Creating Student Portfolios

When this school year ends, my goal is for my students to have a writing portfolio with all of their work– including all drafts. As an English teacher, I’d like for my students to leave with two achievements:

I want my students to enjoy writing, and

I want my student to see how they’ve grown as a writer.

The first is out of my control; the second is not.

To create digital student portfolios for my students using Evernote:

1. I created a new Evernote account (to keep my personal Evernote account separate). As a premium member, I am able to switch back and forth between accounts pretty effortlessly. It also cuts down on the number of notebooks in my personal account (which is really the main reason I went this route).

2. I created a notebook for each student and shared it with the student and his/her parents. Currently my students do not have editing rights to the notebook– I’m still on the fence about how to handle that. I want them to have some control over it, but I also want to be certain their assignments are never deleted (purposefully or accidentally).

3. I scan each major assignment. After each writing assignment and test, I use my Fujitsu ScanSnap s1500 scanner to scan each paper into a separate PDF. The documents are saved to a folder on my desktop.

4. I send the files to Evernote using the Import Folders feature. The files are automatically sent to a designated Evernote notebook (mine is titled “Student Assignments”). Even though my scanner is capable of sending assignments directly to Evernote, using the Import Folders feature gives me the ability to send the files to a designated notebook and I have the option of either automatically saving or deleting the files from my desktop. (I delete mine.)

5. I move each file to the appropriate student’s notebook. Students (and their parents) are then able to view their previous assignments and tests any time.


For our next writing assignment, I will be able to “customize” the rubric and add a separate grading criteria for each student. For example, if one student needs to improve on organization and another needs to improve pronoun usage and voice, I can find the previous assignment for each student on Evernote and determine the “improvement focus” for this particular assignment. Each student will be “graded” according to his or her own ability rather than against a standard, class-wide rubric.

I am new at the Evernote portfolio idea and figuring it out as I go. To get more information from someone who’s been doing it for a while, check out the Evernote as Portfolio blog by new Evernote Education Ambassador Rob van Nood.

9 thoughts on “Creating Student Portfolios

    • Becky, it’s surprisingly fast. I did have to invest some time up front when I created and shared a notebook with each student. To share it, I had to copy and paste each student’s email address (after I had them set-up their Evernote accounts) and then copy and paste their parents’ email addresses. The gradebook our school uses (RenWeb) makes it easy to copy and paste the parents’ email link. The whole set-up probably took me 2-3 hours.

      Once that was set up, the scanning and dragging is fast. In a typical class (25 students), it takes about 1-2 minutes to scan all of the assignments (the Fujitsu scanner scans 25 sheets front/back in about a minute!). The assignments are then automatically synced with Evernote (thanks to the Import Folders feature). Then I just have to drag them to the folders (maybe 2 minutes– tops).

      In all, it probably takes 5 minutes to scan, save, and move to the files to each student’s notebook.

      Check back in a few days. I am going to try to post a video of the process (if I can figure out an easy way to do that).

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