Maker Ed’s Open Portfolio Project is delighted to offer its full Research Brief Series, which includes Research Brief Series (Phase 1), capturing the findings of its research from 2013 to 2015, and Research Brief Series (Phase 2), which covers the second phase of work from 2015 to 2017.

In addition, Maker Ed’s Practical Guide to Open Portfolios distills some of the best practices for documentation and portfolio creation uncovered in 4+ years of work in the field.

Open Portfolio Project Research Brief Series (Phase 2) 

Our newest Research Brief Series, published in early 2018, takes a deep look into the motivations, implications, and practices necessary to situate open portfolios as a means of assessment in maker-centered learning environments. The findings and briefs also draw on our analysis in the first phase of work, continuing to reveal the many facets of portfolio implementation and assessment.

Below, the Research Briefs (10 through 17) are organized in chronological order, including the full Phase 2 series in a single compilation. Click to read!


A Practical Guide to Open Portfolios


Our Practical Guide draws from the research findings of both phases 1 and 2 and distills the information into a guide that aims to assist educators and practitioners in getting started — and digging deeper — with portfolios. Throughout our work, key themes have emerged that indicate the challenges and barriers — as well as the insights and successes! — to implementation of portfolios in a thoughtful and thorough way. This guide addresses those areas with suggestions and prompts that help orient thinking and planning. In addition, it includes a more detailed look into the practical tools and tips that we’ve seen at field sites around the country and concludes with a description of the many workshops we’ve held with educators and practitioners, in hopes that you bring this back to your classroom or informal setting yourself. Click on the image to access the full online guide!  Printed copies are available for purchase as well.

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In addition, we developed a one-page overview — Open Portfolios: Journey Map — to help situate and get started!


Open Portfolio Project Research Brief Series (Phase 1)

The research briefs arise from the first phase of the project from 2013 to 2015 and are drawn from findings related to all stages of research, including the literature review, a maker site survey, field site visits (highlighted in our blog series), and National Working Group meetings. They survey the collected data as well as outline emerging themes in the field.

Below, they are organized in the order in which they are released, from left to right, approximately aligning with the different stages of work. The full series of briefs, compiled into a single compilation, is also included below. Printed copies are available for purchase as well.


Suggested citations:

Peppler, K., Keune, A., & Chang, S. (2018). Open Portfolio Project, Phase 2: Research Brief Series. Retrieved from http://

Chang, S., Mohammadi, G., & Regalla, L. (2016). A Practical Guide to Open Portfolios. Retrieved from

Chang, S., Keune, A., Peppler, K., Maltese, A., McKay, C., & Regalla, L. (2015). Open Portfolio Project, Phase 1: Research Brief Series. Retrieved from