Why does anyone need a teaching portfolio?
Teaching in colleges is marked by historic paradox: though institutions constantly talk up its importance, they evaluate faculty primarily on the basis of scholarly achievements outside the classroom. Teaching is what almost every professor does, but it seems to suffer from that very commonness.
….The interest in improved teaching has mushroomed rapidly in recent years, burrowing into all areas of the country and all types of institutions.
This is why teaching portfolios are important. They provide evidences of teaching excellence.
How to create a teaching portfolio
Brown University’s description of how to write a teaching portfolio. This site includes a list of personal materials, materials from colleagues, and student materials to collect for your portfolio. Examples of each are teaching goals for next five years, statements from colleagues who have observed your classes, and examples of graded student essays showing excellent, good, and poor work with instructor’s notes on the grading.
Washington University’s guide to Creating a Teaching Portfolio. This site includes a description of the major components and a discussion of how to make your portfolio more effective. Hints include formatting your portfolio for a particular audience and try to anticipate search committee questions. They also discuss having a master portfolio and which and how many student evaluations to include.
UTexas’ Preparing a Teaching Portfolio. It includes a discussion of what a portfolio is and a list of what things to include. It also discusses details from particular components of the portfolio. It includes a list of what things to look for when you are evaluating a colleague’s classroom (and thus what you hope they will look for when evaluating yours).
Ohio State’s Faculty and TA Development section on teaching portfolios. Excellent stuff. I thought their Rationale for Course Materials was excellent. They also supply different sample philosophy of teaching statements. They also suggest Mid-term feedback and offer ways to do this that will not require an entire period, but only five minutes.
Teach Portfolio and Presentation Series. This is an excellent guide. It includes a lot of links for continued reading. It also includes a long list of sample education philosophies that are on the net.
Less useful sites, but had a good hint or two.
Center for Instructional Development and Research. The most useful part of this was “Examples of efforts to Improve Teaching: observations, critiques, workshops, experiments in pedagogy and methodology.”
Peter Seldin’s site. He’s the portfolio guru. There is not a lot that I hadn’t already seen, but this: “Rather than offer a separate, isolated commentary for each appendix item, many professors weave references to appendices within unified essays. Why? Because this approach strengthens coherence.” seemed like good advice.
Article on Uses and Abuses of Teaching Portfolios. It is an introduction, but has some language that is useful, including summative and formative evaluation.
A portfolio can be used for summative evaluation (to evaluate teaching performance and provide a rational basis for promotion and tenure decisions and teaching award selections) or formative evaluation (to help identify and correct teaching problems). What goes in the portfolio depends on which function is intended. For summative evaluation, the portfolio should include some mandated items like a teaching philosophy and a summary of student ratings and some optional items that reflect on teaching performance and educational scholarship (e.g., student products, descriptions of teaching innovations, and reference letters from alumni or colleagues). For formative evaluation, the choice of content is entirely up to the professor and the focus should be on problem areas. The same portfolio should not be used for both functions.
UNC computer prof’s teaching portfolio. His is about four or five pages long and has works cited.
UGeorgia prof in journalism and mass communication. Hers is about twenty pages and includes some good thoughts, including bolding of key words in the essays.