The patchwork approach to assessment at first view could be seen as ‘just a portfolio’ so it helps to just pin down what makes this approach particularly valuable.
1. Patches are aligned with learning outcomes through learning the design of experiences/activities. Each patch captures the learning in a quite specific area. Patchwork is ‘assessment as learning’ by design. It is a clear method achieving constructive alignment.
2. Essentially, patches are shared between peer groups for critique, formative feedback and discussion. Patches are thereafter refined. The patchwork is a social portfolio.
3. Patchwork allows the learner to feel comfortable that they are on a journey as an apprentice, they are not setting out to show mastery through a single academic voice but rather they are demonstrating learning.
4. Patchwork media encourages the experimentation with the ‘voice’ used to show learning. This can be particularly useful for learning in the workplace where learners use their professional voice and media which is in-synch with workplace activity. Equally, learners can benefit from playful genre which is very much removed from their areas of practice.
5. Patchwork requires an discussion of learning after individual parts are produced. The discussion allows ideas to be joined up but also provides an areans for learners to reflect upon their own learning jouney and how they may develop their future approaches. the approach embraces learning about learning with this additional layer.