Progress Portfolio

How can we help students learn how to be methodical and reflective in their thinking? Ben's research addresses this question through the design of a software tool, the Progress Portfolio, and the study of its integration into classroom use.

Annotating evidence

Students annotate evidence with Progress Portfolio.

As the name implies, the Progress Portfolio enables students to create a document that represents their work. It provides tools for students to capture, annotate, organize, and communicate about their work. Where the Progress Portfolio differs from the traditional notion of portfolios is in its emphasis on supporting process. Rather than just showing final products, the Progress Portfolio encourages students to document their interim work products. Similar to the use of "showing your work" in mathematics, these interim work products function as representations of thinking, allowing students to reflect on their own work process and allowing teachers to assess and diagnose student thinking. The software was designed to be a flexible tool that can be adapted to different teaching styles and curricula to insure that it would be appropriate for diverse classrooms.

Defining templates

Teachers can define 'templates' to guide student use of the Portfolio.

Progress Portfolio is currently being used by a number of schools throughout the nation.

More information on the Progress Portfolio project can be found on Northwestern University's Progress Portfolio web site.