Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Non-Fictional Prose: Instructions for Preparing Your Final Portfolio (Fall 2010)

Anne Dalke's picture

In this portfolio, due by 12:30 on Friday, December 17,  I am 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 me 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?).

*Prepare your final project for the course. Please consider co-authoring a paper, or writing one in tandem w/ another student, or in conversation w/ others inside or outside the class. Think of making this project a representation of a "shared subjectivity," in other words, rather than an individual one. Explore some of the various options being opened up to you by the web-based nature of evolving academic discourse. Post the project on-line; be sure to tag it "Non-Fictional Prose Webpaper 4."

* Gather together everything else you’ve already written for this class: copies of all your postings in the course forum as well as your on-line papers, including any comments you've received (like mine!). 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.

* Arrange all this material in a folder, chronologically, placing the most recent material (which I 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"?

*Complete the checklist and place it in the front of your portfolio.

In my response to your portfolio, I'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 me with my own, as I reflect on your engagement in the course. I very much look forward to hearing what you have to say about this whole process.

Thanks for joining me in the exploratory journey into the world of "non-socks" that we've taken together this semester.  I've enjoyed it very much, and learned a lot from each of you--