Writing the Information Superhighway
As noted on the syllabus, your grade for the course will be based on a portfolio you submit at the end of the semester. The portfolio will consist of a collection of your writings produced for this class. The core of your portfolio will consist of a number of required submissions, but you will also be permitted to submit a number of other writings that you may present to best demonstrate your growth and achievement.
A portfolio differs from a writing folder, for example, because you do not submit everything you wrote, but rather a selection of writings. The rationale for selecting certain pieces rather than some others all has to do with what kind of image you want to present of yourself. In essence, your portfolio should consist of what you think is your best work. You might, for example, include drafts of a particular project to demonstrate how your revision process grew during the course of the project. You might also include several e-mail
messages that you believe demonstrates your ability to master the
particular rhetorical form. You might include excerpts from
InterChange transcripts to demonstrate your contributions to the
virtual communities to which you belonged during the course.
* Projects II, III, and IV
* Self-evaluation essay. With this essay, which could be up to 5
pages long, you reflect upon and assess your growth and
achievement and make a case for a grade using evidence from your
portfolio. In some ways it is the most "real" and important piece of
writing you may do this semester because it is a piece of
argumentative writing that has some real consequence. A well-
written and developed case in support of your grade will have a
great deal of influence over what grade you actually receive in the
The purpose with these is to demonstrate a number of
areas of strength you may have developed during the course. The
idea here is not quantity but quality. Using several of the below
could demonstrate your ability to read critically (the required
readings and drafts), to contribute substantially to the communal
knowledge of the class, or to demonstrate your conscious attempts to
be an engaged, active learner.
- Reading responses
- Peer Critiques
- InterChange contributions
- E-Mail contributions
Presentation of Portfolio
* Option A: Traditional hard-copy portfolio.
With this option you would hand in a pocket folder with a collection
of printed copies of the required and optional writings noted above.
You must also include a title page with your name, student ID, the
course name and section number, and the date. In addition, you
should also include a table of contents.
* Option B: On-line portfolio using the World Wide Web.
Because of the nature of the course, this is the preferred option,
though which option you use will not have a bearing on your grade
for the course. Using this option will require you to become a
"webmaster" by learning how to format your writings using
hypertext markup language (HTML) and developing a home page. It
is my goal that our class home page will include a class roster that
has "hotlinks" to each of your home pages. A section of your
homepage will then have a hypertextual table of contents with links
to your portfolio documents. We will have several demonstrations
and some class time to work in HTML.
Criteria for Success
I will give you feedback on each of the following areas, of course, but
more than anything else I offer the categories below as a way of
thinking about your own progress, achievement and success in the
course. When it is time to write your self-evaluation, you would be
wise to think honestly and critically about each of the following
areas. As a rule of thumb, I would say that the stronger you are in
each of the following areas, the higher a course grade you could
reasonably argue for.
* Quality of Written Work
- Does the final version fulfill the requirements of the assignment?
- How sophisticated in the treatment of the topic and in language are the essays?
- How rich in detail and content are the essays?
- Are the essays focused, unified, and cohesive?
- Do they conform to accepted and appropriate norms of usage and style?
- Are the essays documented adequately and appropriately?
* Contributions to communal knowledge (conscientious and timely
completion of tasks such as reading responses, drafts, peer critiques,
contributions to InterChange discussions)
* Contributions to community building: acts of altruism, adherence to
* Attainment of personal learning goals
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