Part C allows students to argue for their course grade. Students must include a thesis statement (the grade for which they are arguing), reasons/examples/evidence (mainly "located" in Part B), and an address to opposition (see note 1). At the midterm, students argue for a grade, discuss what they want to accomplish in the remainder of the course, and make suggestions concerning the class and assignments. At the end of the semester, students complete the same process, arguing for their development over the entire course and their improvement since the midterm.
In arguing for their course grade, students are forced to self assess; while most of their evidence is included in Part B, students must still briefly explain their argument. In addition, students must look (at the mid term) across time to propose future learning objectives.
Note 1: For example, if a student has several absences, he/she must anticipate your response/objection to receiving an A and argue why he/she still deserves an A.
I believe that I deserve an A- in this class. I have liked the quality of my work so far, and have great confidence in my ability to write. I have had some troubles with all the uploading, and observations have been a chore to keep up with because I never spend much time on my computer. I realize the importance of technology in this class, and am getting the hang of your style as a professor. I have missed one class, and don't plan to miss any more, God willing. I hope to have a solid A or A+ by the end of the semester, and I feel I can do it. I feel more comfortable in class discussions, know how to navigate the LRO and Moo, and feel that I can raise my quality of work to a superior level. (As your former student said, "because if there is hope for me, there is hope for mankind".)
I believe that I deserve a solid "A" for my performance this semester. As I said in Part B, I have really grown as a student, and have learned to work outside the usual routine of other classes. I have had to use computers to a great extent, from my daily observations to fighting for my grade. I have only missed one class period, and it was at the beginning of the semester. I was also almost never late. I also believe that I had some great writings. The work I did with the major paper was great. I hardly had to change it for the second and final drafts, but I still made all the changes recommended by the professor. I also did my observation, and will post some of the better ones. I put thought into them, and believe that I did a good job. My group's web project was also great, and I really helped find the material to fill the site. I think that I did an overall good job in this class.
This student mainly focuses on his increase in confidence (specifically with technology); this part of his LRO demonstrates his gain in confidence, which is not usually accounted for in other forms of writing. In addition, this student's confidence has also generally increased as he grew accustom to the class. Furthermore, Part C2 really demonstrates his growth, as his tone is much stronger in C2.
Below is a student example from my Summer, 2002 freshmen rhetoric course; this is the same student that wrote the second example in section B.
I estimate my grade in this class to be B+ up until now. I only have one absence that was not of my control. I completed all of my assignments and mostly ahead of time. I paid attention in class, although one may criticize that I do not participate enough. This is due to the fact that I am very shy. I want to participate but find it hard to open my mouth. This is one area that I will especially work on throughout the semester. Most of my writings addressed the topic and had few grammar and spelling mistakes. Also, my writing style reaches freshmen-level quality. Class activities and assignments for this class greatly improve my strands of work and the five dimensions of learning. There is not much the professor needs to do to better support learning. However, I do suggest that the professor pinpoints all the students to participate in discussions. The professor only needs to do that once to get the students get comfortable with talking out loud in the class. This would really helps the less outgoing students.
I estimate my grade in this class to be an A. First of all, most of my
works are of good quality. I especially showed great improvement on the
big paper. I rewrote my whole first draft to correct all of my mistakes.
Also, I was only absent one day and always showed up to class on time.
Additionally, I have always turned all of the assignments ahead of time
or on time. Overall, I learned a lot from this class. All the assignments
were reasonable. They allowed me to explore new terrains. Therefore, I
do not think the class needs to be changed in any way. It is great to
actually learn new things in class.
Because this student's Parts B1 and B2 are so detailed, she does not need to include a lot of evidence/explanation here. However, she does briefly discuss (in C1) what she hopes to work on and looks to the remainder of the semester as she self-evaluates and evaluates the class as a whole.
Although many portfolios advocate self-evaluation and reflection, they simply do so by having students answer survey questions or write general paragraphs that discuss their learning (see the Affective and Other Areas section from the "Issues" section of this project). Because the LRO separates these parts, students are able to see them on the different levels. Yet, because students must argue for their course grade based on their demonstration/examples of their growth (on individual assignments, in particular areas/dimensions), they also see the connection between their assignments and their overall learning.
This section is perhaps the most radical part of the LRO, for students must argue for their course grade. Part of what makes this section so radical is that students do not know their grades on individual assignments. Certainly, as a teacher, you give feedback, make suggestions, etc., but by not letting students know their grades, the focus turns to work and development; students are "forced" to self-consciously examine their work when arguing for a course grade. While many portfolios simply ask what you learned, how is your learning different, what work did you most like, etc. the LRO (by its design and philosophy) really encourages students to delve deep and explore the specific connections between their work/assignments, learning, and grade.