Helping your student learn through editing their own work

How can a teacher determine whether students have learned a concept or not? How can a student demonstrate mastery of a subject? Immediately, most people think of tests—from multiple-choice to fill-in-the-blank to essay tests. However, tests are only one kind of assessment. An assessment is anything that measures progress.


Portfolios are an effective way to track progress over a semester. If you are a student, you can show what you learn in different modalities. For example, imagine you are studying the Industrial Revolution. If you are a strong writer, you could compose a poem about the inventors of the time. If you are interested in technology, you could make a video. If you are mechanically inclined, you could make a model of the cotton gin or some other innovation that affected life at this time. Teachers enjoy portfolios because they can compare products that students produced at the beginning of a unit and the end of the unit. If numerous students struggle with the same concept, they can make adjustments in their teaching. Rather than judge student knowledge based on one test, they have a body of work that presents a comprehensive picture of the student’s skills.


Grammarly is an effective FREE self help tool

Perhaps you are familiar with Grammarly’s spell checking features. However, Grammarly can make portfolios a more effective assessment in three ways that you might not have realized.

When Grammarly points out a mistake, it explains what type of mistake it is. It offers a suggestion of how to fix it. Over time, students (or teachers) can track persistent errors that they make. Equipped with this knowledge, they can fill gaps in their writing skills and improve as a writer.

Grammarly also alerts writers to possible instances of plagiarism. Improper or missing citations are common mistakes for students.

Grammarly is available online, anywhere students work. Students become more conscientious of their spelling and grammar in emails, social media posts, and other documents as they interact with the program.


Portfolios are a great tool if teachers and students want to present a broader scope of understanding than tests allow. Grammarly can improve not only the quality but the effectiveness of portfolios as students gradually improve their grasp of grammar. Students become more careful in their writing as they see the same errors recur. Teachers can shift focus from spelling and mechanics to the content of student products. What will students learn this school year? What skills will they sharpen? If you pair portfolios with Grammarly, you may be surprised how easily you can answer that question!