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? 

A teaching portfolio allows you to: 

  • clarify and refine teaching practices
  • be proactive in providing a learner-centered environment
  • define your personal style of teaching
  • reflect on your journey as a teacher
  • clarify your commitment to teaching and learning
  • focus on the learning process and attainment of course goals
  • justify to yourself and others the reasons why you teach the way you do

Getting Started with Creating a Teaching Portfolio 

  • Start as early as you can to  collect  teaching-related materials.
  • Information from Center class observations and the mid-semester feedback program may be included in your portfolio, as well as materials from Center workshops and teaching institutes.
  • Regularly sort and  select  best evidence of your teaching effectiveness.
  • Reflect  on the selected documentation.

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 the effectiveness of your teaching?

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

Develop a Teaching Statement 

When developing your teaching statement, consider the following: 

  • What are your course objectives? 
  • What methods do you use to achieve your course objectives? 
  • How do you know that your students are learning? 
  • How often should you review and update your teaching statement? 
  • How do you incorporate your discipline’s perspectives on teaching? 
  • What is challenging about learning what you teach? 
  • What implications do those learning challenges have for how you teach your content? 
  • What kind of evidence do you need to determine the quality of your students’ learning?