Documenting teaching with a teaching portfolio
Documenting teaching is the process of collecting information about teaching (such as course evaluations, teaching reflection notes, mid-semester feedback, and class observation materials) and then reflecting upon and reporting on this information for the purpose of instructional development. Documenting teaching can be an effective part of formal processes. Peer review of teaching can be incorporated for promotion or tenure review, and new faculty applicants can be required to submit a teaching portfolio. A teaching portfolio usually includes a teaching statement and a selective collection of teaching materials that document evidence of teaching effectiveness.
Why create a teaching portfolio?
Building a teaching portfolio is an opportunity to step back from the immediate demands of teaching to curate representative materials from your teaching journey, reflect, and articulate what you have learned about the ways people learn.
Teaching portfolios may be used for:
- reflection (personal growth, values, aspirations)
- development (formative, goal-setting, progress over time, new pedagogical skills)
- showcasing achievements (summative evidence of growth, awards, contract renewal, promotion, tenure)
Developing a teaching portfolio can be an organic process, carried out over time.
A teaching portfolio allows you to:
- clarify and refine teaching practices
- define your personal teaching style
- reflect on your journey as a teacher
- clarify your commitment to teaching and learning
- focus on the learning process and attainment of course goals
- explain to yourself and others the reasons for the ways you teach
Getting started with creating a teaching portfolio
Create a separate file for anything related to your teaching that you think may be of value for your portfolio (e.g., syllabi from courses you have taught, assignments or rubrics you have developed, information from class observations or the mid-semester feedback program, etc.)
Consider how elements of your teaching portfolio complement your career and professional development goals.
- What attributes of your portfolio authentically express your approach to teaching and learning (your choices, priorities, and strengths)?
- How will a reader clearly understand how you approach creating and sustaining an outstanding learning experience for undergraduates?
Annotate your selected components with an explanation of why you chose these materials and what they show about your teaching. This reflection on the materials provided in the portfolio is important since it allows the reader to gain insights into your approach to teaching and learning.
Develop a teaching portfolio
When developing your teaching portfolio, reflect on these questions:
- Why do you teach?
- How do you teach?
- How do you assess your teaching effectiveness?
Articulate a teaching statement
Reflect on the following points as you articulate a teaching statement:
- identify your teaching goals using a Teaching Goals Inventory
- summarize your teaching practices with a Teaching Practices Inventory
- decide if you want to focus on teaching strategies within your discipline or teaching in general
- remember that your teaching statement should reflect your personal values
- write the statement in the first person
- do not include quotes from others or references
Contact us to set up a consultation to learn more about developing a teaching portfolio.
Graduate students, you might be interested in participating in our Teaching portfolio program.