After working for a semester on WOVE (written, oral, visual, electronic communication), you’re now equipped to consider what you’ve learned about these modes of communication as you compile your end-of-semester portfolio.
Besides serving as the basis for your course grade, this portfolio has a more important function: to offer you an opportunity to reflect on and assess your communication growth over the last few months by analyzing the different parts of the portfolio and discussing what its artifacts show about that growth. Although you’ve reflected on your work in small ways during the semester (for example, on your composition cover sheets and in your group-discussion log), you will now compose an overall reflective/self-assessment letter for your portfolio that
- explains how the artifacts you’re including show your communication abilities
In addition to an overall reflective letter, you can also attach short reflections to individual artifacts that indicate what you believe they show about your communication competency (how they meet the criteria by which they will be evaluated—see “Final Portfolio Parts with Grading Criteria”).
By creating your portfolio and reflectively assessing it, you’re revisiting the topic of Comp 1 (you as communicator) from a new, end-of-semester perspective, recognizing, I hope, that you’re a different communicator from when you began the course in January.
For your overall reflective/self-assessment letter, I’d suggest that you choose the genre of a friendly letter addressed to me, the audience for your portfolio. As you’re composing that letter (and, if you choose to compose additional shorter, artifact-specific reflective pieces), keep in mind that effective reflective self-assessment involves
- thinking carefully and deeply
- explaining the “why” and “how” of your ideas as specifically as possible
- using the specific wording of the evaluation criteria in your discussion
Following are ideas for effectively writing this reflective self-assessment friendly letter. Feel free to expand on or modify these suggestions in any way that enhances the presentation of your work.
Open your reflection with a short introduction that sets the context for the reporting of the reflective assessment of your work, which comes next in the body of the letter.
Then divide the body into the following main topics of your portfolio: reflection, process, products (using headings and sub-headings, if you like, to separate these parts):
Explain how reflection artifacts you’ve chosen to include demonstrate the following qualities on which they will be evaluated/graded (See these grading criteria also in “Final Portfolio Parts with Grading Criteria.”):
- Forward-thinking, as well as backward assessing
Discuss what you’ve included in the process section of your portfolio in terms of the criteria on which they will be evaluated/graded (See these grading criteria also in “Final Portfolio Parts with Grading Criteria.”)
- The quantity of artifacts you’ve included and how this amount demonstrates your engagement (in other words, your interest and effort) in the development of your abilities in analyzing and composing WOVE “texts,” reading, researching, critical thinking, working with others, etc.
- The process artifacts you’re featuring for their quality, explaining how they demonstrate your “good faith” effort in taking on the work of the course (i.e. how they show risk-taking behavior to push yourself to try new things, a “give-and-get” attitude that invests something of yourself in your work, a concentrated effort, work that’s not just perfunctory—the minimum you can get away with to earn credit for an assignment—etc.), in other words your interest in and independent directing of your own learning
Discuss the product artifacts in your portfolio
Two compositions of your choice, selected from Comps 1-5: Look at the rubric under 3.1 on “Final Portfolio Parts with Grading Criteria,” and discuss how the polished drafts you’ve decided to present meet these standards.
Discuss how the artifacts you’ve chosen to include (I’ll also draw on observation notes and videotapes) show your use of the productive group behaviors laid out in “3.2.1 Oral Communication: Small-Group Work and Group Discussions” in “Final Portfolio Parts with Grading Criteria.” For a fuller discussion of productive group behaviors, also refer to the document “Elements of Small-Group Work.”
Think about your part in informal presentations we did during the semester and your formal poster presentation; discuss how these examples of your public speaking meet the standards of effective oral presentations as laid out in “3.2.2 Oral Communication: Presentations” in “Final Portfolio Parts with Grading Criteria.” For a fuller discussion of effective preparation and execution of oral presentations, also refer to the document “Elements of Oral Presentations.”
Explain how the one or more visual artifacts you’ve decided to include in this section meets the standards of effective communication in the visual mode as laid out in 3.3 “Visual Communication” in “Final Portfolio Parts with Grading Criteria.”
Highlight one aspect of your work in 250 that involved the electronic mode, providing at least one artifact.
Discuss how what you’ve included shows your ability to effectively use or compose in the electronic communication mode. (See chart under 3.4 “Electronic Communication” in “Final Portfolio Parts with Grading Criteria.”
Close your reflective/self-assessment letter by explaining how, overall, your portfolio shows your skills and growth in communication this semester (i.e. What conclusions, considering the parts of your portfolio and your self-analysis of these, might someone who doesn’t know you draw about you as a writer, reader, oral communicator, and composer/consumer of visual and electronic media from examining your portfolio—and, perhaps, how might this person grade it?)
Bring your completed portfolio to my office, Ross 425 during our university-scheduled final exam period.