Reflection, Revision, and Assessment in First-Year Composition ePortfolios

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Does revision of graded essays for an electronic protfolio improve First-Year Composition students' scores from anonymous raters? In a sample of 450 paired essays, 46 percent improved by one or more points on a six-point scale, 28 percent remained the same, and 26 percent declined by one or more points.

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... In this way, learners are "co-constructors of assessment information" (Sanford, Hopper, & Fisher, 2014, p.73), actively negotiating their learning and assessing their progress, a skill that contributes to more independent, committed (p.78), and sustained learning habits. Also, as Desmet, Miller, Griffin, and Balthazor (2008) point out, "reflection is both process and product" (p. 19). ...
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This article reports on part of a mixed-methods study framed by sociocultural theory and aimed at assessing the impact of an intervention to promote metalinguistic awareness in language study abroad sojourners. Participants utilized a social media platform as a space to develop personalized e-portfolios for the purpose of in-depth metalinguistic reflection, paired with entirely computer-mediated researcher-participant mentoring. As such, this study addresses the importance of intervention in second language learning in study abroad, while also adding to the research available on its intersections within a 24/7 digitally connected world. Analysis of the data suggests that carrying out reflective practices and engaging with a mentor, even at distance, may be contributory in enhancing Spanish language proficiency. Further, this provides evidence that interventionist approaches to study abroad can be made accessible and meaningful even in the absence of significant resources, and without implementing prohibitively onerous tasks for either a student or practitioner.
This chapter explores the utility and limitations of student academic e-portfolios in learning and assessment in the humanities. Whereas a substantial literature exists on the benefits of e-portfolios in education, language learning, and writing courses, the potential usefulness of e-portfolios in humanities education is lightly trodden ground. Using two case studies of the implementation of student academic e-portfolios in Hong Kong-based university history courses, this chapter considers how the e-portfolio format can support the development of both discipline-specific research ability and cross-curricular skills, such as information literacy. Furthermore, because of their online nature, e-portfolio assignments are well positioned to exploit recent developments in the digital humanities. Nevertheless, student feedback on the experience of creating an e-portfolio suggests that, while non-history major students were receptive to the low stakes and graduated nature of the assignment, a significant shift in disciplinary cultures of learning and assessment is required in order to implement e-portfolios successfully in advanced-level history courses.
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•I profile four approaches FYC programs have taken transition to eportfolios.•Migration patterns suggest multimodal composition does not drive adoption.•Trends of adoption reveal choice of eportfolio is locally based.
Although most portfolio evaluation currently uses some adaptation of holistic scoring, the problems with scoring portfolios holistically are many, much more than for essays, and the problems are not readily resolvable. Indeed, many aspects of holistic scoring work against the principles behind portfolio assessment. We have from the start needed a scoring methodology that responds to and reflects the nature of portfolios, not merely an adaptation of essay scoring. I here propose a means for scoring portfolios that allows for relatively efficient grading where portfolio scores are needed and where time and money are in short supply. It is derived conceptually from portfolio theory rather than essay-testing theory and supports the key principle behind portfolios, that students should be involved with reflection about and assessment of their own work. It is time for the central role that reflective writing can play in portfolio scoring to be put into practice.
Joseph Harris traces the evolution of college writing instruction since the Dartmouth Seminar of 1966. A Teaching Subject offers a brilliant interpretive history of the first decades during which writing studies came to be imagined as a discipline separable from its partners in English studies.
Notes post-process theories of composition instruction suggest that process is no longer an adequate explanation of the writing act. Explains how post-process theory can contribute to composition pedagogy. Argues that post-process theory encourages educators to reexamine the definition of writing as an activity rather than a body of knowledge, methods of teaching as indeterminate activities rather than exercises of mastery, and communicative interactions with students as dialogic rather than monologic. (PM)
While the term post-process can be useful as a heuristic for expanding the scope of the field of second language writing, the uncritical adoption of this and other keywords can have serious consequences because they often oversimplify the historical complexity of the intellectual developments they describe. In order to provide a critical understanding of the term post-process in its own historical context, this article examines the history of process and post-process in composition studies, focusing on the ways in which terms such as current-traditional rhetoric, process, and post-process have contributed to the discursive construction of reality. Based on this analysis, I argue that the use of the term post-process in the context of L2 writing needs to be guided by a critical awareness of the discursive construction process. I further argue that the notion of post-process needs to be understood not as the rejection of process but as the recognition of the multiplicity of L2 writing theories and pedagogies.
Electronic portfolios show considerable pedagogical, student-outcomes, and program assessment promise but have been plagued by numerous logistical and implementation problems caused by the software and by students having to learn a great deal about electronic writing to put together a viable electronic portfolio. This article describes using an efolios project to solve these problems, enabling students to concentrate on writing rather than on technology and to create an electronic environment conducive to student-outcomes and program assessment.
Yancey explores reflection as a promising body of practice and inquiry in the writing classroom. Yancey develops a line of research based on concepts of philosopher Donald Schon and others involving the role of deliberative reflection in classroom contexts. Developing the concepts of reflection-in-action, constructive reflection, and reflection-in-presentation, she offers a structure for discussing how reflection operates as students compose individual pieces of writing, as they progress through successive writings, and as they deliberately review a compiled body of their work-a portfolio, for example. Throughout the book, she explores how reflection can enhance student learning along with teacher response to and evaluation of student writing. Reflection in the Writing Classroom will be a valuable addition to the personal library of faculty currently teaching in or administering a writing program; it is also a natural for graduate students who teach writing courses, for the TA training program, or for the English Education program.
Pedagogy 4.1 (2004) 125-127 By now, portfolios are well established as tools for both learning and assessment in many U.S. colleges. English departments are no exception: first-year writing programs use them; upper-division courses implement them to showcase subject-area learning; even doctoral programs increasingly have students compile portfolios of various documents as they complete their Ph.D. work. Writing, and all learning, is something that is best assessed by viewing documents produced over time, and portfolios are increasingly seen as a way to evaluate students' work more authentically and effectively. However, as with any sound pedagogical practice, familiarity can breed complacency. There is the danger that portfolios themselves can turn into more lifeless testing documents rather than living, shifting portraits of learners, classrooms, and programs. As the pressure for standardized testing increases at the college level (to place first-year writers, to track majors, to award degrees), our portfolio pedagogy needs to simultaneously evolve and remain fresh within our own classrooms even as we articulate their importance and relevance to audiences beyond our classrooms. Considering the historical place of the portfolio in writing assessment can help us continue to rethink the place of the portfolio in college instruction. Kathleen Blake Yancey's article "Looking Back As We Look Forward: Historicizing Writing Assessment" (1999) is an important historical review of how writing assessment has shifted and changed in college composition. Although Yancey initially recounts the "waves" of assessment that have broken, and receded, on the shores of college composition, her metaphor also offers a new way to consider how educational reforms might come—and seem to go—in the teaching of English. Yancey presents a way to view writing assessment practices in college writing education over the past fifty years in a historicized, but not simplified, manner. Ultimately, she demonstrates how the writing-process movement made space for more recent conceptions of portfolios as complex, multifaceted, shifting assessments of learning. Yancey discusses the history of writing assessment from the 1950s on, but for the purposes of this essay, I will focus on the latter part of her article. However, I will briefly mention the first "wave" of assessment she discusses (1950s-1970s) because so much of this is still surprisingly relevant to our needs today. During this time, Yancey (1999: 486) reports, the "process of deciding what to teach the students belonged to educators . . . the process of moving students about, to testing specialists." This perspective on students resurfaces in our institutions today, making Yancey's questions profitable ones for all teachers to consider: These questions are not easy to answer, but we English professors must consider them seriously. What is it we are trying to learn about students with our assessment practices? What does our (writing) assessment privilege? How might students create a self through a portfolio that reflects a sense of selves, rather than a smooth portrait of an autonomous self? What do we want the distance to be between our classrooms and the chosen writing assessment? Standardized, "objective" tests are already dominant in K-12 instruction, and they are increasingly held up as a panacea for the problems of college teaching. We must be able to communicate with administrators, colleagues, and public constituencies about appropriate assessment in English: who should implement it, what it is, and how it can work. As direct measures of writing (i.e., actual writing samples) gained prominence in writing assessment throughout the 1970s and 1980s, portfolios were increasingly seen not just as a way to place or to track but as a "means of knowing for both student and teacher" (497). Crediting Faigley and Berlin, Yancey (498) notes that if "education ultimately and always is about identity formation," then writing assessment "plays a crucial role in...
Electronic portfolios: Emerging practices in student, faculty, and institutional learning
  • B Cambridge
Post-process theory: Beyond the writing-process paradigm
  • T Kent
Situating porfolios: Four perspectives
  • K B Yancey
  • Weiser