Skip main navigation

Portfolio and integrated assessment; concessions and accommodations

Read more about areas to consider when assessing your learners.
Two people working on a piece of paper with laptops open

Portfolio assessment

A portfolio assessment is particularly useful for assessing arts-based and creative learning outcomes. Usually, a collection of learners’ work, portfolios come in a range of types, sizes, and media.

This assessment type enables learners a range of opportunities to demonstrate skills, and competencies, and to achieve the learning outcomes. When evidence of planning, design, documentation, and evaluation is also required to support the portfolio, a visual or reflective diary provides a valid assessment activity.

To ensure good assessment practice, an assessment checklist should be provided, while the portfolio evidence should be presented so the assessor can easily match it against the outcomes/achievement criteria.

Portfolio assessment is very student-centred as it enables the learner time to practice and grow their knowledge and skills, then to show-case these using their best work.

Integrated assessment

Assessing to a standard lends itself to an integrated assessment approach. Integrated assessment allows related or complementary learning outcomes to be assessed using the same task or evidence.

While integrated assessment can pose some challenges, for example when a learner with compatible standards enrols in a programme, whether these can be recognised and integrated accordingly will be influenced by the delivery context teacher experience, and organisational policy.

However, this assessment approach has several advantages for learners: from reducing the time spent on assessment to focusing on the learning; to facilitating a more holistic approach to course and programme design.

Concessions and accommodations

It is important that differently-abled students and those with specific learning requirements are enabled similar opportunities to their peers, to successfully engage with and meet relevant learning outcomes. This may include the following special accommodations and concessions to ensure an equitable assessment approach:

  • Reader/writer assistance
  • Assistive technology such as a screen-reader and writer
  • Additional time for assessment completion
  • Assessment in larger fonts
  • Colour-coded learning and assessment materials
  • On-line assessment
  • Wheelchair-accessible assessment venues

This equitable approach ensures that no student is unfairly disadvantaged by circumstances beyond their control.

Reference: NZQA, Assessment tools and approaches Retrieved from
This article is from the free online

Adult Education Essentials: Assessment for Learning Principles and Practices

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now