The Teaching Portfolio
The Teaching Portfolio is best thought of as a documented
statement of a faculty member's teaching responsibilities,
philosophy, goals and accomplishments as a teacher. It is
a flexible document, and can be used in a number of ways,
depending upon the needs and interests of the faculty member.
It can be an extensive collection of information, or something
much more compact and limited. Below, the basic structure
of a teaching portfolio, one that can be adjusted to suit
the needs of any department or faculty member, is presented.
Basic Teaching Portfolio
There are three major parts in the basic
1. Teaching responsibilities
What I did. This section is typically a list with a brief
explanation of the faculty member's teaching responsibilities.
In essence it describes "What I did." with supportive
narrative as to the content, level, size, special circumstances,
or other relevant details about the courses. For example,
the faculty member would list courses taught by title,
term it was taught, number of students enrolled, whether
a lecture or a seminar, etc. Also, any independent study
courses, honors courses, or dissertation mentoring would
be included here.
2. Teaching philosophy and goals
Why I did it. Secondly the faculty member states his
or her philosophy and goals for teaching. The focus of
this "Why I did it." section faces questions
- Given my responsibilities, what goals did I attempt
to reach through my teaching?
- Why did I choose to teach in the manner I used?
- What was I trying to achieve as a teacher?
- What did I expect my students to gain from my course:
mastery of content, critical thinking skills, etc?
For example, an instructor may state that he or she wants
to students to develop critical thinking skills. Then
the instructor explains that this goal lead to a different
style of teaching beyond the content-based lecture to
include cooperative learning activities and out of class
3. Evidence of effective teaching
How I did. Finally a collection of data
and documents present a record showing how well the faculty
member met his or her teaching goals. This "How I
did." section includes a review and interpretation
of the results of student survey ratings, any materials
from a peer review of teaching materials, alumni letters,
teaching awards and classroom assessments of student learning.
As in the example above in (2), if a instructor
states as a goal that students should develop critical
thinking skill, then evidence to show how this goal has
been accomplished should be presented, e.g., results from
exams, assignments and classroom assessments that show
progress towards critical thinking skills, results from
students' evaluations, etc.
SAMPLE FORMAT OF TEACHING PORTFOLIO
Part 1. Teaching responsibilities:
A statement outlining the faculty member's teaching responsibilities
for the period under discussion, i.e., the type, size
and format of the courses taught.
Part 2. Teaching philosophy and goals:
A statement of the faculty member's personal teaching
philosophy and goals, and the strategies and methods used
to attain those goals.
Part 3. Evidence of effective teaching:
Sample course syllabi
Descriptions of innovation in course or curricula, including
new courses, new materials, new teaching tools, or innovative
Grants received for the improvement of teaching.
Awards for teaching.
Methods used to evaluate and improve one's teaching.
- Results of student rating forms
- Reports on peer review of teaching and classroom
- Reports on mid-course evaluations of teaching.
- Letters from students
- Letters from alumni
- Evidence of student learning; assessment of student
A good teaching portfolio is one that has clear
statements of teaching responsibilities and goals, and
solid evidence showing how those goals have been reached.
A teaching portfolio is a dynamic document, in that it
must be updated continuously. It becomes a lifetime
record of a faculty members scholarly achievements as
References for further reading:
AAHE Monograph, The Teaching Portfolio: Capturing
the Scholarship of Teaching Washington, DC: AAHE
Publications, 1991 [Available in CTAAR Library]
Seldin, Peter The Teaching Portfolio, Bolton,
MA:Anker Publishing Company, 1991. [Available in CTAAR library]
Reaction: If you would be interested in attending a CTAAR
presentation on teaching portfolios, please send your name,
department and phone number to the CTAAR at 116 College Avenue,
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org please replace "brokenmail" with ctaar.rutgers.edu.
Fax: (732) 932-1845. Telephone: (848) 932-7466.
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