You are on page 1of 3

Writing Portfolio Requirements: The E-Portfolio This is a project that should create a picture of your semester by selecting.

This means that, as you revise and complete work, you should go ahead and begin assembling your portfolio so that it doesn’t overwhelm you at the end of the semester. Portfolios will be due at the end of the semester. Specific due dates (as always) will be available on Moodle and covered in class.

Step 1: Selecting and Displaying Your Work
You should begin by taking time to look back through the work you have done this semester (any work relating to this course: Daybook entries, selections from drafts, peer reviews, etc.) and choose the examples of your work that best display your growth in thinking, writing and research and your engagement in the course. It is not just important that you include the minimum work; it is what you select and why you included it. The following should be included from your work this semester: Daybook Entries 10-12 entries that are carefully selected and display specific aspects of your thinking, research and writing: Requirement 1. Significant Examples of Critical Thinking/Reading (entries where you questioned something, explored multiple sides of an issue, made connections between various topics, etc.) 2. Significant Examples of Your Learning 3. Your Choice: one that stood out to you for a particular reason (interesting, new, challenging, helpful, etc.) 4. Significant examples of you as a researcher (research notes, drafting your line of inquiry, thought entries, etc. ) 5. Significant examples of the early stages of your writing process (Early brainstorming/drafting) Process Work Minimum 3

2 1 2 2

3 exhibits of significant in-class process work. This refers to early drafts you brought to class and received feedback from peers. You may include complete drafts, excerpts, workshop materials, etc. Choose examples of moments that were significant to your process or work on that assignment. Include all drafts submitted to me and any feedback you received. Final Drafts of: Annotated Bibliography; Round Table Paper; Multi-genre Project (Highlight places where you conducted major revisions since the previous draft; this applies only to the annotated bibliography and the Round Table paper.)

Instructor Feedback Final Drafts

Step 2: Reflective Writing
The reflective letter (or writings) is your initiation of a dialogue with me about the contents of your portfolio, and it is your chance to frame my understanding of your work. Reflective writing enables you to: 1. Gain more understanding of where you are now as a writer and researcher, what has challenged you in the class and what you have accomplished, learned or demonstrated. 2. Describe that understanding and those accomplishments to me. 3. Bring my attention to certain features of your portfolio. If you have made substantial revisions on any draft since I last saw it, for instance, you should let me know in the reflection and explain the reasoning behind specific revisions.

First, let’s look at what a strong reflective letter entails, what its purpose is, and how you can use it to discuss your work: The portfolio enables you to gain some critical distance from your own work. When drafting the reflective letter, you should think of the rest of the portfolio as “evidence” of the work you’ve done, how you’ve revised and what you’ve learned. You will begin by looking at everything you have collected and, as you write your reflective letter, consider where you are as an academic thinker, writer and researcher. Through the act of thoughtful communication, we can understand more about ourselves, what we are thinking, and how where we are now may be different from where we were in the past. These purposes might lead you in a number of different directions when writing the reflection that will accompany your portfolio. Here are some suggestions regarding how you can fully discuss your work and keep your writing focused:    Discussing how you selected your work and why you made certain selections (Daybook entries, process pieces, etc.) Discusses specific revisions you made in the final drafts of your work and your rhetorical reasons/strategies for those revisions. Discussing the different types/genres of writing you have done in the class (Daybook entries, annotating, your multi-genre pieces, etc.). You might contrast them, thinking through how differently you have approached different writing situations. You might also take a broader view, exploring how these different writings have worked together as you have pursued your work as a writer. Discussing what you think is your most important work in the class—explaining why and how it connects to your goals as a writer. Discussing continuity: strengths and weaknesses you note in most of your writing. Discussing your learning through your selected work. Discussing your progress as a writer and researcher in the class—challenges you faced and risks you took, and what you learned as you dealt with challenges and risks, what revisions you made for specific reasons, etc. Discussing the trajectory of your thinking in the class (whether about writing, research, media or your line of inquiry)—how has it changed with and through your writing over the course of the semester? How have you growth as a critical thinker and reader? Which examples demonstrate this and how?

    

Note: These are not suggestions for structure or order; they are suggestions for developing content. You must make your own decisions about how to organize your content effectively. Reflection Format (Reflective Letter vs. Reflective Writings: You may write one reflective letter that is addressed to me and includes everything, or you may split up your reflections and include them in the appropriate sections. For example, include an explanation of your revisions in the “final drafts” section; include an reflection of your Daybook entry selections in that section; etc.

Additional Notes (Do’s and Don’ts):
 Do collect your work before writing your reflective letter. Again, the portfolio should generate your insight— you start with an observation of what is in your portfolio and then begin to write the letter--not the other way around. Take the time to get to know what is in your portfolio AND THEN you can begin to make observations about your progression through the class. Do tie specific assertions back to specific examples from the portfolio and even passages from your work. If it is included in the portfolio, then its reason for inclusion and its significance should be explained in the reflective letter. Do remember that the primary focus of the reflective letter is your writing, your work and your decisions—not me, your group members, or the class. (Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t mention me or the class if these subjects come up in the discussion of your work. This is a reflection of your process, decisions and growth.) Don’t feel compelled to create a dramatic narrative of progress. Don’t feel compelled to be a salesperson. Recognition of weaknesses and shortcomings are a hallmark of rigorous reflection and learning.

 

Step 3: E-Portfolio Format Requirements
To compose your e-portfolio, you can use Weebly.com (the one we’ll go over in class and the one I can help with), or a comparable website design site if you’ve used them for other classes. Design and Format: Basic Format Requirements   Your first page (homepage) should be an intro page that lists your name, course info, date, and a title for your portfolio. Work must be organized under separate pages and subpages. For assignments like Daybook entries, you can take photos and upload them or you can scan and embed them as PDF files using Scribd.com. YOU MUST EMBED DOCUMENTS OR UPLOAD THEM AS PHOTOS I CAN READ EASILY. I WILL NOT DOWNLOAD YOUR DOCUMENTS ONTO MY COMPUTER AND SIFT THROUGH THEM.

Any other design and organizational choices will be left up to you. Remember that, although this isn’t an art class, presentation matters as it would with anything else. Think about applying for a job where you might be asked to submit a portfolio of your work; you would want to appear professional and motivated. So, you are expected to personalize and/or careful design your portfolio in a meaningful way.

What Will I Be Looking For?
I will first read your reflective letter. As I read, I might page through the portfolio to investigate specific assertions you make about specific texts or examples of your work. I will be looking for a writer who has thoroughly reviewed the contents of the portfolio and has some insightful things to say about how she is working as a writer and researcher based on that review. The letter should be:    Detailed Genuinely “reflective” Helpful to me as I review the contents of the portfolio

I will then do a thorough review of your “evidence.” I will be looking to "flesh out" your performance in the class by considering the following:     Are the selected examples engaged? Did the writer make genuine use of the work to develop thinking, research and writing? What can I determine about the writer’s growth? What can I determine about the rigor with which this writer has approached drafting and revising work? What can I determine about what this writer has learned regarding their own writing and research skills?

Generally, the point is to understand how you have learned to work as a writer and researcher, rather than to simply evaluate "polished" products. The strongest portfolios are those that show sustained effort in all aspects of the class, awareness of themselves as writers and researchers (strengths, weaknesses, growth, etc.), and effort and growth in final products. Portfolios are weaker if they show less effort or thoughtfulness in selection and organization, fail to meet certain requirements, and/or have a cursory or unconvincing reflective letter.

You will be assessed based on the complete picture of your semester and your growth as it is displayed in the portfolio. It will be worth 650 points of your grade (out of 1000) and will be assessed holistically, meaning you will receive a single point value for the complete picture rather than being assessed on individual components. Please review the syllabus grading explanation to see how specific grades are determined for the course.