Two portfolio systems: EFL students' perceptions of writing ability, text improvement, and feedback

Ricky C K LAM*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)


    Research into portfolio assessment ('PA') typically describes teachers' development and implementation of different portfolio models in their respective teaching contexts, however, not much attention is paid to student perceptions of the portfolio approach or its impact on the learning of writing. To this end, this study aims to investigate how two groups of Hong Kong EFL pre-university students (Groups A and B) perceived and responded to two portfolio systems (with each group experiencing one portfolio system either working portfolio or showcase portfolio) in one academic writing course. The case study approach was adopted and data sources included semi-structured interviews, student reflective journals, classroom observations, and analysis of text revisions. Findings indicated that students from the showcase portfolio group (Group B) were less enthusiastic about the effectiveness of PA, and queried whether it could promote autonomy in writing, while the working portfolio group (Group A) was more receptive to the experience, and considered that a feedback-rich environment in the working portfolio system could facilitate writing improvement. The paper concludes with a discussion of how PA can be used to promote self-regulation in the learning of writing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)132-153
    Number of pages22
    JournalAssessing Writing
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Education
    • Linguistics and Language

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Feedback
    • Portfolio assessment
    • Text improvement
    • Writing ability


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