A critical evaluation of the use of the portfolio as an effective form of assessment in clinical legal education

Omoragbon, Kevwe (2017) A critical evaluation of the use of the portfolio as an effective form of assessment in clinical legal education. Masters thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

This thesis critically examines the effectiveness of portfolio assessment in clinical legal education (CLE). It reviews the models of portfolio, analyses contemporary literature on portfolio assessment and provides a critical reflection on the goals of learning and assessment in CLE. It explores case studies from different jurisdiction to show the value and efficacy of portfolios in CLE.

The adoption of the collection-reflection-selection model of portfolio is recommended because of its ability to improve learning qualitatively. This model enhances student engagement with the portfolio and promotes student ownership of its contents. It also helps to track progress and improve student learning. It therefore became imperative in this thesis to utilise a framework that supports learning. The Assessment for learning (AfL) framework aims to improve learning and promotes formative assessment as it matches learning goals and priorities to assessment goals and priorities. Therefore, the practice of formative assessment and self-reflection through the use of authentic tasks, demonstrate the importance of AfL in portfolio assessment.

The AfL framework links teaching and learning using authentic tasks and the promotion of learner autonomy by means of self and peer assessment. This framework fits well with the use of portfolios when authentic tasks coupled with the benefits of reflection are used to promote learning. AfL therefore, provides a learning environment characterised by collaboration, social interaction, peer learning and methods such as problem based learning.

The importance of portfolios to learning is evidenced in its centrality in the AfL continuum. Portfolio is at the centre of the continuum between learning and accountability showing that portfolios combine both qualities of improving learning and helping students take responsibility for their own learning.

Themes were highlighted and the relationship between these themes were discussed. The thesis concludes by identifying that it is not about the assessment method but the need for proper design and implementation of assessment to achieve the objectives of assessment. An outline of future possibilities is also provided, to show how aspects of this works could be further developed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: M900 Other in Law
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2018 14:10
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2018 10:17
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/36278

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