Conceptual framework for designing the portfolio tasks

A portfolio task is a set of guidelines for teachers preparing an entry for their professional portfolio. A portfolio is simply a 'box' containing the entries. This year the ACER Portfolio Project Team has focused on developing four portfolio tasks for each of two fields of teaching: generalist primary teaching and secondary science teaching.

As in any assessment development process, it is important to develop a conceptual framework for designing the set of portfolio tasks. The purpose of the framework is to ensure representative samples of evidence about a teacher’s practice in relation to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. The number of tasks is determined by the need to ensure that sufficient independent evidence is gathered to provide a reliable basis for assessing a teacher’s performance in relation to the standards. Each entry is designed to provide evidence related to several standards, reflecting the fact that teaching always represents an integration of the knowledge and skills described in the standards. 

Key considerations in developing portfolio tasks: 

  • Together, the entries in a teacher’s portfolio need to provide a sufficient sample of evidence covering all of the standards (that is, if it is in the standards, it must be assessed).
  • Together, the entries need to provide independent samples of evidence covering the curriculum that a teacher is responsible for teaching (that is, a primary teacher’s entries should cover several  subject areas, not just one; a secondary science teacher‘s entries should be from different classes).
  • Together, the entries need to provide evidence covering a number of different and essential core teaching skills reflective of accomplished teaching (that is, the focus of each entry should be on a different pedagogical skill).  

We are currently working on the basis that a teacher’s portfolio will contain four entries. Other forms of evidence may be needed at a later stage to ensure all the standards are covered adequately.