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Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Portfolio Tutorial

Developing a portfolio is more than just an excellent way to showcase your abilities, it is a rewarding experience in itself. By reflecting on your learning and experience, you will develop a deeper understanding of yourself, and where you have been. You will also be in the best position possible to set academic and career goals. That said, there is no specific formula.

This section will provide you with examples taken from successful portfolios written by students. These guidelines are a general introduction to portfolio writing. Before you write your own portfolio you will receive specific guidelines from the PLAR Coordinator and your faculty assessor.

What's in a portfolio? 

Note that there are three main categories of portfolios.

Cover Page

Not to be taken for granted, this is the first thing your reader will see. 

For all portfolios you should include: your full name, and a title. 

Academic (for credit) Portfolios: You must also include your date of birth, student number, address, and the date the portfolio was submitted. 

Tips on creating a cover page.

Table of Contents

Not only will this section provide backbone structure to your portfolio, it will showcase your organizational skills as well. Keep in mind that when you are organizing your table of contents the assessors need to be able to find sections easily. 

Tips on creating a table of contents.


What is the purpose of your portfolio? To gain academic credit? To get a job? To showcase your skills? What are your goals in 5 years? Have you mapped out what you’ll need to do in the next 4 years to achieve your long term goals? 

Academic (for credit) Portfolios: Your purpose is to either: 
Present a convincing case that what you have learned is what students in a specific UFV course are expected to know. OR, 

To present a convincing case that what you have learned is worthy of University-level credit but for which there is no equivalent UFV course.

Tips on how to write goals.

Reflective Narratives 

Who are you? What makes you you? What life experiences have brought you to the point you are at now? What did you learn about yourself? 

If you are pursuing an academic portfolio you’ll want to focus on your learning in life and work that meets course learning outcomes.

How to write a chronological history

How to write a personal or professional learning narrative

How to write an autobiography


A summary of your expertise and skills, your resume should be a snapshot of all that you have to offer. 

Tips on how to write a resume

Demonstration Statements 

Demonstration statements are included in both academic and career portfolios.  

How to write academic demonstration statements


Organized and labeled proof of learning that relates to learning outcomes for the courses you are challenging. If the proof is in the pudding, then this is the pudding. You claim that you know and can do something, and here are the letters, certificates, work samples, and references that prove it.

Academic (for credit) Portfolios: Documented evidence of learning that demonstrates or attests to the depth and breadth of your knowledge, skills and abilities relevant to the goals, objectives, and/or learning outcomes of the UFV course.

Tips on how to demonstrate evidence

Tips and examples of third party  (e.g. Employer) confirming PLAR candidates skills, knowledge and abilities


Have a flair for technology? Want to create a portfolio on the web, or on disk? Check out these examples from some tech-savvy portfolio stars.

Tips on how to create an e-portfolio