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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University


A portfolio is an organized document in which you:

  • Describe your learning from life and work experience relative to Open Learning academic outcomes.
  • Provide evidence to support your learning claims.

There are competency-based and course-based portfolios. Competency-based portfolios are used to petition for elective credits towards program completion. Course-based portfolios are used to petition for credit for specific courses.

Samples of portfolios


At the heart of the Open Learning competency-based portfolio assessment process is the evaluation of eight competencies that are reflective of TRU's graduate attributes.

Your competency-based portfolio describes your broader life-based prior learning (versus that of a course-based portfolio, which draws upon your learning relevant to a specific course) according to eight competencies.

A competency-based portfolio includes the following components:

  • Cover Letter
  • Table of Contents
  • Autobiographical Resume
  • Categorization of Learning (categorization of broad subjects of learning)
  • Discussion of learning (demonstration of the eight critical competencies)
  • Evidence (supporting documentation)
  • Evidence description and listing

Upon recommendation to create a competency-based portfolio, students are given guidance and detailed information to assist in portfolio creation.


Course-based portfolio creation is a process that allows students to earn credit for specific courses through the demonstration of their learning derived from various kinds of non-formal and/or experiential learning acquired. Typically, there are no official transcripts to validate this type of learning; therefore, students have the option to present their learning through writing, research, and evidence that potentially allows for assessment and ultimately, credits.

A course-based portfolio includes the following components:

  • Cover letter
  • Table of contents (optional)
  • Written responses to the course learning outcomes
  • Reference list
  • Appendix (as applicable)

Upon recommendation to create course-based portfolios, students are given guidance and detailed information to assist in portfolio creation. Students create one portfolio per course challenge and work on the portfolios one course at a time.

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