Social Policy Portfolio Assignment

Member: Kristen S. Slack
(University of Wisconsin - Madison)
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This assignment involves an extensive assessment of a social policy that results in a comprehensive portfolio that many students use as a rigorous example of their work when on the job market.  It is best integrated into a course as an assignment that is built over time. I typically start with an assignment on critical consumption of research (see, followed by a policy logic model assignment, and then the final portfolio assignment, which builds on the first two.

There are a lot of components to the assignment and one of the major taks is simply to follow the multi-faceted instructions, just as one would need to do if responding to a grant RFA/RFP.  The assignment can be based on a pre-selected list of policies, or students can identify their own policy. The latter takes extra time and work on the instructor's part because helping students narrow down a policy that is neither too expansive or too specific takes some work. I am also attaching the lecture slides from the session where I explain how to identify a policy, and a walk-through of an example of a policy logic model.

I've given this assignment both as an individual student version and student group version. There are some advantages to allowing group assignments given the amount of work, but there are also advantages to allowing students to pick something of particular interest to themselves. 

The experience I've had with this assignment over 5 different courses is that students find it to be a lot of work, but they are very proud of the final product and appreciate all that they have learned in the process of pulling the assignment together by the end of the semester.

Last Revised Date 
Mon, 01/04/2021 - 20:49
Keywords / Tags 
social policy
policy analysis
Type of resource 
Resource Institution 
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Institution Type 
4 or 4+ year College/University