Date of Award

1-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

College/School

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department/Program

English

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Emily J. Isaacs

Committee Member

David Galef

Committee Member

Laura Nicosia

Subject(s)

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, Electronic portfolios in education, Educational tests and measurements

Abstract

In this thesis, I identify issues with the existing PARCC exam’s ability to develop and assess skills that are considered essential for college- and career- readiness, as per the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and existing research. I examine the benefits and challenges associated with electronic portfolios as an alternative, more authentic means of assessment that develop not only the skills identified as college- and careerreadiness by the CCSS and research, but also digital rhetoric skills, which I argue are essential for true real world preparedness. Guiding this research are the following pivotal questions: How does the existing PARCC exam prepare students for college and careers? What possibilities do electronic portfolios have to teach/assess college- and career-ready writing, and specifically the commonly overlooked topic of digital rhetoric, and within our current CCR climate? What are the hazards and challenges of using electronic portfolios to teach/assess writing (in traditional and digital formats) within this climate? I answer these questions through a literature review and present my findings in five chapters: I explain the existing CCR climate in an introductory chapter; in Chapter Two, I identify issues with the PARCC exam; in Chapters Three and Four, respectively, I present the benefits and challenges associated with portfolios and, specifically, e-portfolios; then, in Chapter Five, I conclude that e-portfolios are most valuable when implemented at a local level and discuss further areas that must be researched surrounding the topic.

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