Teaching Portfolios,
or the Documentation of Teaching

What purpose does a teaching portfolio serve?
The maintenance of a teaching portfolio has been recognized as a useful tool that serves multiple purposes.  Depending upon the individual, the functions met by a teaching portfolio may be one or all of those below, in addition to other functions unlisted:

  • demonstration of teaching skills through documentation
  • self-evaluation, which aids improvement in teaching
  • evaluation by peers, stimulating critique feedback
  • strategic planning, to delineate future teaching goals

What is in a teaching portfolio?
That depends.  No prescription outlines the ideal portfolio that would suit every teaching individual.  Our documentation needs may differ as widely as our teaching styles. 

Some basics that are often included in a teaching portfolio:

  • A description of one's personal teaching philosophy and goals.
  • A description of one's teaching responsibilities.
  • Course syllabi and content examples.
  • Examples of efforts made to improve one's teaching (seminar attendance, educational research, etc.).
  • Sample comments from others' evaluation of one's teaching.

There are many other possibilities of documentation that might help you to effectively represent your teaching efforts. 
Below is a list of resources providing additional ideas and more detail on the construction of a teaching portfolio. (The information above was compiled from these sources.)

Where can I find out more about teaching portfolios?

Centra, J.A. (1993)  Reflective Faculty Evaluation: Enhancing Teaching and Determining Faculty Effectiveness. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

Davis, J.T. and Swift, L.J. (1995).   Teaching Portfolios at a Research University, Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, (6) 1: 101-115.

On-line Treatises on the subject:

Teaching Portfolios (a thorough treatment of the subject from the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning at UTEP)
Is it Worthwhile? (from Toni Wegner, Dept. of Psychology, UVa)
Teaching Portfolios (from the Univ. of Tennessee at Chattanooga Teaching Resource Center)
Promoting a Culture of Teaching:  The Teaching Portfolio (Stanford Univ. Newsletter on Teaching) in .pdf format.
Teacher Portfolio Assessment (an ERIC/AE Digest of the document by Peter Doolittle, from the ERIC database)
Technology and Your Teaching Portfolio (with other useful links from Washington University Graduate School)

On-Line Bibliographies for Teaching Portfolios:

from Deliberations on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
from University of Wyoming's Program in College Teaching
from the Illinois State University Center for the Advancement of Teaching

If you would like to share the title of a resource that you have found valuable in the creation of your own teaching portfolio, or if you would like to share your own ideas and experiences regarding portfolios, please e-mail pharmednet@olemiss.edu and those references will be added to this list.

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