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College of Communication & Creative Arts - Writing Arts

Rowan University

For Students

Commonly Asked Questions Concerning Portfolio Seminar

The Portfolio Seminar webpage, which is cited often below, is found at:

Click on the link below to see the specific questions in that category:

The Analysis Statement
The Portfolio
Group Work
Sharing your Portfolio
Due Dates
Problems and Concerns
When PS is Offered
Taking PS While Student Teaching


1. What is PS?
Portfolio Seminar is one of two senior-level capstone courses (along with Evaluating Writing) in the Writing Arts major, minor and Liberal Studies option B. Portfolio Seminar is a one-credit course for which you submit an electronic portfolio of work completed during your career in Writing Arts. The portfolio is then reviewed and evaluated by your advisor.

2. How come there are no meeting dates for PS on my schedule?
PS is set up much like an independent study. You will meet once as part of a large group with other PS students nears the beginning of the semester (you will be contacted via email concerning possible meeting dates and times), but the rest of the work is completed at your pace, with some limitations.

3. How do I find out who my advisor is?
For all students in the College of Communication and Creative Arts, your advisor is now listed in Banner on your GRAD screen. Please follow this link for Student Self Service and log into your account.

The Analysis Statement

4. What exactly is the analysis statement in PS?
The AS draws on your portfolio pieces to demonstrate that you have achieved the core values. See ”The Analysis Statement” on the Portfolio Seminar webpage for more information.

5. I’ve finished a draft of my analysis statement. Now what do I do?
Contact Tweedie via email. He will place you in a group who will peer edit electronically via Blackboard.

The Portfolio

6. When should I start my portfolio?
Portfolios are located on the Blackboard site for Portfolio Seminar. If you aren’t saving your work someplace other than on a hard drive, you could lose everything if the hard drive crashes, rendering it impossible for you to pass Portfolio Seminar!

7. What should be included in my portfolio?
Information on what goes in the portfolio can be found at “Portfolio Contents and Uploading Hints” on the Portfolio Seminar page listed above. Information on how to set up your portfolio and give access to others is also located on that site.

Unless a paper falls under the situation discussed in question 9 below, it should be converted to a pdf before uploading it to your portfolio.

8. How do I save my files as pdfs?
Instructions for how to do this are found on page 8 of the “More extensive version” of the “Guides to Electronic Portfolios at Rowan,” found on the Portfolio Seminar webpage.

9. What if some of my “papers” are web pages or only exist in cyberspace?
No problem. Just supply the links as part of the portfolio.

10. What if I can’t upload my pieces to my portfolio?
There may be several reasons for this. The easiest solution may be that your web browser is incompatible with Blackboard. You can try a different browser.
Or on the login page for Blackboard, click on the link to Check Browser. You will then receive information on whether your particular browser is compatible.

Microsoft Vista users must follow these directions:

1. Open Internet Explorer.
2. Go to Tools > Internet Options > Security > Trusted sites > Sites.
3. Uncheck the checkbox next to "Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone."
4. Type into the Add this Website to the zone textbox and click Add.
5. Click OK.

Group Work

11. How do I get placed into a group for group work?
You need to contact Tweedie when a draft of your analysis statement is complete. After he gets enough people to form a group, he will create the group in Blackboard and ask you to complete your group work within 7-10 days.

12. How does group work function in Blackboard?
If you have never used the Discussions tool in Blackboard, instructions can be found on the Portfolio Seminar Blackboard page.

13. How do I use the comment feature on Word?
With PCs, highlight the area of the text you want to comment on. On the “Review” tab, in the “Comments” group, click “New Comment.”

With Macs, highlight the area of the text you want to comment on, drop down the “Insert” menu and then open “Comment.”

14. What if I am not receiving feedback from all of my group members?
As a group, set a date for how soon you want everyone to comment on the analysis statements. I suggest 7-10 days. Once the date has passed, try to contact anyone who hasn’t commented. If you don’t hear back, contact me. If after a reasonable amount of time, the person doesn’t get in touch with me or comment, we will consider him/her out of the group, and that person will not receive credit for group work. This will affect his or her grade in the course but not yours.

Sharing your Portfolio

15. How and who do I invite to see my portfolio?
You need to invite your advisor and Tweedie. Use the list of advisors and usernames in Blackboard to determine your advisor’s correct username. Mine is Tweedie. Instructions for inviting others to view your portfolio are found on page 30 of the “More extensive version” of the “Guides to Electronic Portfolios at Rowan,” located on the Portfolio Seminar webpage.

Due Dates

16. When does this all need to be done by?
The checklist, found on the Portfolio Seminar webpage, sets general parameters for completion of your work.

17. What if I am currently enrolled in Evaluating Writing and my major assignments aren’t due until later in the semester?
This may cause problems in completing your work in a timely manner. You will need to be flexible. You can certainly begin and complete most of your Analysis Statement without having this one paper.


18. How am I evaluated in PS?
Your advisor evaluates your Analysis Statement based on the rubric found on the Portfolio Seminar webpage. As long as you have completed the group work, I will, in all likelihood, honor that person’s grade. If you did not participate in group work, your grade will be lowered by 1/3 of a grade (B becomes a B-, for example).

19. I received an Incomplete in Portfolio Seminar. How come?
I cannot turn in any grades unless I turn in all grades. At the end of the semester, if I have not received a grade from an advisor, I enter it as an Incomplete so that others in the class receive their grades in a timely manner.

If you receive an Incomplete, first attempt to contact your advisor to find out why your work has not been evaluated before contacting me.

Problems and Concerns

20. I don’t see a tab for my portfolio on Blackboard. What should I do?
Contact me immediately, and I will try to get one set up for you.

21. My advisor isn’t getting back to me. What should I do?
If after waiting a reasonable amount of time and having attempted to contact your advisor without success, contact me and I will find out what is going on.

22. I received an Incomplete in Portfolio Seminar. How come?
See question 18 above.

When PS is Offered

23. Can I take PS during the summer?
Yes. The department in no way wants to impede anyone’s progress towards graduation. Taking it during the summer may mean your advisor is not available, but that will be addressed on an individual basis.

Taking PS While Student Teaching

24. Should I take PS while student teaching?
Only you can answer this question. PS requires a substantial paper—twelve to fifteen pages on average—and as one of the culminating experiences of your WA career requires a lot of synthesizing of ideas you have learned previously.

That said, certainly nothing prohibits you from starting your AS prior to the semester you take PS!