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The Portfolio Common Assignment

Instructor Guide to the Portfolio

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:

  1. It measures all six ICaP outcomes, which correspond to Purdue’s Core Curriculum outcomes;
  2. An assessment is in place to assess our new syllabus themes; 
  3. The final reflection pushes students towards metacognition, while also giving them the skills to write effectively; 
  4. Instructors may continue the diversity of teaching assignments with only minor standardization (i.e., the reflective essay and the portfolio);
  5. The portfolio allows students to guide instructors through their learning and writing practices; and
  6. Students leave English 106/108 with a product that can be showcased to future employers.

Components of the ICaP portfolio include a final reflective cover letter and drafts of each major writing project from the course. A description of each of these components is found below:

  1. The final reflective cover letter asks students to reflect on their entire semester and explain to their instructor and ICaP Administrators how they have met the course outcomes through their work.

  2.  First and final drafts of each major assignment are included in an order the student determines to showcase the evolution of their written communication skills in the course.

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.