*(Update 5/25/21: The window for the interest form is closed. However, be sure to follow this blog for updates on the cohort as well as other assessment commentary.)*

The tl;dr version: I’m seeking secondary teachers interested in designing and implementing a portfolio system of assessment in their class. Interest form link below.

I’m currently wrapping up my first year of a PhD program in Math Education at University of Wyoming. While I’m still a ways away from finishing, I do believe I would like to write my dissertation on alternative assessment, specifically the use of a portfolio system of assessment. I’ve used, written about, and talked about centering student work as the primary assessment artifact in math class. It only makes sense I do some research around it. I’d like to facilitate a distance cohort of secondary math teachers of like-content or grade level (TBD) who wish to design or enhance a portfolio system of math assessment.

What we’ll do: (I’m still sort of thinking this over)

- Meet remotely via zoom as a cohort to share awesome portfolio problems.
- Co-design four-column rubrics aligned with those problems.
- Facilitate those problems in your class with kiddos
- Debrief the experience and analyze student work to make instructional choices

Benefits for cohort participants:

- Develop collaborative relationships with teachers of same grade level
- Obtain a series of quality math tasks that will yield insight into student mathematical knowhow
- Learn how to develop a rubric and calibrate with fellow math teachers on assessing student work

There will probably be a survey for you and your students (assuming proper permissions) about the experience. If I had to estimate a time commitment, I’d guess maybe 3-4 hours a month. That includes asynchronous stuff like problem planning. I’m still thinking this over and am amenable to input. Ideally, these 3-4 hours will supplement some in-class lessons or assessments.

For more about math portfolios, check out the following posts and resources:

- “Student Portfolios: A How-To” NCTM Ear to the Ground (Krall, 2020)
- Portfolio Problems: Rebuilding Assessment with Rich Tasks
- Your Portfolio System Begins Now
- A Hilbert-ian Approach to Curriculum Mapping

At the bottom of this post, you’ll find my loose conception of a student math portfolio vis-à-vis my Necessary Conditions card sets.

Unfortunately, I have no means of financial compensation for participants at this time. You’d be doing this to hopefully better your assessment practice, reduce the harm inflicted by overtesting, implement quality math tasks, and collaborate with other math teachers interested in the same things you are. If I ever learn how to write a grant maybe I’ll be able to acquire some scratch that I can dole out. It seems like this kind of research is ripe for a grant, but I don’t currently have one in the works, nor do I anticipate obtaining one in the near-term.

Also, if you have multiple teachers interested at a single school site, I’ve *very* interested in working with you as part of a different cohort. It’s fine if you have colleagues that want to collaborate and offer input and feedback, but they would not be a part of this cohort. You’d be the point-person I guess.

If you’re interested please fill out this form. Filling out the form should take about 5-7 minutes.

Portfolio Action Research Interest Form (2020-2021 school year)

By filling out this form you are by no means obligated to anything. You may not even know what you’ll be teaching next year! It also does not guarantee you a spot in the cohort (as the grade of the cohort may depend on who responds). It’s just an initial interest form.

You can also contact me directly if you have additional questions.