Portfolio Method of Instruction

The Portfolio Method of Instruction is required for multiple English courses (ENG 102, 111, 112, 113, and 114) and Writing Intensive Courses.

The Portfolio Method of Writing Instruction

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A Portfolio is a collection of student work that reflects their progress and growth in a writing-based class.  While a portfolio can be used as a showcase for student work or student credentials, JCC's QEP calls for a learning-based portfolio.  A learning-based portfolio requires students to gather and maintain informal writings (such as brainstorming notes, outlines, short assignments, journal entries, and rough drafts) and formal writings (such as final drafts, completed essays, and research papers).  The writings are compiled in a centralized location which may be either a digital space or a physical folder.

Why use the Portfolio Method of Instruction?

  • Portfolios help students develop writing skills in both English and discipline-specific courses.
  • Portfolios encourage students to use resources beyond the classroom such as the Writing Studio.
  • Portfolios emphasize that writing is a process. 
  • Portfolios provide opportunities for students to write in various situations and for diverse audiences.
  • By gathering student work in one place, portfolios help students and faculty see how students have improved their writing over the course of a semester and areas they can improve. 
  • Portfolios are not necessarily more work for either the student or professor, but instead a repository for work already being done.

Portfolio Guidelines for JCC's English and WIC courses

  • The portfolio allows students to write in varying styles.  Documents included in the portfolio should be a mix of informal and formal writings. 
  • Portfolios will include revisions of student writing.  Portfolios will contain at least one writing assignment that consists of multiple drafts. 
  • The portfolio does not mean deferred grading.  Instructors will provide feedback and scoring for their students throughout the course of a semester.  While it is acceptable to have certain elements of the portfolio scored at the end of the semester, (low-stakes assignments like journals, for instance) instructors should be sure to provide detailed feedback at appropriate points throughout the course. The portfolio does not replace the need for individually scored essays but offers a vehicle through which the instructor and student may recognize progress and identify specific areas of need.
  • Low stakes assignments are critical to the portfolio but must not exceed 30% of a student's overall course grade.
  • The portfolio may or may not be used as a grading device. While the individual components of a portfolio will be scored, instructors may differ on the value of providing a grade for the portfolio as a whole. A Portfolio Assessment Rubric (PAR) (PDF) has been developed for the purpose of scoring the portfolio. PAR will not be a required grading device, but may be employed and/or customized by instructors.
  • The portfolio will include a reflective essay (PDF) which offers students the valuable opportunity to assess their own growth as a writer.