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Final e-Portfolio & Portfolio Essay Assignment (The evidence and the explanation.

Ingram 2012

Please review the First, why are we creating e-Portfolios? paragraph on the homepage of our class Weebly site. From the first day of class, youve been working on your portfolios. Since your thinking about this course began, since you started collecting course materials in your writers notebook, and all along the way as youve been writing and revising and reading and repeating, youve been working on your portfolio. e-PORTFOLIO (on Weebly or another, previously-approved site): the evidence of your work. So that youd have an accurate and wide range of evidence to choose from, youve kept a complete/thorough writers notebook this semester. Your evidence exists in the selecting and gathering of (1) required work and (2) self selections that you feel best exhibit your engagement and growth.

Required Work to include (everyone will include these pieces): Portfolio Essay: Revised/Polished Final Draft the introduction to your portfolio (most likely draft #3) WILTBY Essay: Revised/Polished Final Draft (most likely draft #3) Annotated Bibliography: Revised/Polished Final Draft (most likely draft #3) Three-Sided Assignment: Revised/Polished Final Draft (most likely draft #3) Argumentative Research Essay: Revised/Polished Final Draft (most likely draft #3) A link to your Blogger page (posts revised if necessary)

Self Selections (everyone will choose different pieces to include): Be choosy and include evidence that best illustrates your work in the course. You may have one or two pieces that overlap or belong to two categories. Process Work. This is probably the most important category because this evidence shows how engaged you were in the writing/thinking process. Process work = anything that shows your writing process from invention to final draft: interim drafts that show revision and editing, cover letters, brainstorming/prewriting notes, workshop notes from you or a peer, conference notes, etc. (4-5 pieces) Daily entries from your writers notebook. This includes any work you did in your notebook, in or out of class: brainstorming, note-taking, warm-ups, class activities, etc. (2-3 pieces) Responses: This includes helpful feedback youve received and given. Since we havent changed peer groups and since you all know each other so well, this should be easy to collect. You can also include feedback from teachers, Writing Center consultants, or others. (2-3 pieces) Other Artifacts: Anything else from this semester (from this course or from another source) that contributed to your engagement in this class and to your growth in your writing excerpts from our

textbook, handouts, Moodle materials, a paper you wrote for another class, etc. (1-2 pieces)

The purpose of your portfolio is to clearly display your evidence. Your final portfolio essay should be first/your homepage, but besides that the organization of your e-portfolio is up to you. It should be navigable, components should be clearly labeled, and to keep the integrity and authenticity of your work, most documents should be embedded (using Scribd) or scanned and uploaded.

!!!!! PORTFOLIO ESSAY: The explanation. Your evidence doesnt mean anything without your explanation. Your explanation will take the form of a reflective essay that explains the work you have included and how it has been arranged explains what that work demonstrates about your growth explains how your work demonstrates your engagement in the course highlights what have been the most significant aspects of the course and your learning explains what grade for the course you deserve based on what you have presented

You can think of reflective essay in two different ways here. To reflect means to think, meditate, or ponder what youve learned, how and why youve learned it. Your essay should reflect to your audience (me, your teacher, primarily) your learning, engagement, and growth. The portfolio enables you to gain some critical distance from your own work. When drafting this reflective essay, you should think of the rest of the portfolio as evidence of the work youve done, how youve revised and what youve learned. You will begin by looking at everything you have collected and, as you write your reflective essay, consider where you are as a thinker and writer. 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. The reflective essay is your chance to frame my understanding of your work. Writing the reflective essay enables you to: 1. Gain more understanding of where you are now as a writer, 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. (This also includes work Ive asked you to redo or make up and include in the portfolio). These purposes might lead you in a number of different directions when writing this reflective essay. Here are some suggestions regarding how you can fully discuss your work and keep your writing focused:

Discussing how you selected your evidence Discussing the different types/genres of writing you have done in the class (formal essays, freewriting, pre-writing like brainstorming, blogging, etc). You might contrast them, thinking through how differently you have approached various 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 classexplaining why and how it connects to your goals as a writer. Discussing continuity or trends: strengths and weaknesses you note in most of your writing. Discussing your learning in understanding terms and concepts discussed in the class and which examples show you learning, growing in your understanding, or applying them in your writing. Discussing your progress as a writer and student in the classchallenges 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 classhow has it changed with and through your writing over the course of the semester? How have you grown as a critical thinker and reader? Which examples demonstrate this and how? Discussing the main concepts from our course: critical thinking, independent inquiry, responsibility for one's own learning, curiosity, risk-taking, the writing process, providing and receiving feedback, and intellectual growth and maturity *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.

Please also include a self assessment in your essay. This may be woven into your essay or discussed at the beginning or the end; organization is up to you. Assess how your revision efforts and final drafts meet the goals for each assignment. How do you feel about the final product? Assess your portfolio as a whole. How well do you feel like everything came together? How well do you feel like your portfolio displays your best work and your best effort? Assess your class participation. Remember to consider all areas of participation: your preparedness for class and quizzes and having work on time; your engagement in class discussions, conferences and small groups; your attendance. Please discuss specific letter grades: A=exemplary B=above average C=average D=below average Additional Notes (Dos and Donts): Do collect your work before writing your reflective essay. Again, the portfolio should generate your insight you start with an observation of what is in your portfolio and then begin to write the essay 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. You can and should quote your work. Do discuss all elements of your portfolio. Do remember that the primary focus of the reflective essay is your writing, your work and your decisionsnot me, your group members, or the class. (Of course, this doesnt mean that you shouldnt mention me or the class if these subjects come up in the discussion of your work; but this is a reflection of your process, writerly decisions and growth.) Do consult the syllabus, particularly the Evaluation section, as you work through this assignment.

Dont feel compelled to create a dramatic narrative of progress. Dont feel compelled to be a salesperson. Recognition of weaknesses and shortcomings is a hallmark of rigorous reflection and learning. Dont approach this essay as a place for you to list all the things youve done. The purpose of this essay is to reflect on your learning, not to merely record what you did in the course. For instance, instead of writing that you had to write a such-and-such essay and how it confused you, tell us how you approached the challenge and why, how you generated content and figured out how to organize it, what questions you had to bring to your group, perhaps make some conclusions about what you learned and how you learned it or why and how the assignment fits into the course. In short, dont just tell: reflect and explain.

MLA format ! A thorough Portfolio Essay will probably not be shorter than 5 pages ! See Syllabus for due dates