What is a portfolio? A teaching portfolio is a “judicious, critical, purposeful analysis of performance, evidence, and goals” (Seldin 2010); it is the result of a process of deliberate and intentional reflection on teaching. It can focus solely on the development of a single course (often called a course portfolio) or on teaching in general.
A teaching portfolio provides numerous benefits:
- Fosters self-assessment and reflection;
- Provides personal satisfaction and renewal;
- Encourages faculty to assume more responsibility and ownership for learning;
- Analyzes teaching performance and outcomes of student learning; and
- Provides opportunity for guidance and feedback.
What does a typical portfolio include? A teaching portfolio provides descriptions of teaching responsibilities, opportunities for reflection, and accountability of the achievement of learning outcomes. Description of teaching responsibilities is not just a paragraph from the course catalog, rather the portfolio must provide details about content, types of students, teaching strategies utilized, uniqueness of course, and the faculty's commitment to student learning. Accountability of learning outcome achievement starts with defined learning outcomes, data demonstrating achievement of these outcomes, and alignment of activities and assessments with the intended outcomes.
Portfolios are unique documents that can vary tremendously in length and style—there is no one-size-fits-all design; they can take the form of anything from bound documents to electronic files with embedded documents and links. The priority is provision of multiple sources to demonstrate teaching effectiveness. The artifacts in a teaching portfolio connect to the standard or learning outcome for which you are attempting to provide evidence of achievement. Many include the following:
- Personal documents
- Purpose of portfolio
- Teaching philosophy
- Description of teaching experience and responsibilities
- Teaching awards and recognition
- Evidence of course planning and delivery
- Teaching objectives and methodologies
- Instructional design materials
- Lesson plans, assignments, and exams with rationale for each
- Course websites
- Recordings of classes in action or other course materials
- Samples of student work
- Samples of student feedback
- Evidence of teaching effectiveness and personal improvement
- Student Evaluations of Teaching reports
- Department evaluations
- Classroom observation reports (from peers or CETL staff)
- Evidence of student learning
- Formative evaluation reports
- Teaching conferences attended/ Professional development
- CETL Workshops/Teaching Talks attended
- Evidence of training in specific instructional methods (certificates, badges, etc)
- Reflections on teaching
- Teaching Enhancement Plans
- Reports of CETL Consultations (ONLY if you choose to share them)
When should I start building my portfolio? Portfolios can be excellent tools for reflecting on, evaluating, and improving your own teaching. Rather than waiting until you need one, consider taking the time to create one or more portfolios on your own, and revisit and revise them regularly throughout your career.
- Clearly organize the portfolio to facilitate selective reading (note that e-portfolios in particular will not be read front to back)
- Support all claims by solid empirical evidence
- Put lengthy artifacts in an appendix
- Choose a mentor in the department or at CETL to help review portfolio materials
Did you know?
*If you have worked with CETL's instructional designers on a comprehensive course design, the Course Design Plan and/or Course Map you created with them can be included in your teaching portfolio. These documents demonstrate alignment of learning objectives, assessments, activities, and content.
*If you have utilized CETL's Do-It-Yourself course design tools to develop your course, the plan you developed can be added to your teaching portfolio.
*If you used L. Dee Finks A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning, you will have produced numerous worksheets during each step of the process that can added to your teaching portfolio.
- Anderson, Erin and Pat Hutchings. Campus Use of the Teaching Portfolio: Twenty-Five Profiles. American Association for Higher Education. Stylus: 1993.
- Angelo, Thomas A. Classroom Assessment Techniques. Jossey-Bass: 1993.
- Bernstein, Daniel, et al. Making Teaching and Learning Visible. Jossey-Bass: 2011.
- Chism, Nancy Van Note. Peer Review of Teaching. Jossey-Bass: 2007.
- Faculty FocusSpecial Report “Philosophy of Teaching Statements: Examples and Tips on How to Write a Teaching Philosophy Statement.” 2009.
- Seldin, Peter, et al. Changing Practices in Evaluating Teaching. Jossey-Bass: 1999.
- Seldin, Peter, et al. Evaluating Faculty Performance. Jossey-Bass: 2006.
- Seldin, Peter, et al. The Teaching Portfolio: A Practical Guide to Improved Performance and Promotion/Tenure Decisions,4th Ed. Jossey-Bass: 2010.