Monday, March 14, 2016

Teaching Reflection: E-Writing Portfolios

During the spring semester of 2015 I chose to use E-Writing Portfolios in my first year composition classes.  The idea was students could continuously improve upon their writing throughout the semester before receiving a final grade on it at the end of the semester. I never did a final reflection on the practice at the time so I figure I'll do it now.

Overall the success of the experiment was mixed. Some students really loved the idea that they could keep working on their papers to make them better. Others didn't ever make significant changes and therefore didn't really do much before turning in the final drafts.

Another issue was where to host these portfolios. We ended up using primarily wordpress or blogger- but that messes with formatting etc. I need to do more research into options.

I had the papers spaced out the way I usually do, but I think it might have worked better if they had to write all the papers a bit quicker and then we worked on the revising the rest of the semester. Or if I taught them different genres of writing early and then used the rest of the semester as a workshop where they could be in any place in the writing process on any given day for any of their papers.

I have not attempted portfolios again- yet because I want to explore some of these issues.

However, in my first semester comp class I allow them to rewrite any paper for a higher grade if they see the tutors. In my second semester comp class I am allowing anyone with a "C" or lower to rewrite their papers after meeting with me to discuss. I'm allowing this because the point is to help them learn to master a skill- if rewriting helps them do that then I'm all for it.

How do you handle student writing in your classes?

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