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Portfolios No Comments

An article in the May edition of “Chief Learning Officer” looks at the use of portfolios as a learning and development tool to address some of the challenges faced by learning professionals, such as developing and retaining staff, linking learning to job performance and measuring learning and performance. Employees can include within the portfolio items such as a  C.V., references, performance evaluations and examples of their work. Portfolios have been used for some time by education professionals as an important staff development tool and their use is beginning to become more widespread in other sectors.

A portfolio is often defined as a selection of work demonstrating progress or achievement over time and the focus is usually on the selection of material in the portfolio to provide evidence of this progress or achievement. Something that is often overlooked in the use of portfolios for workplace learning and development is reflection. Encouraging learners to reflect enables them to become more self-aware and honest about themselves, making them more open to feedback and criticism from peers and management and better able to develop their ability to contribute effectively within the organisation.

The process of reflection encourages deep learning through returning to the experience, connection with feelings, both helpful and obstuctive, and evaluation of the experience. In addition, reflecting on an experience leads naturally to the identification of further learning requirements. There is some useful information on reflection at The value of the portfolio as a learning and development tool will be greatly enhanced by a focus on reflection, using the other items within the portfolio as material for the reflective process.