Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


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Course portfolio developed as part of the UNL Peer Review of Teaching Project (peerreview.unl.edu)

Copyright (c) 2017 Rachael Wendler Shah


This course portfolio analyzes a section of English 254: Writing and Communities, exploring how well the course met individual teaching goals and the departmental course goals for English 254, with a particular focus on how the new English Department mission statement priorities are actualized in the class and how well the class supported learning to communicate across difference. The portfolio includes an outline of institutional context, course outcomes, and student background, as well as a backwards planning chart that demonstrates alignment between outcomes, activities, and assessment strategy. Then, the portfolio examines student data from each of the three major assignments, including an example of strong student performance, student growth, and student struggle, and data from final student reflections and a survey. This data is used to identify strengths in the curriculum, as well as opportunities for future improvement. These findings are particularly important as the section of Writing and Communities analyzed here is a pilot for the Husker Writers program, a new public writing initiative launching next year that will involve 10 UNL graduate students who teach their own classes in linking their classes with local high school courses. Findings from this portfolio will be helpful in supporting these graduate student instructors—including many who are entirely new to community-based teaching—in effectively teaching UNL English classes with a community partnership component, especially in light of the goals of the new UNL English Department mission statement.