Hispanic studies portfolio Project

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HISPANIC STUDIES Portfolio Project

  • New Requirement for Majors

Portfolio Presentation

  • Introduction
  • I. Portfolio Implementation
  • II. Portfolio Components
  • III. Student Guide
  • IV. Submitting the Portfolio
  • V. Participants
  • VI. Timeline
  • VII. Assessment
  • VIII. Responsibilities of Committee and Advisor

Introduction: What is the Portfolio?

  • The Portfolio consists of an organized collection of students’ intellectual work and activities that reflects knowledge, understanding, interest, and accomplishments over a period of two years in the Hispanic Studies major.
  • The Portfolio provides a comprehensive view of students’ abilities and progress; it helps to determine the students’ strengths and weaknesses in correlation with the goals and objectives of the Hispanic Studies major.
  • The Portfolio intends to provide language majors with solid foundations and tools for their future careers. Portfolio creation is the responsibility of the student, with professor guidance and support.
  • The Portfolio’s wide range of student-initiated and faculty-directed activities enables faculty to foster intellectual rigor among the majors, assess the quality of their work, and evaluate the major program in the Department of Hispanic Studies.
  • The Portfolio helps students to articulate and make connections among different subjects, and enhance the learning experience through reflection on the student’s work, and the making of informed decisions.

Introduction: Portfolio Assessment

  • Portfolio assessment is the evaluation of a collected, organized, annotated body of work, produced over time by a student.
  • Portfolio assessment is a superior indicator of students’ progress toward specific objectives.
  • Portfolios give an integral understanding of the student’s progress and accomplishments through assessment of the collected work during a period of time.
  • An assessment portfolio shows not only the best work of which the student is capable, but the progress the student has made to reach that level of achievement.
  • An assessment portfolio is evaluated on specific criteria.

Introduction: Portfolio Assessment

  • The portfolio does not affect student’s eligibility for graduation unless the student fails to assemble the portfolio and comply with the Student Guidelines.
  • The progress of the portfolio will be monitored in a coherent and timely manner through regular meetings with the advisor.
  • The portfolio examines the entire evidence of achievement of goals and objectives collected during the last two years of the major beyond the regular evaluation from each particular course.
  • A well kept portfolio is an assessment and diagnostic tool of students’ integrative learning in the major and a reflection of their progress, products and achievement.

Introduction: Portfolio Assessment

  • If the portfolio is unsatisfactory, the student needs to rework the areas lacking in proficiency or submit the required artifacts (products collected in the portfolio).
  • The portfolio is granted a total of two credits, one during the junior year and one at graduation. These credits do not replace any class credit. The number of credits of the major will be increased from 36 to 38 credits.

Introduction: Why use Portfolio Assessment?

  • It measures students’ progress over a period of time in various language learning contexts
  • It is by nature incorporated fully into instruction
  • It assists faculty in validating and improving the curriculum
  • It identifies the major’s learning goals and the evidence in meeting these goals
  • It is more formative than summative, it shows final product, but focuses on student progress
  • It reveals any weaknesses in instructional practices
  • It offers the professor and student an in-depth knowledge of the student as a learner
  • It offers a coherent picture of a student’s individual achievement and his/her academic development

Introduction: Portfolio Effects on Students

  • Enhance the students’ engagement in their work towards the major
  • Foster students’ reflection on their work as they assemble the portfolio
  • Help students explore potential areas of further study and research
  • Create opportunities for a more interdisciplinary approach to the study of Hispanic literatures, cultures, and Spanish linguistics
  • Provide a forum for further creative and analytical expression
  • Create opportunities for students to make connections between disparate readings, projects, and course contents
  • Encourage students’ self-assessment and monitoring of their progress
  • Foster communication between student-faculty members and student-fellow students
  • Enhance student learning through the process of revising and evaluating the final product
  • Make students more conscious about their goals vis-à-vis the goals for the major
  • The student becomes aware of the coherence of a particular learning experience behind his/her major
  • The student acquires more responsibility for his/her own learning
  • Expands student’s resume
  • Provides a life long learning experience
  • Promotes academic ethos

I. Portfolio Implementation

  • How long will it take majors to build the Portfolio?
  • Under the guidance of an advisor, assembling the portfolios in the Pilot Program will take place over a period of FOUR semesters, upon the student’s declaration of his/her major in Hispanic Studies.
  • When will the Portfolio become a requirement?
  • Students will be required to use portfolios once the requirement is published in the Academic catalogue. Students under the current catalogue will decide voluntarily between the Senior Project paper and the Portfolio.
  • How will the Portfolio Pilot be developed?
  • Given the need to pilot the portfolio we are stimulating the participation with two extra credits in Spanish. The pilot program will be in effect for two years, fall 2006- fall 2008. We expect to evaluate the pilot portfolio by the end of fall 2008 and implement the portfolio as a requirement for all Spanish majors by spring 2008. Participants will volunteer in the program until the portfolio becomes a requirement. Once a requirement for graduation the student participation is mandatory, but the piloting of the program will continue until the end of fall 2008
  • Who is ultimately responsible for the Portfolio?
  • The Hispanic Studies faculty takes complete responsibility for the implementation and assessment of the portfolio.

II. Portfolio Components

  • Majors are required to comply with the following six academic endeavors:
  • Entrance and exit exams
  • Senior-year reflective essay
  • Academic writing samples
  • General reflective essays
  • Extracurricular writing
  • Creative writing or personal choice of artifacts

Portfolio Component 1: Entrance and Exit Exams

  • Students are expected to take an Exit exam before they finish their major,
  • which will provide them with an opportunity to reflect on:
  • a. possible reasons for low performance in specific language skills
  • b. strategies to improve
  • c. areas of difficulty
  • Students are expected to take an Exit exam before they finish their major, which
  • will provide them with an opportunity to:
  • do a more holistic analysis of their performance by comparing entrance
  • and exit scores

Portfolio Component 2: Senior-Year Reflective Essay (minimum 7 pages)

  • Students will write a reflective essay, as an epilogue to the portfolio in the last semester of the senior year.
  • This essay will be an oral presentation at the Portfolio ceremony; students should synthesize their personal experience of the major in Hispanic Studies, including the following:
    • A. their academic strengths and weaknesses
    • B. major advances in knowledge of specific content areas related directly or indirectly to their major,
    • C. their rationale for the selection of portfolio documents, and a critique of the documents themselves
    • D. student’s perception of the achievement of life long learning skills

Portfolio Component 3: Academic Writing Samples

  • Hispanic Studies Majors will write at least four papers at the 300 level, three of them from different courses, three different content areas (literature, culture, or linguistics) and three different professors.
  • Diversity of content will provide students with ample opportunities to carry out analytical work on texts of different nature, themes and genre.
  • Students could also write a reflective paper on their internships, World cultures experience, Experiential Learning, Service Learning or any other cultural experience related to the Hispanic world and culture.
  • Students may include additional academic writing samples from Spanish 212.
  • Each paper must include a one-page reflection/self assessment about the writing of the research project.

Portfolio Component 4: General Reflective Essays

  • Majors are expected to write a reflective essay for each artifact-product they choose to include in the portfolio collection. Periodically the students should examine their work based on established criteria (goals and objectives of the particular class).
  • The reflection should be contextualized, making connections between a particular goal and the goals of the major, between academics, life, and their future projects. Students should critically reflect, process, and give meaning to their work.
  • In their reflection papers students should identify the most important elements of what has been learned from that particular product (see guide for reflective essays in the appendix).
  • The reflection essay should capture the students’ attitudes toward their learning experience and also the ability to synthesize important concepts and information from each artifact being reflected upon.
  • After turning papers in for a grade in the corresponding course, students will re-read each paper at least once during the following term and will write at least one reflection/self-assessment on each one of them.
  • Each item that the student includes should be accompanied by a statement of justification, indicating why it was chosen.

Portfolio Component 5: Extracurricular Writing

  • Hispanic Studies majors will keep a journal (minimum 7 pages) while involved in any of the following activities:
  • A. a study abroad program
  • B. traveling in a Spanish-speaking country
  • C. an experiential learning activity
  • D. world cultures course or experience
  • E. an advanced course outside CSBSJU, conferences related to the Hispanic world, community service, internship, or service learning experience.
  • The journal should chronicle events, readings, insights, or any other activity that complements the Hispanic Studies curriculum

Portfolio Component 6: Creative Writing or Personal Choice of Artifacts (optional)

  • Samples of work the student may have done related to or inspired by studies undertaken for the major or interdisciplinary in nature
  • Examples include poetry, lyrics, creative writing, translation, fiction, art, history, environmental issues, political and social issues related to the Hispanic world, etc.

III. Student Guide The final portfolio should include the following items: Introduction Academic writing samples All reflective essays Extracurricular writing Senior-year reflective essay Creative writing or personal choice of artifacts Entrance and exit exams

Student Guide: Introduction

  • Includes letter explaining what goals the student is setting for himself/herself and how he/she plans to accomplish them.
  • Reflects on the student’s academic strengths and weaknesses and how is the student planning to enhance the former and overcome the latter.

Student Guide: Portfolio Summary

  • Includes page numbers and/or tabs to clearly indicate the portfolio’s content
  • Arranges the portfolio sequentially, topically (Latin America, Spain) or according to artifacts (essays, research, journals, exams, etc.)

Student Guide: Academic Writing Samples

  • Each academic essay should be accompanied by a reflective essay
  • Students may include as many essays as they choose. The minimum requirement is four essays.

Student Guide: All Reflective Essays

  • All reflections should clearly illustrate the ability to effectively critique work and provide suggestions for practical alternatives
  • Self reflection should be evident

Student Guide: Extracurricular Writing

  • Include all journals related to world cultures and experiential learning outside the classroom.

Student Guide: Senior Year Reflective Essay

  • It should synthesize the student academic experience.
  • It should show evidence of critical thinking and problem-solving ability.
  • It should assess individual growth and improvement, and academic strengths and weaknesses.
  • It should state future professional goals.

Student Guide: Creative Writing or Personal Choice of Artifacts

  • Students could choose to include any artifacts that are clearly and directly related to the purpose of the portfolio.

Student Guide: Entrance and Exit Exams

  • Students should include
  • the exams
  • the scores of these exams
  • their reaction to the results

IV. Submitting the Portfolio

  • The portfolio is due early in the semester the student intends to graduate. Exact due dates for portfolio entries, entrance and exit examinations will be posted each semester in the Hispanic Studies Web page.
  • The semester preceding graduation and the semester of graduation, students should register for Span 399 in order to get one credit of portfolio for each of these semesters.
  • It is the students’ responsibility to include all required entries in the portfolio. Missing entries will delay graduation. Incomplete or late portfolios will not be accepted after the final deadline for submission.

V. Participants in the Portfolio Project

  • Assessment Committee:
  • Hispanic Studies Chair
  • Advisor
  • An additional Faculty member
  • Majors

VI. Timeline of Portfolio Project

  • September, 2006:
  • Selection of Assessment Committee, Advisors, and Majors for the PP.
  • The process of assembling the portfolio begins as pilot project.
  • Students take the Entrance Exam.
  • Spring 2007
  • Students planning to graduate spring 2008 or later meet with their respective Advisor at least twice per semester to discus the portfolio in process.
  • The Assessment Committee meets with the Advisors near the end of each semester to assess the work done by majors and to provide a forum for discussion among the advisors.

VII. Assessment of Pilot Portfolio Project

  • The evaluation will consist of a written assessment report by The Assessment Committee and the Advisers based on a common guideline for portfolio assessment. This guideline is primarily focused on:
  • completeness of work (inclusion of the required items) and neat, professional presentation of portfolio
  • appropriateness of selected artifacts
  • evidence of sustained work on the portfolio over 4 semesters
  • demonstration of academic and intellectual growth
  • coherence (based on the reflections that accompany each piece and the introductory essay)
  • evidence of critical thinking
  • Upon receipt of the assessment report by the Assessment Committee and the Adviser, the major will, if needed:
  • A. write a response/reaction to the report by the Assessment Committee and the Adviser.
  • B. review/edit some of the artifacts or the complete portfolio and present a revised version including a short introduction.


  • Sample reflective essays



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