Assessment by Interview and Portfolio in a Graduate School Program

Jan. 10, 2010

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Volume 31, Issue 1 (January 2010), pages 86 – 96.

Assessment plays an integral role in teaching and learning in higher education and teachers have a strong interest in debates and commentaries on assessment as and for learning.

In a 1-year graduate entry teacher preparation program, the temptation is to emphasize assessment in an attempt to ensure students “cover” everything as part of a robust preparation for the profession. The risk is that, for students, assessment drives curriculum, and time spent in the completion of assignments is no guarantee of either effective learning or authentic preparation for teaching. Interviews as assessment provide an opportunity for a learning experience as well as an authentic task, since students will shortly be interviewing for employment in a “real world” situation.

This article reports on a project experimenting with interview panels as authentic assessment with preservice early childhood teachers.

At the end of their first semester of study, students enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of Education program at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia were required to participate in a panel interview where they were graded by a panel made up of three faculty staff and one undergraduate student enrolled in the 4-year Bachelor of Education program.
Students and panel members completed a questionnaire on their experience after the interview.

Results indicated that both students and staff valued the experience and felt it was authentic. Results are discussed in terms of how the assessment interview and portfolio presentation supports graduating students in their preparation for employment interviews, and how this authentic assessment task has benefits for both students and teaching staff.

Updated: Sep. 02, 2010