A Teaching Portfolio is a collection of documented evidence from a variety of sources that showcase a faculty member’s teaching practice. The process of putting together a teaching portfolio is often a learning experience itself, allowing an instructor to reflect upon the significant aspects of teaching.
Typically, you will want to focus on these aspects within a teaching portofolio:
- Beliefs (your values, principles, what makes you unique as a teacher?) A Teaching Portfolio often begins with a Statement of Teaching Philosophy.
- Actions (your teaching responsibilities, experiences, practices, approaches to teaching, contributions you have made)
- Impact (evidence that your actions have made a difference in student learning, multiple sources or triangulation of data is preferred)
Many Teaching Portfolios that you see often include categories based on the sources of evidence (Teaching philosophy, Roles/Responsibilities, Courses taught, Course materials, Instructional Practices, Student evaluations, Honors/recognition, Teaching improvement efforts, Letters of Support, Future plans, etc.).
Faculty groups at DU have discussed the benefit of categorizing evidence of teaching using categories that represent growth and excellence in teaching. If your unit/dept does not already have pre-determined categories, consider providing your evidence in categories such as:
- Sound Instructional Strategies
- The Student Experience
- Student Learning/Growth
- Continuous Improvement
- Teaching Commitments
DU’s recently updated P&T guidelines require evidence of teaching to come from multiple sources including: self-analysis, peers, and empirical data from students.
Different examples of evidence to collect annually and for a teaching portfolio can be found here, and here.
Sources of Evidence
There are many elements of a teaching portfolio that are easily obtained, including: teaching philosophy, courses taught – types/new preps, advising, supervision of students, teaching improvement activities, teaching awards/grants/workshops/presentations, service related to teaching, alumni feedback, scholarship of teaching and learning, student rating form results, or other evidence of student learning.
In addition, a teaching portfolio might include instructor reflections about specific aspects of their teaching. Creating a short reflection to accompany your evidence allows you to frame the evidence appropriately, and also to clarify your own thinking. Such reflections could include:
- A reflection of learning, changes, or insights gained from engaging in one of the OTL’s Formative Teaching Development Services.
- A reflection of a specific activity or assignment (the reflection describing why and how you use this assignment/activity, what you’ve learned, student results or feedback, or sample student work)
- A specific learning outcome for your class (the reflection tracing how you address this particular outcome throughout a course, and/or could focus on a previously unwritten goal, “I want my students to stop being afraid of math”)
- A sample lesson plan (discussing in depth your goals, your actions and activities, and what resulted from one class period)
- An assessment of learning (discussing how this assessment meets your goals, showing student results, sample student work with your feedback, and what you’ve learned)
- An annotated syllabus (a reflection about the what/why/how of a course syllabus) Annotated syllabi examples
- A collection of End-of-Course Memos, perhaps with a cover memo highlighting themes and major changes in the course.
- Reflection on professional development activities about teaching (Professional Development Reflection)
- Reflection on your student rating forms (see this helpful reflection exercise about student evaluations from Dunesque University)
- A video walk through of your course on Canvas highlighting certain aspects of what you do and how.
- A course design layout or alignment map showing how you assess and support the student learning goals. For example, Dee Fink’s 3 Column Table (see examples).
- Showing how your course has fared using an educational rubric such as Quality Matters
- Or many other options
Check with your department about any format requirements for your portfolio. The DU Portfolio system provides the ability to showcase materials and provide different privacy access. See our Teaching Portfolio portfolio for examples and resources.