ALT Portfolio Assessment: Qualifying Examination
Doctoral candidates in Applied Linguistics and Technology will submit a portfolio for diagnostic assessment of their scholarly writing.
The portfolio assessment: Qualifying examination
All doctoral candidates in Applied Linguistics and Technology will submit a portfolio for assessment no later than the announced deadline in their third semester in the program (not including summer terms). Failure to do so will constitute lack of satisfactory progress toward the degree. Students should notify the graduate secretary of their intent to submit a portfolio in a particular semester.
The ALT Examinations Committee, consisting of three elected TESL/Applied Linguistics faculty members elected each year, will set a precise deadline for each semester and announce the dates no later than the third week of the fall semester. Portfolios will be evaluated twice a year, in the fall and spring semesters.
If for any reason a student wishes to request a change in the procedure for the portfolio assessment (for example: extending the deadline), the student must make a written request to the Director of Graduate Education (DOGE) before the second Tuesday of the semester in which the exam is due specifying the request and providing a rationale for it. The DOGE will decide if such requests will be granted. The chair of the ALT program area and the chair of the ALT Examinations Committee will be advised of the request made if approved by the DOGE.
The portfolio should represent the best scholarly work of Ph.D. students to determine their readiness to undertake research and writing tasks in applied linguistics and to demonstrate their ability to define problems/issues, to make and support scholarly claims, to cite and synthesize previous research literature, and to sustain a coherent argument. All elements of the portfolio must be of excellent quality, must conform to the professional writing conventions of the Applied Linguistics field, and must adhere to the style of the American Psychological Association (APA).
Because the TESL/Applied Linguistics faculty expects that students will revise their papers before submission, a student may wish to seek clarification of an instructor’s feedback on the paper as originally submitted (unless that instructor is on the ALT Examinations Committee) as well as suggestions from other readers. A student is prohibited from asking members of the ALT Examinations Committee for feedback on papers during the semester in which that student is taking the exam.
Students will choose representative samples of their work to include in the portfolio according to the following requirements:
To facilitate anonymous submission to the extent possible, students should remove their names and choose one five-digit identification number for all papers. Students should realize that members of the ALT Examinations Committee may recognize papers even after the writer’s name has been removed. Instructor’s comments and grades should also be removed. To ensure that your electronic copy is anonymous, remove your name and the author identification from the properties for each file (e.g., in Windows, right click on the file > "Properties" > "Details" > "Remove Properties and Personal Information").
The Graduate Secretary will distribute the portfolios in electronic format to all members of the ALT Examinations Committee and to the student’s program adviser. However, each portfolio will only be evaluated and voted on as a success or failure by members of the ALT Examinations Committee. Portfolios will be evaluated as a demonstration of the candidate’s proficiency in academic writing and potential promise for completing the work for the degree.
The four papers should, taken together, demonstrate a student's ability to
Because the portfolio demonstrates a broader range of competencies than any individual course assignment and because it focuses on a student's ability to address a wider disciplinary audience than an individual instructor, even papers receiving superior evaluation in graduate courses will typically require significant revision.
After a portfolio has been evaluated, the ALT Examinations Committee will rate it either a pass or a fail and will provide a written rationale for the decision to the student within one week of the evaluation meeting. At least two members of the ALT Examinations Committee must meet with the student as soon as possible after the written notification from the ALT Examinations Committee to discuss the written rationale and to provide additional feedback on his or her scholarly writing.
Second Portfolio Submission
In the case of a portfolio that does not show sufficient mastery of the scholarly writing essential for achieving the Ph.D., the ALT Examinations Committee will provide feedback to the student indicating the reasons for the evaluation and what the student must do in order to resubmit the portfolio, which, at the ALT Examinations Committee’s direction, may include different papers and analyses. This second portfolio must be submitted by the announced deadline the following semester. The same evaluation and feedback procedures will be used as for the first submission. However, the Director of Graduate Education will also participate in the evaluation and discussion of the second portfolio, but only the three members of the ALT Examinations Committee will vote on the success or failure of the second portfolio.
Students can submit only two portfolios, and a passing portfolio is necessary for a student to continue in the Ph.D. program. The student can serve out his/her teaching contract for the remainder of the academic year.
Grievances regarding the portfolio assessment
Students who believe that they have legitimate reasons to appeal the decision of the ALT Examinations Committee may follow the grievance procedure outlined in the Graduate College Handbook under “Grievances Related to Scholarly and Professional Competence.”