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Teaching Portfolios

What are Teaching Portfolios?

"A teaching portfolio is a factual description of a professor's teaching strengths and accomplishments.  It includes documents and materials that collectively suggest the scope and quality of a professor's teaching performance.  The portfolio is to teaching what lists of publications, grants, and honors are to research and scholarship. As such, it allows faculty members to display their teaching accomplishments for examination by others.  And in the process, it contributes to both sounder tenure and promotion decisions and the the professional development of individual faculty members."  

--The Teaching Portfolio: A Practical Guide to Improved Performance and Promotion/Tenure Decisions, 4th edition (P. Seldin, J. E. Miller, & C. A. Seldin, 2010)

A teaching portfolio is both an ongoing process that facilitates reflection and growth and a format for documenting your teaching for a particular audience and purpose and in a specific context.  Your portfolio will continue to change and develop throughout your career, but at certain times (for promotion, hiring, an award) you will produce a specific portfolio for review.

Creating a teaching portfolio can be summarized in three steps:

  1. Collecting evidence:  It's useful to develop a method for archiving and organizing artifacts of your teaching (e.g., student evaluations, samples of student work, past syllabi, videos, etc.)  You will draw on this archive to select specific artifacts as necessary at different times.
  2. Shaping a narrative:  Drafting a statement of teaching philosophy is a good first start to developing the story you want to tell.  Who are you as a teacher?  Why?  How can we see that in your teaching?  Which artifacts provide evidence to support your claims?  What narrative is necessary to explain those artifacts?  For example, what story can you tell with your student feedback?  What explanation do you need to provide to illustrate the design and development of a class activity you created?
  3. Publishing a portfolio:  While collecting data should be ongoing, and revisiting your narrative is a useful reflection exercise to do regularly each semester or year, there will be times when you need to produce a static document, whether on paper or electronically, to submit to an outside audience.  Like your vita, this document will tailored for the specific audience and purpose.

Books on Portfolios

Subject Guide

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Parts of a Teaching Portfolio

A teaching portfolio consists of a teaching statement, which provides the broad overview of your teaching goals, methods, and assessment, evidence of your teaching effectiveness, and examples of your teaching practice.  Each of these sections is discussed in more detail in the subpages of this LibGuide.

Introduction to Teaching Portfolios