Writing the Information Superhighway

Portfolio Information


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.

Required Submissions

* 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 course.

Optional Materials

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.

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

* Attendance

* 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 community "agreements"

* Attainment of personal learning goals

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Contact wbutler@umich.edu
with comments or questions.

Modified: 3/18/95