What are Teaching Portfolios?

A teaching portfolio is a selective set of online, reflective, integrative, and personal documents that shows how you have developed as a educator in your discipline. A teaching portfolio can be used showcase evidence of your academic accomplishments and activities. Think of a portfolio as an extension of your CV which provides others with a comprehensive portrait of your academic training, achievements, and future career goals.

According to Bauer (2010), the teaching portfolio is a selection of online, reflective, integrative, and personal documents that present how you have developed as a teacher-scholar in your discipline. Teaching portfolios showcase artifacts representing your accomplishments related to teaching, research, community-engagement and other service in order to highlight your growth. Portfolios are constantly evolving, and can be described as a process as much as a product, and need to be modified over time.

According to Pat Hutchings from American Association of Higher Education,

A teaching portfolio is a coherent set of materials, including work samples and reflective commentary on them, compiled by a faculty member to inquire into and represent his or her teaching practice as related to student learning and development."

Learn more about:Professional Teaching Practice ePortfolio

Elements of a teaching portfolio

  • A cover page/data sheet: Includes your name, education and qualifications, courses taught at VIU, courses taught at other institutions, other facts relevant to your teaching history.
  • Teaching Philosophy Statement (see Guiding Questions Handout in the Resources section)
  • Evidence of Impact: A “Case study” illustrating the Teaching Philosophy and evidence of impact on student learning through a documented example, showing the ‘nuts and bolts’ of how you teach. This section could consist of a course portfolio, or of commentary on evidence collected across several courses or semesters that illustrates your particular teaching approach and its impact.
  • Engagement in Professional Learning: a log of professional development activities that shows a sustained engagement in professional learning, with particular emphasis on recent activities and events, including descriptions of how these events/activities have affected your thinking and teaching practice.
  • Appendices: additional supporting documents that support claims made in the Teaching Philosophy and the Case Study, to which you want to direct the reader’s attention.

Why create a teaching portfolio

  • Document your teaching, research, service activities, and accomplishments 
  • Demonstrate how you have developed and grown as an educator over time
  • Demonstrate your ability to learn from your experiences, reflect on your strengths, identify areas for improvement, and discuss the next  steps in your scholarship, teaching, and service
  • Model reflective practice for your students 
  • Create an easy to access repository of materials and artifacts that demonstrate your academic activities, achievements, and future goals

Further reading

Bauer, G. (2011) Elements of a Professional Academic E-Portfolio. Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Delaware.  Available online: http://werklund.ucalgary.ca/tandl/files/tandl/epelements11j.pdf

Reflective Process: Growing the Mind of a Scholarly Teacher

Gibbs (1988) gives us an easy cyclical model to engage in the reflective process. After any teaching or learning experience, think of the experience in three parts.

Learn more about: Reflective Process

Definitions of Reflection

The term ‘reflective practice’ derives from the work of Dewey and Schon. Dewey (1910) wrote that reflective practice refers to ‘the active, persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it’.

Learn more about: Reflection

Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education

Possible Framework for Portfolio Components
Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson | Adopted from the March 1987 AAHE Bulletin

Learn more about: Seven Principles for Good Practice

Resources from Other Institutions
  • Teaching Portfolio | Webpage: University of Saskatchewan
  • The Teaching Portfolio | PDF Handout: Brown University
  • Teaching Portfolios | Website: Vanderbilt University

Hosting Your Portfolio

Consider using the VIUBlogs network to get started building your professional practice portfolio. Read more about the: VIUBlogs tool for building your portfolio

Start Soon! – it is all about getting started – somewhere. Put a plan into place so you have time each month to work on components and demonstrate your learning. A bi-weekly or monthly time also serves as a focused point of reflection on your practice.

Learn more about: How to Get Started with ePortfolio

Steps to Creating an ePortfolio

A list of 7 steps to creating your ePortfolio. (modified from Elements of a Professional Academic ePortfolio, Bauer, 2010)

Learn more about: Steps to Creating an ePortfolio

Organizing your ePortfolio

Your ePortfolio will need to have headings or sections that help organize your artifacts and reflections.  There are endless combinations of headings and subheadings to help structure your ePortfolio.  This is where creativity and personalization come into play.

Learn more about: Organizing Your ePortfolio

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