"In the current edition, Michelson and Mandell broaden their treatment of the use of portfolios in order to bring readers up to date on the 'moving target' that is today's prior learning assessment (PLA)…Readers are likely to find the twelve models of portfolio development in practice to be the most useful part of the book…taken in toto, the twelve models described in this section provide ample evidence that--even as the practice of PLA is being recast in light of tightening budgets, new student populations, redefined institutional goals, and changing relationships between working and schooling--the philosophical underpinnings have remained constant. In every case, the reader finds evidence of the values inherent in PLA as teachers and students use portfolios to mediate the ways in which individual lives and learning are affected by gender, race, class, politics, and economics."
“Michelson and Mandell provide and insightful discussion of the historical context of portfolio development and the variety of the diverse approaches available to demonstrate knowledge of today’s students within our campus learning environments. This comprehensive volume focuses on the changing context of portfolio development in the academic environment. Instead of concentrating on traditional issues of assessing prior learning, this volume take a broad view of portfolio development as it encompasses issues ranging from multicultural inclusive strategies, fostering partnerships with industry and corporate communities, to computer-mediated technological strategies for demonstrating proficiency. The authors’ unique focus on portfolios provides faculty and student development professionals with a holistic framework to examine assessment in terms of growth, achievement, and the demonstration of prior learning. They recognize that the challenge of appropriately assessing prior knowledge has system-wide implications that can impact students’ perceptions of the campus learning environment.
A major strength of the text by Michelson and Mandell is its utilization of case studies, real life examples of portfolio development, and campus leaders’ responses that illustrate the necessity for additional thought and planning. The text provides practical advice on implementing services and programs to better meet students’ needs. It is a helpful resource to facilitate discussion with students regarding assessment and the importance of measuring previous learning experiences. Faculty and student affairs professionals especially can appreciate students’ perceptions of their academic performance and how these perceptions impact every aspect of their educational experiences. Faculty members, administrators, and student development professionals will find the case studies and responses particularly helpful to evaluate the effectiveness of the current assessment strategies, collaborations, and testing programs in existence on their own campuses. The thought provoking chapters will provide a valuable resource to facilitate an important discussion of assessment of student learning for those working in a wide variety of campus communities.”