Teaching Writing Online: Spring 2017 Rotating Header Image

Course Portfolio & Reflective Essay

Let’s begin with a claim: learning & teaching without reflecting on how, what, and why we are learning & teaching is meaningless. In WRD, we believe that a course portfolio and reflective essay is the best platform — like a dot-connecting mechanism — for supporting your reflections.

Required: Synthesis/Reflective Essay in which you theorize yourself as a writing teacher teaching online: 750-1000 words, with examples from your WRD545 assignments and projects.

Reflection refers to the iterative process that we engage in when we want to look back at some activity or decision we’ve made, to think about what we’ve learned from it, and how we might use it in the future. Reflection is a powerful tool in teaching and learning, and outside of academics, reflecting is a common tool among professionals and organizations as a way to establish values, goals, and future actions:

    •    What did I do? What is significant about it?
    •    Did I meet my goals?
    •    When have I done this kind of work before? Where could I use this again?
    •    Do I see any patterns or relationships in what I did?
    •    How well did I do? What worked? What do I need to improve?
    •    What should I do next? What’s my plan? 

Portfolio Essay requirements — negotiable, depending on your goals & priorities

Option #1: Reflective Essay

Use your essay to introduce and contextualize your excellent WRD 545 materials:

  • Connections to your pedagogy
  • Student learning outcomes: how can these assignments benefit students?
  • The role of technology — how did it promote or constrain what you wanted to do? — OR how it functions as an “interface” between you, students, and the institution.
  • If you were starting all over, what would you do differently?
  • Include your revised teaching statement and whatever course projects and assignments you think best support your reflections

Option #2: Potential Hiring Committees

Locate a job ad for teaching online that you would conceivably apply for, and arrange your 750-word essay and WRD 545 materials for that audience; think of it as a dry run for the day you’ll actually apply. Include the job ad in your portfolio.

There are other possibilities, too, if you have other goals: Nat, for example, is composing and designing hers as a Course Proposal for a real-deal actual department where she’ll be teaching next year.

Platforms: your choice. You’re welcome to go low-tech — MS Word, say — or use the same platform you’ve used for your project, or Digication. It would be nice to link to examples when you mention them — “as you can see in my remix revision assignment [link] …”