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. Discuss your prior learning that you think may be aligned to 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 copy of a recent syllabus.  Review each outcome. If you have learned 75% or more of these outcomes in settings other than what is reflected in transferred credits, make a list of evidence you might collect to demonstrate this college-level prior learning.
  3. Use the learning narrative checklist (below) to prepare the portfolio, describing learning aligned to each outcome.
  4. Save the syllabus, artifacts, your resume and learning narrative into a folder in your secure Andrews google drive. 
  5. Request a portfolio development coaching session with the Prior Learning Director 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 on what 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, to the Prior Learning Director.
  7. Make final edits based on the portfolio review feedback, then email the Prior Learning Director when the portfolio is ready for assesment.
  8. The Prior Learning Director arranges for review by a faculty evaluator within the discipline for the class to be assessed.
  9. Evaluation and grade recording is usually done within 30 days of final portfolio submission. Your account is billed the portfolio assessment fee (including evaluation and recording fees) once the grade is recorded.
Use these questions as  checklist to guide you in writing your reflective essay, knowing as the portfolio learning narrative:
  1. Is your full name, AU ID, and the class info (e.g. RELP 240 Personal Witnessing) listed first?
  2. Does the introduction present the course and key learnings you will be addressing and why you are seeking credit by portfolio?  
  3. Is there a section heading for each learning outcome, with well-formed paragraphs in each section relating to that outcome?
  4. Did the conclusion summarize the significance of learning aligned to each course outcome, already described in the body?
  5. Is the narrative typed in 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font, with two to three pages per credit? 
  6. Did each paragraph have a topic sentence followed by sentences that support LEARNING through experiences on that topic?
  7. Did you describe HOW, WHERE, WHAT and WHY you learned the course outcomes? Creating a table as a learning log can be helpful in organizing experienced through which you learned a particular outcome, and can be added as an artifact you reference. If you choose to use this option, include these columns in your log: date served, hours served, who served, how served (relating to the learning outcome), supervisor/witness name.
  8. Did you use key words, concepts, or vocabulary applicable to the learning outcomes? Is there evidence of depth and breadth of learning?
  9. Did you apply principles, theories, guidelines, or concepts that you learned from your experience, relevant to the course outcomes?
  10. Did you cite learning from books or additional reading that may be relevant? Reviewing a copy of the current textbook may be helpful?
  11. Did you cite and explain how your selection of supporting artifacts provide evidence for achieving the learning outcomes? Hyperlink each document/source in your learning narrative so the evaluator can easily access from within this one document.
  12. Did you use an academic referencing style for in-text citations and a reference list? (Recommended tool: Owl Purdue Guide to many referencing styles)
  13. Is your final edited version free of punctuation, spelling, capitalization errors?  (Recommended tool: Grammarly - free install for AU students here)
  14. Are all artifacts saved in a google folder on your Andrews account, along with the learning narrative? Share link with setting 'anyone with link can view'.
  1. Faculty who teach the class for which credit is requested evaluate your portfolio using a portfolio assessment rubric.
  2. A pass/fail grade is assigned by a faculty evaluator for the class for which credit is requested.
  3. A pass is given for work demonstrating learning of outcomes at a C level or higher. 
  4. Portfolios with passing grades are reviewed and approved by the College or School Dean.
  5. If failed, the evaluator may provide feedback with the option to resubmit. A failing grade is not recorded.
  6. A passing grade will be a part of your permanent transcript with a code denoting credit through assessment.

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.

Where prior learning is in disciplines not available at Andrews University, portfolio evaluation is recommended through the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). Passing grades on CAEL transcripts which will be articulated into your Andrews University record as transfer credit.  Such credits are often used to fill electives, but may apply to Andrews Core and major requirements .