After a year and a half of instructor-driven common assignment piloting (i.e., research-based essays, professional emails, rhetorical analyses, and portfolios), ICaP has determined that the portfolio will be our common assignment across all sections of English 106/108. The reasoning for the common assignment is to create coherency and consistency in our courses so that students are guaranteed to meet Purdue’s Written Communication and Information Literacy outcomes.
The portfolio was selected as our common assignment for the following reasons:
- It measures all six ICaP outcomes, which correspond to Purdue’s Core Curriculum outcomes;
- An assessment is in place to assess our new syllabus themes;
- The final reflection pushes students towards metacognition, while also giving them the skills to write effectively;
- Instructors may continue the diversity of teaching assignments with only minor standardization (i.e., the reflective essay and the portfolio);
- The portfolio allows students to guide instructors through their learning and writing practices; and
- Students leave English 106/108 with a product that can be showcased to future employers.
Components of the ICaP portfolio include a reflective log, a final reflective essay, course essays and supplemental materials, and any extra materials students feel showcase their written talents. A description of each of these components is found below:
- Our reflective log is comprised of 3-4 small reflective prompts students compose after completing a major assignment;
- The final reflective essay asks students to reflect on their entire semester and guide a future employer through their written communication skills;
- Course essays and supplemental materials are required and include brainstorming activities, rough drafts, peer and instructor feedback, and revised essays that incorporate peer and instructor feedback;
The goal with these portfolio components is for the student to have written proof that what they said they accomplished in the reflective essay can be seen within the portfolio. Here, the student takes control of their learning and demonstrates how well they think they have met ICaP outcomes. You can find more information about our portfolio and its components here: Instructor’s Guide to the Portfolio or Student Guide to the Portfolio.