Learning Portfolio

Model Portfolios
Evaluation Rubric

Create a portfolio of written work to represent your evolving thinking in this course. Because the Portfolio is intended to be consciously and carefully selective, you should choose up to 5 pages of passages selected from your writing, the writing of your classmates, or that of critics and authors you have come in contact with. In fact, you should include a few passages from others that inspired you or helped you to think more deply about an issue. Those passages should, however, not exceed 50% of your total selection. For all passages, be sure to identify the source (e.g. class notes, toolkit posting [reading responses, after-thoughts], paper, report or posting on child_lit listserv, team projects, etc.)

Then write a reflective essay (5-7 pages, double-spaced) explaining what this collection as a whole means to you and how this portfolio reflects the changes in your thinking about children's literature, about (your) writing, about connections betweeen disciplines, about your education as a whole, about you as a learner, about the way you understand yourself and others, etc. Your learning experience is the subject of this essay. You may want to focus on two or three specific questions such as these:

  • How has your writing evolved? Which assignments were more comfortable and productive for you? Why?
  • Looking back at your responses to the MER, how did your particular ways of knowing affect you during the semester? Did you notice any changes? If so, how would you describe them? What do you make sense of your observations?
  • What major ideas, themes, and threads do you find in your writing and the writing you selected from others? What is their significance for you? How have you developed these ideas over the course of this semester? What does that development mean to you?
  • How do your ideas connect to those you developed in other courses? How does this course fit into your overall undergraduate education?
  • How do your insights connect to your life, your personal values and convictions? How might these connection effect your future learning?

Use your selected works as evidence for the arguments you want to make.

In reviewing your essay I will look for the following as they apply to the questions you choose:

  • Analysis of how your writing and/or thinking about the subject of the course has changed (or not changed)
  • Ability to connect the academic materials and discussions to your personal interests, your various fields of study or other areas of your life
  • Evidence of your preparedness to take an active role as a participant in the discourse of children's and young adult literature
  • Depth, strength, and specificity of the argument (applies to all questions)
  • Clear organization; engaging and comprehensible style; correct grammar and vocabulary (applies to all questions)

As was the case for all previous projects, this is not the place for flattery or arguments you don't believe in. Your reader will not be interested in shallow statements about how good the course was (you can do this in your course evaluations.). She is interested in deep reflection and strong arguments. Excellent essays that compellingly and convincingly argue that this course has been a waste of time, will receive an A. You will have to seek peer feedback and turn it in together with your portfolio. This final assignment counts for 15% of your course grade.

Adapted from:
McGregor, J. (Ed.) (1993). Learning Self-Evaluation: Fostering Reflective Learning. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 56. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, p. 102.