Replacing a reliance on standardized test scores with e-portfolios

Dive Brief:

  • Colleges and universities have long relied on SAT and ACT scores in admissions decisions, to the detriment of low-income students, Latinos, African-Americans, and women, and some point to e-portfolios as the solution.
  • Chalk & Wire CEO Geoff Irvine writes for eCampus News that the 90-college Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success is on the right track in attempting to redesign admissions, but he says the implementation hurdles for high schools, including cost, could doom the project.
  • Irvine advocates for portable, cloud-based e-portfolios, that parents pay for and high schools adopt, giving students access to their own work through college and beyond.

Dive Insight:

E-portfolios have been suggested as a more inclusive admissions tool that allows colleges and universities to get a more holistic view of each student’s skills and accomplishments. The beauty of the SAT and ACT, however, are their standardization. The idea that all students can be tested against the same yardstick is compelling, when considering thousands of applicants per year. Of course, arguably flawed yardsticks have gotten us to where we are today. Portfolios may introduce very difficult-to-overcome variety into the admissions process.

They also could replicate inequalities in the current system. Students with greater resources and support from high schools and parents would have a leg up in curating impressive portfolios. Counselors from elite high schools are already dreading the arms race such a portfolio system would create.

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Higher Ed K12 Technology
Top image credit: Seelio