Q3 Portfolios Redux

Note: You will receive a copy of this post in class on Monday, April 1. We will read it together, and then I will go over it with you to make sure it is clear. We will not move on to our next unit until Tuesday.

For your portfolio to be graded, a few requirements had to be met: It needed to be organized according to the directions you were given; it needed to have printed copies of all revisions, plus originals; and it needed a submission sheet with all information filled in. If you worked in a group, you also needed to have a length revision history online that proved your collaboration over time, plus copies of any collaborative revision printed and submitted by each member.

Only 20% of you met these requirements. The rest of you are missing something critical, without which the portfolio can’t be graded. Some of you didn’t even submit a portfolio.

Before we talk about next steps, know this: I will do everything I can to prevent you from failing. I will give you another opportunity not to fail this assignment. That may be an example of the floating standard, but it’s where this kind of performance leaves us. I want you to learn something. Consider:

  1. We spent almost two months preparing for these portfolios.
  2. You had two weeks just devoted to revisions.
  3. To give you more time, the work on The Invisible Man was bumped during the week before spring break, and three of the original writing requirements were waived.
  4. You were required to get a progress report signed that indicated just how important this revision portfolio is.

It is unacceptable that so many of you did not finish; that so many of you submitted sloppy or lazy work, often done at the last second; that group work was not done online in the way it was required; that some of you couldn’t get that progress report signed, even with an extra week to do so; and most incredibly, that so many of you did not complete a submission sheet. Without that checklist, I don’t know if you are taking your original grade or asking for a revision to be scored. I don’t know if you worked in a group or alone. If you did work in a group, I don’t know whose original you revised.

And some of the group work is impossible to grade. One group tried to fake collaboration—as it typed everything on the very last day—by leaving a couple of comments and making some superficial edits to try to generate the required revision history. It didn’t work, because I actually looked at everything everyone produced. That group will probably hear from me directly; the rest of you, if you fall in this 80%, ought to have taken greater pride in your work. There is no real evidence of using the feedback or prescribed process to revise.

Next steps:

If you did this correctly—if you were one of the nine students who did what you were asked to do—you have a 100/100 in the gradebook for your portfolio. The rest of you have an NC note, which means “no credit,” and have no opportunity to earn that bonus back. If you did this correctly—if you were one of the nine students who did what you were asked to do—you are also exempt from the metacognitive part of the next assignment, and you may choose any or all of your essays to be scored. The rest of you have this week to show me that you can follow directions and use my feedback to improve your writing.

You may choose one of your revisions, and only one, that you want to receive a new score. Highlight that entry on the submission sheet. (For a few of you, this pretty much has to be the literary analysis of Chapters 9-11 in The Invisible Man. If you don’t submit that revision, you will fail the quarter.) Fill out that part of the submission sheet in full. Then write a separate essay that explains exactly how you used the online commentary, your original score, the specific commentary given to your response, etc., to revise. If you worked in a group, you must include in this metacognitive explanation a complete account of exactly what each member did. If this essay is not specific and thorough, you will not receive a revision score.

Again, you must:

  1. Choose the one (and only one) revision you want scored.
  2. Fill out the submission sheet correctly, highlighting the row for that revision.
  3. Write a complete metacognitive essay explaining exactly how you used commentary and feedback to revise.
  4. Include specific and thorough explanations of what each group member contributed to the revision.

The metacognitive essay has no word count minimum or maximum. It must be complete and leave no detail out. Failure to do this will result in your original scores staying in the gradebook, even if that score is a zero.

You must learn to follow directions, and you must learn to take advantage of opportunities to improve your performance and understanding in here. Many of you simply aren’t doing that. Just look at this most recent adversarial post, which is a required assignment and an easy way to boost your overall grade in here: Only a few students managed to leave their thoughts over the last two weeks. You had almost a week in class with computers to start this adversarial, but you hadn’t budgeted your time for the portfolios; as a result, most of you were scrambling at the last second to put something together, and this next assignment was ignored.

When you operate like this, you aren’t learning. You aren’t growing as a student. It’s incredibly disappointing to see such a lack of responsibility, but as I said before, I am going to do what I can to give you another chance. Pick one of your revisions and write a metacognitive essay before submitting it. You have until Friday.

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