LAUSD Linked Learning Portfolio and Defense
The Linked Learning initiative within LAUSD has created a set of expectations for its high school graduates, known as the Linked Learning Graduate Profile. Toward the end of their senior year, students in LAUSD’s Linked Learning pathways participate in a rigorous and demanding demonstration of knowledge known as the student portfolio defense. This opportunity to demonstrate their ability to thrive in college, career and life allows students to showcase the results of four years of rigorous preparation.
Throughout their four years of high school, Linked Learning students work collaboratively and individually on interdisciplinary projects that push them to think critically, communicate effectively, develop academic mindsets and research practices, and master academic content. Students hone their presentation skills as a part of these projects, learning to effectively share their work and ideas with teachers, classmates, and industry professionals. As the students progress, these projects are integrated into a student portfolio, along with other “artifacts,” including the student’s community service and engagement work, the student’s accomplishments (awards and accolades), a personal essay, and a professional resume.
As the portfolio is finalized in the senior year, students assemble the “artifacts” that they will use to demonstrate their ability to analyze complex concepts, their ability to persuasively advance an argument, and their skills in problem solving. Each portfolio should also include a piece that reflects student-directed inquiry, showcasing the student’s ability to pose a sophisticated question and organize a sustained search for the answer.
Upon completion of the portfolio, a select number of “artifacts” are chosen to be part of an in-person presentation, called the “defense.” This final presentation is a culmination of their rigorous high school experience, in which students “defend” their knowledge, their dedication to community, and their ability to set and achieve measurable and actionable goals. The presentation is usually conducted in front of a panel of teachers, administrators, industry professionals, and even current or former students from the pathway.
By carefully building a portfolio throughout high school, students create a sense of their own accomplishment, and each project they complete holds embedded lessons in academic, social and collaborative development. The LAUSD Linked Learning portfolio and defense process gives students strong preparation for success in college, career, and life.ARTICLES FEATURING LAUSD LINKED LEARNING PORTFOLIO AND DEFENSE:HECHINGER REPORT - July 27, 2016 - Presentations and portfolios take the place of tests for some studentsHECHINGER REPORT - August 7, 2015 - Should high school students have to ‘defend’ their diploma like a Ph.D?
The following video provides an in-depth look at the details of Portfolio & Defense in LAUSD Linked Learning pathways: