USC Connect is the integrative learning initiative for undergraduates at the University of South Carolina, and students who demonstrate integrative learning at the highest level can earn Graduation with Leadership Distinction (GLD). The defining requirement for Graduation with Leadership Distinction is an integrative learning E-Portfolio in which students draw connections between their cocurricular experiences and their classroom learning while at the University of South Carolina. In helping students develop their E-Portfolios for GLD, we (USC Connect) utilize explicit genre instruction through various methods.
My interest in examining our processes for helping students develop successful GLD E-Portfolios is not simply to test Freedman’s hypotheses, but also to examine how the genre of integrative learning e-portfolios has shaped its evaluative (assessment) and instructive methods. That is, how have the products students have submitted as GLD E-Portfolios interrogated or subverted the genre itself; how have we used those products to redefine the nuances, constraints, and expectations of the genre; how have our instruction methods adjusted to accommodate those changes; and are our instructive methods effective at helping students through the process of developing integrative learning e-portfolios?
This project will draw from genre theory, composition studies, higher education administration, curriculum instruction, and pedagogical theory in order to examine a case study of genre development, assessment, redefinition, and explicit instruction. I intend to directly address how assessment methods (specifically rubrics) have acted on the genre of integrative e-portfolios, and how the genre has forced the adjustments of assessment methods, a question that seems to hover on the edges of composition studies (especially as it relates to pedagogical practices), but never seems to be directly addressed (at least as far as I have seen in my own studies of composition).
Freedman, Aviva. “Show and Tell? The Role of Explicit Teaching in the Learning of New Genres.” Research in the Teaching of English, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Oct., 1993), pp. 222-251. PDF.
Hyland, Ken. “Genre-Based Pedagogies: A Social Response to Process.” Journal of Second Language Writing, 12 (2003), pp. 17-29. PDF.
Yancey, Kathleen Blake. “Portfolio as Genre, Rhetoric as Reflection: Situating Selves, Literacies, and Knowledge.” WPA, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Spring, 1996), pp. 55-69. PDF.
Yancey, Kathleen Blake. “Postmodernism, Palimpsest, and Portfolios: Theoretical Issues in the Representation of Student Work.” College Composition and Communication, Vol. 55, No. 4 (Jun., 2004), pp. 738-761. PDF.