions on each step.
  3. While the portfolio fee is charged regardless of the evaluation decision, only passing grades are entered into the student's academic record.  The evaluator may provide feedback with the option to resubmit once. 
  4. Portfolios with passing grades are reviewed by the College Dean prior to grade entry, with an EA code denoting credit for prior learning assessed. This credit does not count toward the minimum credits to be completed in residence. Once entered by Records, the portfolio fee is charged to the student account.

Portfolio Assessment Rubric - guiding students in portfolio preparation and faculty in portfolio evaluation
Portfolio Evaluation Form - includes student application, faculty evaluation, recording and payment steps

The Andrews University Prior Learning Director, Dr Glynis Bradfield, coordinates portfolio approval, development, and assessment for students in any program, on-campus or online.  Students are welcome to make appointments for coaching through the portfolio preparation process where prior learning is aligned with one class listed in the current Andrews University bulletin.