This semester in my advanced writing classes, the students were required to do a "portfolio" which included all the writing that they did in class and outside of class as well and counted for 20% of their final grade. They were supposed to do things like extra practice essays, keep a journal, or do a movie review. They also had to keep track of how many times they received feedback on their writing in my office or in the school's "Global Zone."
I've been grading them the past couple days and some students have done exceedingly well. It's quite obvious they have taken responsibility for improving their writing and have done A LOT of extra work each week. And, it's also obvious that some students have done essentially nothing, even in class during things like the "free-writing" time I give them at the beginning of each class.
What I'm really loving about it is how easy grading is. It only takes me around 5 minutes/ portfolio to flip through it and get a general idea of how the student has been doing in the class and how much extra writing they've done. It's a VERY easy way to get students to do a lot of writing, without physically having to grade it all, which would be impossible for me to do with over 100 students.