Syllabus for PLA-200
INTRODUCTION TO PORTFOLIO DEVELOPMENT
It is important to understand that this course prepares you for portfolio development, even though only the outline will be complete at the end of these eight weeks. Keep in mind that it prepares you for any future portfolio development as well. If, later on, you wish to create a new portfolio, you will not have to take this course again. What you learn in this course will apply to any portfolio you wish to complete in the future.
Advisory: Your success in this course will depend on how well you express yourself. Therefore, you are strongly advised to have taken ENC-101 and ENC-102 (or their equivalents) before taking this course.
After completing this course, you should be able to:
Both of the following texts are recommended for students who plan to gain credit through Prior Learning Assessment. Neither, however, is required for this course.
The following book by Theresa Hoffmann takes the student through the process step-by-step and includes many helpful resources.
The book by Janet Colvin is designed to help students navigate the PLA process and also includes helpful information and resources.
Introduction to Portfolio Development is a two-credit online course, consisting seven (7) modules. Modules include topics, learning objectives, study materials (including a lesson), and activities. Module titles are listed below.
Course objectives covered in this module: 3
Course objectives covered in this module: 8
One of the tasks you will complete during this course is the creation of your portfolio site. This is a simple process, using Google Apps, that will provide you with a place to build your portfolio or portfolios. You will place the outline created during this course on your site and share it with your mentor and the Office of Portfolio Assessment.
There are several terms that are used in specialized ways at Thomas Edison State College. This brief list will help you understand how they apply to your portfolio development.
For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums and complete written assignments. See below for details.
Consult the course Calendar for due dates.
You are required to participate in seven (7) graded discussion forums as well as an ungraded Introductions Forum. The online discussions are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.
You are required to complete eight (8) written assignments. All are are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. Written Assignment 7 consists of your learning outline and will be worth a greater percentage of your grade than other assignments (see next section).
A note about submitting assignments: Please note that the learning management system allows you to resubmit any assignment. If you have received feedback and wish to resubmit or add a file, go back to the Assignment link and click "Edit my submission," then add your new file, and then click "Save changes." You may add up to 2 additional files to Assignments 1-6 and 8, and you may add up to 9 additional files to Assignment 7.-
Note the course area titled Samples. In this area you will find samples for each of the assignments (except Written Assignment 2, which is a form). These samples are designed to give you an idea of what is expected for each assignment. They are designed to be helpful guides; your own work will of course reflect your own prior learning.
In the resources area, as well as the Rubrics area, you will also find the Portfolio Evaluation Form. This is the form your subject matter expert will use to evaluate your portfolio, and examining the form will help you prepare your portfolio most effectively.
Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).
First Steps to Success
To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:
Consider the following study tips for success:
Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.
Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:
Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at www.tesc.edu.
Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)
Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.
Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.
Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.
For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.
Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism
When to Quote and When to Paraphrase
Writing Assistance at Smarthinking
Originality Report Checking at Turnitin
First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:
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