Charting Your Journey: The CTI Teaching Portfolio Program

We invite you to aim for a curated teaching portfolio. Portfolios can be useful for current development (i.e., reflection and growth) and future demonstration (i.e., evaluation, hiring and appointment, and awards) processes. By collecting a selected set of teaching-related materials, you are better prepared to articulate what you do, why you do it, and how you know that students are learning. 

Registering in the Teaching Portfolio Program offers you support for charting your professional development in teaching at Cornell, and organizing, selecting, and reflecting on your practice for making your skills visible to future employers. To register for the Teaching Portfolio Program, please click here. Email Derina Samuel at dss279@cornell.edu with questions. 

Participation in the program offers you the following opportunities for professional development:

  • CTI programs that fit your needs: To get started, to develop your practice strategically and intentionally, and to polish for the job market 

  • Access to courses, workshops, institutes, conferences, and other programs
  • Access to additional opportunities, such as: classroom observations, mid-semester feedback support, and individual consultations with CTI experts
  • A cohort of peers with similar interests in teaching
  • The chance to build your online teaching portfolio, based on your experiences and reflections
  • Approaches for reflecting on your teaching journey and the preparation to talk about it.

By registering in the program, a CTI consultant will:

  • Meet with you one-on-one to ascertain your goals and suggest points of development and entry.
  • Orient you to the support offered at Cornell, at the CTI, and with our partners across the university. 
  • Consult with you to review your final portfolio--either one-on-one or through our Portfolio Institute.
  • Write a letter of support or recommendation documenting your participation in our programs.

Components of the Portfolio

Teaching portfolios generally consist of three key elements: 

  1. A statement of teaching philosophy that describes what you have come to learn about how undergraduates in your discipline learn best.
  2. Selected examples of discipline-specific teaching materials (artifacts) that provide evidence of how you implement your teaching philosophy in practice and to what effect. Often these are materials you have developed/adapted that showcase how you actively engage students with important content (e.g., course syllabi, exercises, lab demonstrations, etc.).
  3. Evidence of how you assess learning, take account of student feedback (of your teaching methods, course materials, pacing, etc.) and how such strategies allow you to synthesize and reflect on your experience.

Use the Portfolio Checklist below to plan your engagement with CTI over the course of your time at Cornell. While we recommend starting this discussion as early as possible, we recognize that everyone’s pace is different, and we welcome your participation at any time.   

Portfolio Checklist

The Portfolio Checklist includes example artifacts that are valuable for developing a stellar teaching portfolio. Many students develop examples of these elements as a part of participation in CTI programs:

Course Design 

  • A syllabus for a course you might typically teach in the discipline
  • A plan for a module, including outcome goals and assessment
  • Selected assignments with a brief description of how this exercise actively engages students in their learning
  • An evaluation of specific pedagogical strategies you think would work well with students within your discipline and why
  • Handouts or other such supplemental learning materials to make transparent for students your expectations of how to complete assignments successfully

Assessment and Evaluation

Student work

  • Selected examples of student work: A case study or samples of student assignments (used with permission); quizzes or exams; grading rubrics

Your Teaching

  • Student feedback about your teaching and what you gain from their perspectives: Informal student feedback you have received (e.g., notes, emails, messages), peer observations of your teaching reports or formative feedback such as through the Mid-Semester Feedback Program (MAPs)

Professional Development

  • Reflective teaching statement (teaching philosophy, diversity and inclusion statement for your syllabus) 
  • Teaching awards
  • Professional development activities (e.g., conference or workshop presentations or attendance)
  • Publications (scholarly teaching)
  • Mentoring activities

Set up a folder(s) to document your teaching development efforts:

  • Add to your file regularly – don’t worry about organization
  • Keep the “little things” like copies of positive emails from students, notes from your chair, faculty, or peers, etc.
  • Annotate! Remember to date artifacts (course title, semester, why you think it’s useful, etc.)
  • Find “friendly readers”: your course supervisor, adviser, CTI staff, and/or peers
  • Consider a digital portfolio so you can make it available online
  • Don’t underestimate the time it takes to develop a teaching portfolio – Start NOW!
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread!