WP4 at a Glance
PURPOSE :: You will (1) demonstrate what you have learned in FSTY 1311, using the student objectives outlined on the syllabus and selected evidence from course activities and project; this learning will be shown through your reflection on selected strengths and weaknesses. You will then (2) discuss how you plan to apply this learning in your ENGW 1302: Rhetoric and Composition II course next semester.
AUDIENCE :: Student learning in first-year writing courses is evaluated by a team of writing instructors in the English Writing & Rhetoric department. They have varied experiences and expectation, but they expect you to demonstrate formal, academic writing.
FORM :: Your final text should reference specific evidence of activities and projects completed in FSTY 1311 and/or other courses as relevant; it should reveal both an understanding of the student learning outcomes for RCI and RCII as well as thoughtful reflection on your abilities as a college-level reader/writer, using a formal tone and academic style appropriate for your audience.
FOCUS :: You will not and should not attempt to address every student learning objective; instead, you want to focus on a key areas of growth and also key areas of need for growth in 1302. To show yourself as able to give an objective critique of yourself, you must be able to show that you have a grasp of both your strengths and weakness. You will focus most of the paper (maybe 70%) on strengths an learning and the remainder on areas where you feel you need to grow as you transition into 1302.
Following other researchers and theorists, we define self-assessment as “the processes that allow a learner to know his or her own work—both in process and product—and to critique it such that the work can be enhanced” (Yancey and Smith 170). For this final writing project of the semester, you will be constructing a transfer self-assessment project. Why? Being able to judge your own work and products is an important part of learning. In fact, this practice of self-assessment—which echoes back to the 8 Habits of Mind and requires intensive meta-cognitive work on your part—is “a method for assigning both responsibility and authority to [you as] a learner” (170).
For the purposes of this transfer project, we want you thinking about your writing, thinking about your reading, thinking about your thinking, and thinking about your learning. In other words, we want you to embody your role as a writer—one who can not only recall experiences but also assess your individual performance. In this project, our expectation is that you will begin to know your writing, reading, researching, and thinking in such a way that you show your expertise and authority: “authority about [your] processes, about texts, about [yourself as] the writer” (172). To do this, you’re likely going to have to do some reflection because reflection is “a critical component of learning and of writing specifically” and because “articulating what we have learned for ourselves is a key process in that learning” (Yancey, On Reflection 7). We have designed some activities to help you begin this work, which you should treat as pre-writing activities.
We ask for this reflective, transfer-based work because we want you contextualizing your learning within the course goals and learning outcomes. Institutional and departmental requirements demand that all your professors assess what you have and have not learned throughout a given course, and this is one of the many practices we want you to take from our class and into other courses. However, we are not trying to turn you into mimicking robots. Instead, as Yancey and Brown have suggested,
The hope for self-assessment . . . is that the student—perhaps even before becoming enculturated [into “academic” writing]—goes beyond our standards to his or her own, talks back to us, and begins to negotiate the terms that will govern a text . . . . One way of understanding how efficacious self-assessment is, then, is to understand to what extent it encourages this kind of communication, this kind of meaning making, this kind of rhetorically effective resistance to institutional textual values. (173)
This is why we want you talking about what you learned and found valuable in this course. We want to know what you will be using from this class as you prepare to enroll in ENGW 1302 and other writing-intensive courses across the campus. This is why the project may combine private thoughts about your learning within the class with more public discussions about what you’re applying outside the boundaries of the campus. You cannot anticipate all the writing situations you’ll encounter in your remaining time at St. Ed’s, but the writing projects you completed this semester should have given you an insider’s perspective on what you can anticipate in the semesters to come. We want you to understand and make adjustments to your own private reading and writing practices, and a key part of these adjustments will be your ability to articulate what you have learned and what you still need to learn. Thus, your self-assessment letter asks you to assess your writing as a means of assessing yourself-as-writer, yourself-as-reader, yourself-as-researcher, and yourself-as-learner.
What should I use to assess what I have learned?
We want you to demonstrate what you have learned in FSTY 1311, using the student learning objectives outlined on the syllabus and selected evidence from course activities and project. This is where you will start. But for this project, we also want you looking forward. We want to know what you will transfer from this course to your ENGW 1302: Rhetoric and Composition II course next semester. To that end, you will discuss how you plan to apply this learning next semester, using the student learning outcomes for RCII (which are listed below).
ENGW 1302 STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
RHETORIC. Students will be able to…
- identify and evaluate the elements of argument (claims, reasons, evidence, assumptions, values) and rhetorical strategies (style, voice, tone, emotional appeals, and so forth);
- evaluate sources for balance, credibility, relevance, currency, and point of view;
- appropriately integrate accurate quotations, paraphrases and summaries of sources into their own writing in a way that audiences will find persuasive; and,
- select a structure and format for a piece of writing to suit a particular rhetorical situation.
COMPOSITION. Students will be able to…
- write multiple revised drafts for out-of-class writing and do extensive planning for in-class writing;
- adapt a recursive sequence of invention, drafting, revision, and editing for each assignment;
- critique their own and others’ work constructively; and,
- edit texts according to the conventions of Edited American English.
RESEARCH. Students will be able to…
- formulate an appropriate research question;
- use databases, library catalogs, and reference texts to research a topic; and,
- recognize the strengths and weaknesses of different types of primary and secondary sources and make effective choices among scholarly and non-scholarly sources (books, journal articles, newspaper articles, web sites, interviews, observations).
CRITICAL READING. Students will be able to…
- identify faulty logic;
- evaluate evidence for accuracy and reliability; and,
- evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of arguments.
MORAL REASONING AND CIVIC DISCOURSE. Students will be able to…
- identify and evaluate the values underlying their own and others’ arguments; and,
- discuss respectfully their own and others’ viewpoints both orally and in writing.
To begin this process of transfer-focused reflection, take some time and consider what you’ll be asked to do as a reader, writer, research, and learner in ENGW 1302. Then, looking at the work you completed this semester (course activities and discussions, daily writing assignments and major writing projects), describe the practices and process you’ll continue to use in the next course and explain why these practices and processes will help you complete the anticipated work. You will need to quote yourself and your work as appropriate.
Your primary audience for this will be writing instructors in the English Writing & Rhetoric department since they are responsible for determining how well students have mastered the requirements of each class. They expect adequate evidence and adherence to formal, academic standards, including proper arrangement of learning.
Explanation of Learning (85%)
How effectively does the project
- discuss the learning that occurred throughout semester?
- support discussions of that learning with specific evidence embedded in the project?
- connect that learning to student’s own understanding of and interpretation of the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for both FSTY 1311 and ENGW 1302?
How effectively does the project order, arrange, and present findings so that they are
- connected with clear topic sentences and transitions (plenty of bridges),
- internally consistent, and
- equally and fully developed?
Does the project, as a whole, order, arrange, and present findings so that
- the project is easy to read aloud (or does the reader run out of breath)?
- the project respects the reader as a formal evaluator of work?
Nuts and Bolts (15%)
- Single-spaced; non-ridiculous font and margins
- All drafts and pre-writing materials submitted for review via Google Docs
- Approximately 1000-1200 words
- Standard Edited English, proofread meticulously
Yancey, Kathleen Blake and Jane Bowman Smith, eds. “Reflections on Self-Assessment.” Self-Assessment and Development in Writing: A Collaborative Inquiry. Cresskill, New Jersey: Hampton Press, 2000. 169-176. Print.
Yancey, Kathleen Blake. Reflection in the Writing Classroom. Logan, UT: Utah State Press, 1998. Print.