Developing a Teaching Portfolio
Although not required by all academic positions, the teaching portfolio offers another means by which to promote one’s teaching accomplishments. As accountability for teaching becomes a greater concern, the need for a factual account or at the very least documentation of one’s teaching becomes paramount. If scholarship is measured by the number of publications, grants, and honors, then it can be said that the contents of a teaching portfolio are a measure of one’s teaching performance.
What is a teaching portfolio?
The teaching portfolio is a self reflexive document that can serve to communicate to peers or perspective employers you approach to teaching. It also provides concrete documentation of one’s teaching abilities, styles, and relative success.
The teaching portfolio typically contains a teaching statement or philosophy and several diverse artifacts, among which are sample course syllabi, assignments, a broad range of graded student work and evaluations, peer observation, and any certificates or awards.
Why is it useful?
Unlike student evaluations or peer assessments, teaching portfolios have the advantage of breadth and complexity, highlighting teaching styles, abilities, attitudes, methods, and approaches. Teaching portfolios also have the advantage of highlighting an instructors teaching within the context of a specific course or curriculum rather than general university of college wide assessment. Most importantly, by putting a teaching portfolio together, the instructors are forced to reflect on their teaching, evaluate what they consider effective teaching, and, hopefully, seek to improve their teaching.
Ann Adams Bullock and Parmalee P. Hawk, Developing a teaching portfolio: a guide for preservice and practicing teachers. Upper Saddle River/NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall, 2001.
Peter Seldin., “The Teaching Portfolio,” ASEE Prism 4(May/June 1995) 18-22.
Sample Teaching Portfolio