Student perspectives on writing portfolios and authentic assessment in an intensive English program at UAE University

2013 IJRSLL – Volume 2 Issue 5


Litz, David*
UAE University, United Arab Emirates (

Smith, Allison
UAE University, United Arab Emirates (


The main purpose of this study was to explore the degree to which English foundations students within the University General Requirements Unit (UGRU) at UAE University perceived the use of competency/outcomes-based or evaluation portfolios to be an effective learning tool within the writing curriculum. In order to gain some useful baseline data on the students’ opinions, a short survey was conducted with 68 female students at the completion of their writing course. In addition, another 7 (approximately 10% of the total survey participants) students were also interviewed in order to gain a fuller and more enriched understanding of their reactions and overall feelings about portfolio use. In this case the results demonstrated that although there were some perceived difficulties, many students had relatively favorable views towards portfolios in their writing classes. In particular, it was found that students felt as though they were effective pedagogic instruments that had important contextual contributions to various aspects of their learning.

Keywords: writing portfolios; alternative assessment; authentic assessment; ES/FL writing; writing assessment



*Corresponding Author