UMUC Communication Studies
COMM 495, Senior Capstone Seminar
COMM 495 Curricular Portfolio and Analysis (or Alternate Assignment; 20% of course grade):
WARNING In Course Content-->Course Resources-->Portfolio, you should find basically this same information. The CS department created the Portfolio Tutorial for all the COMMM 495 sections, so it does not include all the specifics that I require. I have some slightly different instructions, so where you see a conflict, follow my instructions. Mainly the differences include (a) format instructions and (b) how to arrive at an acceptable thesis for the essay. Also, make sure you review all the Ed Sapp materials about writing resumes.
The portfolio assignment is to be completed in the first two weeks of the course. Communication Studies majors must assemble a portfolio of their significant coursework in the discipline and to analyze this work in COMM 495. Students who have not saved their coursework are to complete the Alternate Assignment.
Follow course rules for submitting assignments to your Assignments Folder. These rules cover (a) acceptable file format, (b) acceptable file name, (c) acceptable file properties, and (d) an assignment transmittal memo.
Portfolio Assignment. This assignment requires three graded parts: (a) a portfolio core, (b) an essay, and (c) a resume.
The Portfolio Core. The portfolio core includes many parts including introductions to each of four separate works created in former COMM, JOUR, SPCH, or WRTG classes taken at UMUC for your Communications Studies major.
The Curricular Analysis Essay. For the essay write an analysis that is a minimum of 1,500 words and that analyzes and reflects on the learning that is evident in the works you included in your portfolio core. In the essay, you will again introduce each assignment, then you will fully discuss how it supports your essay's thesis. The best way to create a meaningful thesis is to decide which Communications theory that represents significant learning or insight for you and how the work ties into that theory. A helpful resource is your COMM 300 Turner & West textbook.
The Portfolio Resume. This is not your usual resume. This resume must be exactly one page and must be re-written to follow the content pattern provided in the Ed Sapp Resume materials available in the classroom.
Questions to answer to help you brainstorm and select a theory or discover significant learning or insight include the following:
Make sure that when you are analyzing your portfolio selections, you think in terms of establishing a framework for your portfolio. That means choosing a meaningful thesis (**not** that you learned a lot or that communication skills are important; those thoughts are general truths, not meaningful theses). To select a thesis with which you can frame your essay, determine which model of communication, ethical issue, communication tradition, context, and communication theory have risen to the surface in your works. If you do not see those communication elements, consider picking ones that provide you with a lens through which you can analyze your work.
If you have a specific research interest, such as gender studies or analyzing political blogs, your essay can center around that interest and the theory that applies.
Keep in mind that your essay will be evaluated in terms of its clarity and depth, so make sure you include a strong thesis with reasons that are demonstrated by the examples of work from your classes. Use the terminology you learned in COMM 300 Communication Theory. Make sure that you understand the purpose of the essay.
You probably already have a resume. What we are asking you to do this semester is to not only update your resume to reflect the fact of your graduation but also to try your hand at writing a resume in a new way.
One main change you have to make to your resume is to update it for having graduated. Pretend that you are reading it a month after you have graduated. Does your graduation date in the resume still say expected? That would be bad!
For the other changes, study the materials provided by Ed Sapp attached to your Portfolio Assignment Folder in the classroom and in the Course Resources.. Model your resume as these materials suggest.
How to Format the Portfolio Core
Use a cover page or title page. It should not have a page number or running head. Center on the page (horizontally and vertically) your title for the portfolio core package, your name, this course, the university, and the date. OPTIONAL: You may wish to include a very brief abstract in the lower left corner of the title page.
WARNING. Remember the rule for this class about creating your own visuals! Do not fail this assignment just because you cannot resist putting a picture from the Internet on your cover page. I appreciate good document design, so if you want more than a plain cover page, feel free to spend the time on design. Just use your own original work and not borrowed materials to do so.
How to Format the Essay
Use standard essay format with a cover or title page. However, please use single line spacing with an extra line of space between paragraphs. Do not use double line spacing and do not indent paragraphs.
As your grader, I would appreciate your using a sans serif font. (If you do not understand this term, look it up using your favorite search engine).
How to Format the Resume
Follow the Ed Sapp model.
Here are the required assignment major elements for the Portfolio Core:
(Submit your essay and resume in their separate assignment folders. )
SUBMISSION CHECK LIST
Start with this check list and then use the checklist available in the Portolio Tutorial.
Note 1. Include References or Bibliographies after each assignment rather than all at the end of the portfolio. Keep those lists with the corresponding assignment. If an assignment originally called for a different documentation style like MLA, then keep the original style.
Note 2. Creating one file to include all the parts of the portfolio core may not work for every portfolio. If one or more project is not a word document, that file will, of course, have to be submitted separately. However you design your portfolio core, make it easy for readers to navigate.
Note 3. For all assignments submitted to Assignment Folders in this class, include a transmittal memo (use memo format from Course Style Guide)in the Assignment Folder text box. In this memo to me, describe any challenges you had with the assignment and how you surmounted them. This is also where you may discuss any departures from the instructions. You need to explain and provide a good audience-based reason for departing from the rules. For example, you might decide to use MLA instead of APA if you decide your target audience is a professional journal devoted to the study of Shakespeare and state in their submission guidelines that authors are to use MLA. Explain departures to me to show a deliberate and reasoned decision, and I will not deduct points for not following the assignment instructions.
Note 4. As a communications professional, you should change the file properties. Make sure the author's name is yours and is your full, professional name. The document title or subject should reflect the title of the document. You should enter your creation date. This establishes your copyright. Some students prefer to include a Creative Commons License in the File Properties Comments box.
Note 5. Students usually want to know if they should fix errors they notice in the works they select for their portfolio. The answer to that is maybe. If you see typos and other easy-to-fix problems, yes. Correct the errors. If the work needs a major structural re-write, no. You don't have time for a major revision, but you can describe in your essay what changes you would make if you had an occasion to publish this work.
Note 6. About line spacing: If you use single line spacing, you do not indent paragraphs and you do use an extra line of space between paragraphs. If you use double line spacing, you indent each paragraph and do NOT use an extra line space between paragraphs. Do not change the line spacing of the assignments in the core sections. For the Portfolio Core works, use the original line spacing. For the essay, use single line spacing and no paragraph indents.
Note 7. I do not care if you use one or two spaces after a period. Just be consistent.
Note 10. About formatting your table of contents: Do use leading periods in the Table of Contents and align the page numbers on the right margin on the decimal. Do NOT use the word, Page, with the page numbers. Do not use a range of page numbers.
CORRECT: Something in your document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
WRONG: Something in your document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 10
WRONG: Something in your document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 - 12
Alternate Assignment.If you do not have enough of your coursework to collect in a portfolio, describe four significant assignments or significant courses that you completed for your major. These should be UMUC Communication Studies classes, not transferred credits. Describe each assignment or course, and describe the reasons why it has been significant to your growth as a communications expert. Instead of 1500 to 2000 words, the alternate assignment should be at least 3,500 words (seven pages—one page per assignment or course described and three pages of analysis with a thesis as described above for the analysis).
GRADING RUBRICS FOR THE ASSIGNMENT
Evaluation Rubric for the Portfolio (30% of the assignment grade)
How well does the portfolio meet the requirements of the assignment?
Evaluation Rubric for the Resume (20% of the assignment grade)
Evaluation Rubric for Analytic Essay (50% of the assignment grade)