The Use of Portfolios

At Queensborough, the Writing Across the Curriculum Subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee has approved courses as writing intensive based on a portfolio submitted to them after one semester of course development by the course instructor and the writing fellow assigned to work with that instructor. Portfolios include: (1) initial and revised course syllabi; (2) drafts of low-stakes, in-class writing assignments and of formal assignments which include revision; and (3) examples of student writing from each stage of each assignment. 

The portfolio was initially envisioned only as a means of course assessment, a way of ensuring that a given course met each of the criteria to be designated as writing intensive. However, they have proven to be far more useful tools than we realized. We are now using portfolios from nearly every department at Queensborough as resources from which to cull assignment ideas, understand the development processes of effective assignments, gauge changes in student writing, assess the program’s impact on faculty and students, and illustrate to faculty who are not involved with WAC how writing-to-learn-strategies work.

Examples of faculty portfolios were presented in January 2002 by Queensborough Writing Fellows at the CUNY Writing Across the Curriculum Fellows’ Day – a full day of workshops by Writing Fellows from all of the CUNY campuses. The response was amazing. Both Fellows and WAC Coordinators were favorably impressed by the multiple uses of WI course portfolios in what was called “by far the most helpful workshop of the day.”

We will help you compile your portfolio over the course of the workshops. Here are a few documents in PDF format to assist you in creating your portfolio. Moreover, we have some (anoymous) sample portfolios available. If you contact your fellow, you can reach them online.