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Evolving Systems course: Instructions for Preparing Your Final Portfolio

Anne Dalke's picture

In this portfolio, due by 12:30 on Friday, December 17,  we are asking you to collect and reflect on the written and spoken work you have done for this course. This portfolio project invites you to chronicle what has happened in your evolution both as a writer and a speaker in class, and to contribute to and assist us with the evaluation of your work. So--
* Prepare a final performance for the class: "Spontaneously formed emergent groups of four or so students each should prepare ten-fifteen minute presentations reflecting on their experiences over the semester. Presentations should encourage, in a provocative and entertaining way, further story development on the part of others in the class."

* Write up a description of your final performance in the class, and post it on-line.  This can take one of various forms: it might be the script you used for that performance, a description of what you were doing in it, or of what happened during it (anything that surprised you?).

*Complete your final paper for the course, reflecting on the significance of the storytelling brain for one of your essays about the universe, culture or individuals.
* Gather together everything else you’ve already written for this class:  all your papers, including our comments, as well as copies of your postings in the course forum. To print off all your postings, log in and type /exchange/myposts; to snag your comments on others' posts, log in and type /exchange/mycomments. In each case, select "printer-friendly version" (@ top) and print.and print.

* Arrange all this material in a folder, chronologically, placing the most recent material (which we haven't seen yet) on top. Review all you’ve gathered together in the portfolio; ruminate for a while on what you’re noticing as you do so.

* Then write a short (2-3 pp.) essay tracing where you were when we began this process, where you are now, and what’s been happening in between. How have you been learning? What have you been learning? Where do you think that the edges of your learning now lie?

Be specific and descriptive, but also evaluative:
**Review your participation in our group work: how present-and-contributing have you been in our discussions, both large and small? What role have you assumed in our group dynamics, both in-class and on-line? In what ways have you been contributing to the learning of others?
**Review also your written work: how much effort have you put into the web postings and each of your essays? What can you say about the quality of these productions? What have you learned about your writing and thinking processes in this class? Where have you "moved"?
*Select one of your papers to post on Serendip. Follow these steps: from the menu in the upper right hand corner of the homepage, select "create content" --> "portfolio entry." Be sure to click on the "paste from Word" icon before copying and pasting your essay. Also be sure to "tag" it as "Student Web paper"--> "Evolving Systems." Then check to make sure that it's shown up on our course web paper page.

*Complete the checklist and place it in the front of your portfolio.
In our response to your portfolio, we'll be assigning grades that reflect your class participation, the quality of your written work, and the general evolution of your education. Your self-evaluation will assist us with our own, as we reflect on your engagement in the course. We very much look forward to hearing what you have to say about this whole process.
Thanks for joining us in the exploratory journey into the universe and ourselves that we've taken together this semester.

We've enjoyed it very much, and learned a lot from each of you--
Anne & Paul