Students in the B.A. in English program at National University study a variety of subjects with a variety of instructors. To help them integrate these different courses into a coherent learning experience, all English majors are required to maintain a portfolio of work produced in each class in the program. The portfolio is designed to help students reflect on their progress in the program, as writers and as scholars, in a more critical and self-conscious way.
Here’s how it works:
- After each class taken in the program, the student retrieves the graded version of the final paper in the class. These papers are saved in a folder on the student’s computer and, optionally, on a shareable drive such as Google Drive. This requirement applies to any courses beginning with the prefix COM, ENG, or LIT, though students may include papers from other courses if they choose.
- The student keeps a log recording a summary of the instructor’s comments on each paper, the student’s own assessment of the paper’s strengths and weaknesses, and plans for future improvements. Download the log template here: Portfolio Log
- In LIT 498, the Capstone Course, students are asked to complete an assignment based on the portfolio and log.
The portfolio and log are not graded, and there is no formal penalty for not maintaining them, though if it is not maintained it will have to be recreated in LIT 498. The benefits of the portfolio should be seen in improved academic success in all classes, and especially in the capstone class, as a result of engaging in the “meta-cognitive” activities of reflecting on one’s own learning and planning future learning more consciously. The portfolio may also be useful for discussing the student’s progress in the program with instructors or the Writing Center, and it may help suggest topics for the capstone project in LIT 498.
Students in the Single Subject Matter Preparation Program will be able to use this electronic portfolio to fulfill the portfolio requirement in that program.