Student choices. A fascinating thing is happening this semester — fascinating to me, anyway, ha ha, and those of you who follow my course design saga will appreciate this. Last semester, I offered the Portfolio option as an alternative to the Storybook project, and it was specifically designed for students who were pressed for time and wanted a less time-consuming writing project for the class. I was honestly surprised last semester that so few people chose the Portfolio option; I had just 18 portfolios out of 80 students. This semester, though, I already have 22 portfolios out of just 56 students, with 34 students running late (so probably even a higher proportion of those students will choose the Portfolio). So, that means the Portfolio rate last semester was just around 20% but I bet it will be 40% or maybe even 50% (and that's about what I expected). And what is the difference? It is this: last semester, I did not have any samples of Portfolios to share with students! I was totally enthusiastic about the option, promoted it very positively (because I really do think it is a great option so that students can do the best work possible with the limited time they might have)... but students understandably were cautious. This time, though, I had some really nice Portfolios to show from last semester! THE POWER OF STUDENT MODELS: being able to see what other students are doing and/or have done is much more powerful than anything I can say, no matter how carefully crafted my comments might be.
Here's the page explaining the choices:
And, unlike last semester, that page is equipped with a list of past Portfolios, and a Pinterest Board too of course. I can tell already there will be more great Portfolios to add to the list next time around! Success!
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