Learning Samples


Q – What is the difference between a snapshot and a learning sample?


A – A snapshot is a moment in time that is not a learning sample communication. It might be a class event, an individual accomplishment, field trip photos etc. A learning sample includes the four criteria referenced below.


Q – What are the four criteria that a learning sample needs to count in the numbers required?


A –

  1. Evidence of Learning (What the student is doing)
  2. Descriptive feedback (How the student is doing)
  3. Next steps (Where to next?)
  4. Student Voice (Student reflection on their learning)



Q – Can one learning sample count for more than one subject area?


A – Yes. This is especially true when you are integrating learning experiences cross curricular. As long as your feedback is cross curricular as well, it is quite possible that a learning sample may apply to 2 or more subject areas.


Q – Are there documents to support teachers with learning samples?


A – Go to the Assessment for Learning page here where you will find links to books, articles, videos as well as samples.


Q – Can we use paper portfolios instead of or in addition to an electronic portfolio?


A – You may use electronic (EdInform or FreshGrade) portfolios, paper portfolios or a combination of both.


Q –  How can we get students to take ownership of their portfolio of learning?


A – As students are exposed to self-reflection and self-evaluation they may have the opportunity to access their portfolio and add these reflections. This may then lead to them selecting samples that are important and reflective of their learning to add themselves under the guidance of their teacher(s). When teachers provide growth-based descriptive feedback it can open an opportunity for students to act upon this feedback to move their learning forward.

Q – Should I track how many learning samples I have shared?


A – Yes, this is advisable especially if you are using a variety of methods. There are some templates available in the portal here.


Q – Do all learning samples need to be in paper or electronic format? What about a meeting, email or phone call with a parent?


A – No, they do not. Any of these other forms of communication can count if they have all the four criteria of a learning sample included. It would be important to document this in some way.


Q – Is it ok if my parents see learning activities as I build them and student samples as they are added?


A – Yes, this is good modelling of the assessment cycle as we are not assessing end products as much as the process of learning over time. This gives us the opportunity to growth over longer periods.


Q – Which electronic portfolios are supported?


A – Both EdInform and FreshGrade can be used. EdInform is officially supported for technical issues and workflow within the app. Technical support for FreshGrade would be through their support center. Contact the Help Desk for EdInform support.