This assignment was created for LIF101 (New Student Seminar for Liberal Arts), which is a baseline course taken by students (typically in their first semester) in Liberal Arts: Social Science and Humanities (including the options) and Fine Arts. Students in this course have wide-ranging abilities, given that they may be in ESL or have transferred in advanced writing courses. As such, the final assignment needs to serve the goals of the course while not penalizing students for having lower abilities in writing and research. Similarly, the integrative learning rubric has several very different dimensions, and connecting them all in one assignment is not easy. This assignment is my first attempt at providing more structure (to support my ESL students), connecting work done throughout the semester (so not overburdening those with less college experience), and explicitly addressing each of the dimensions of the integrative learning rubric.
The topic addresses the goals of the course “to introduce students to the liberal arts, help students transition to campus culture, develop a better understanding of the learning process, and acquire essential academic skills.” They explore campus opportunities and resources, research career options, and investigate possible transfer schools during the semester, and then tie these elements together in the assignment presented here.
Students complete elements of this paper throughout the semester as individual reflection papers and/or ePortfolio pages, and then bring their research together in this final paper. It is submitted both as an essay and as an ePortfolio page, and it is the ePortfolio page which is deposited for assessment purposes. The final paper is worth 20% of their final grade, with an additional 5% available for the draft (which is peer reviewed by LIB200 students).
In developing this assignment, I participated in a mini-grant (run by Ian Alberts, Reem Jaafar, and Habiba Boumlik) connecting LIB200 to FYS, and had capstone students peer review their drafts. I also workshopped this in the assignment workshops run by Chris Schmidt and Karen Miller. These allowed me to ensure I was also touching on the digital ability through integrating two or more forms of media (image and text on the ePortfolio platform) while also assessing if the student artifacts generated by this prompt did, in fact, meet the dimensions of the rubric.
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