17 June 2011

Just what is a literacy portfolio

I got asked this a while ago, apologies for not explaining sooner.

We currently teach Key Skills, which require a test and a portfolio. The test is multiple choice, although some of the questions are obvious, others are a little more tricky but still at the end of the day you could just randomly pick an answer and have a 1 in four chance of being correct.

The portfolio is evidence collecting, and requires at level 2

the student to participate in a group discussion, to make a clear and relevant contribution, and to progress the discussion forward - easier said than done at times when some of the students are only 17/18 years old.

To deliver a talk of a minimum of four minutes on a topic of your choice - to have a plan for the talk and to speak clearly, to keep within the plan and to demonstrate knowledge of task.

To identify, two documents on the same subject, and to highlight the main points in order to produce a summary.

To create a second document, we usually suggest a leaftlet or poster, but could be a newsletter on a topic of your choice; to include a copyright free image.

Some of these activities are challenging to some students, especially if they struggled at schools and we try to provide a supportive environment for the students; which in the main is appreciated, but like every other profession you can get a mismatch of personalities.

Average completion time for a portfolio is about 2 months, however we have just finished delivering a 5 week course with 4 1/2 hours per week to ten students and the majority of them completed both the literacy and numeracy portfolios or have substantially completed most elements so I think this may be more the future of the programme.

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