Students will write reflections of approximately 1-3 pages for each piece, in whatever genre they choose, that will inform the reader about their process of learning to write. For each paper, the reflection will
- explain why they chose that paper for the portfolio
- explain which criterion[a] the paper meets, and describes how it does so
- comment on the assignment (which must be included)
- comment on how well their writing responds to the assignment
- describe their process of drafting and revising the paper
- comment on how much effort they put into writing the paper, describing or estimating the amount of time and the number of drafts
- speculate about what circumstances might have led them to put more effort into the paper
- discuss how the paper helped them learn
A Writing Lab tutor will meet with each student at least twice during each semester to explain the project and guide the student to understand and write reflections. In furnishing this training, the staff will use a common instruction packet to introduce the idea of portfolios, reflection, and assessment. Staff will also make sure that students are writing the reflections close to the time of writing the paper, even if those reflections are merely emails to the Writing Lab staff. The students will be reminded that they are participating in a process to inform readers about their individualized experience of the writing program, not to be criticized individually on their writing skills.
In order to remain part of the program, the students will be expected to meet certain benchmarks: to have 3 appointments with their Writing Lab staff person before the last week of the semester, to write at least two reflections before the last week of the semester, and to have written by the second week of the second and subsequent semesters a preliminary cover letter that refers to the previous semester. If students are failing to cooperate by failing to meet these benchmarks, they will be replaced in the program by a students matched during the selection process.