A 'teaching portfolio' is a description of your major strengths and achievements in teaching. A teaching portfolio can be used to prepare a case for promotion or an award. it can also be used by any educator to reflect on teaching activities and to think critically about how to improve. Ideally, a teaching portfolio helps shift the emphasis of teaching away from content and focuses it on delivery and what the students learn.
Teaching portfolios consist of 3 basic elements:
- A statement of your personal teaching philosophy
- Evidence of teaching
- Reflections on the evidence
A statement of your personal teaching philosophy
This statement should answer the questions: how do you teach and why do you teach the way that you do? Describing a teaching philosophy can be hard and may be best done in collaboration or through discussion with colleagues.
Evidence of teaching
This begins with the types of information included in a CV. It also includes evidence of steps taken to evaluate and improve teaching. it would probably some or all of the following:
- A list of the courses taught - this might include an indication of the class size and the nature of the activities in the class (such as lecture, tutorial, workshop or laboratory).
- Details of curricula for units taught - this might include curriculum or course reviews in which you have been involved.
- Involvement in teaching committees - this might include evidence for teaching leadership and achievements outside of your own classroom.
- Student and course evaluations - these might include formal USE surveys, teaching surveys and School Staff-Student Liaison Committee minutes. Notes on how to use survey data are available on the ITL website.
- A description of professional development courses or teaching seminars - this might include certificates from teaching courses or a note of attendance at a School, Faculty or University teaching seminar. The information box on the right shows links to some formal courses and teaching seminars which may be of interest.
- Peer review of face-to-face teaching or of teaching resources - use the Faculty of Science peer review documentation for a review of your face-to-face teaching and your teaching resources.
- Teaching awards - a list of university and national teaching awards is available on the ITL website.
Reflections on the evidence
This part of the portfolio contains written reflective statements about this evidence. It should include honest answers to questions such as 'why do you teach?', 'how do you teach?' and 'why do you teach the way you do?'. This reflection should be concise and should summarise and clarify the evidence. It should also allow you to articulate your teaching goals and how you might achieve them.
There is no set format for a teaching portfolio. You might want to keep a folder containing the documents described above on your computer or on your bookshelf. You might prefer to use an electronic portfolio, such as The University's ePortfolio software PebblePad.
It is a good idea to keep the portfolio as up to date as possible by, for example, renewing it every time a course finishes.
Examples of teaching portfolios are available at the links below: