Sunday, May 15, 2011

All About Teaching Portfolios

In this post I give you some resources for creating a teaching portfolio and a list of  possibly required materials.

A teaching portfolio is a very important part of applying for jobs in philosophy because the majority of graduate students will not go straight into research positions and most will be at teaching colleges the rest of their careers. This being the case it is  really good to have a portfolio to prove one can teach well. 

From UC Berkely's career center
Across the country, large research universities and small liberal arts colleges are coming under increasing pressure from key constituencies to improve the quality of teaching offered to undergraduates.  One public manifestation of this pressure has been a significant rise in the number of schools that are asking for extensive evidence of teaching experience and prowess in the job search process.  Candidates are frequently asked to offer a teaching portfolio that does more than describe the courses they've taught in the past and are willing to teach in the future.

Guidebook to Teaching Portfolios:

 A teaching portfolio (or dossier) is a coherent set of material that represents your 
teaching practice as related to student learning.  “Teaching practice” in its broadest sense 
extends beyond the obvious activities that go into teaching a course to include all 
activities that enrich student learning.

I suggest these resources:

 Vanderbilt's Handbook:

UC berkeley career center

 The Center for Teaching University of Massachusetts Amherst:

The teaching portfolio list of documents:
  1. Statement of Teaching Philosophy
  2. List of Courses and Sample Syllabi
  3. Teaching Evaluations
  4. Letters of Recommendation
  5. Videos of teaching
  6. Number of advisees, graduate and undergraduate
  7. Course descriptions with details of content, objectives, methods, and procedures for evaluating student learning
  8. Reading lists
  9. Assignments
  10. Exams and quizzes, graded and ungraded
  11. Handouts, problem sets, lecture outlines
  12. Descriptions and examples of visual materials used
  13. Descriptions of uses of computers and other technology in teaching
  14. Summarized student evaluations of teaching, including response rate and relationship to departmental average
  15. Written comments from students on class evaluations
  16. Comments from a peer observer or a colleague teaching the same course
  17. Statements from colleagues in the department or elsewhere, regarding the preparation of students for advanced work
  18. Letters from students, preferably unsolicited
  19. Letters from course head, division head or chairperson
  20. Statements from alumni
  21. Materials Demonstrating Student Learning
  22. Scores on standardized or other tests, before and after instruction
  23. Students’ lab books or other workbooks
  24. Students’ papers, essays, or creative works
  25. Graded work from the best and poorest students, with teacher’s feedback to students
  26. Instructor’s written feedback on student work
  27. Activities to Improve Instruction
  28. Participation in seminars or professional meetings on teaching
  29. Design of new courses
  30. Design of interdisciplinary or collaborative courses or teaching projects
  31. Use of new methods of teaching, assessing learning, grading
  32. Preparation of a textbook, lab manual, courseware, etc.
  33. Description of instructional improvement projects developed or carried out
  34. Contributions to the Teaching Profession and/or Your Institution
  35. Publications in teaching journals
  36. Papers delivered on teaching
  37. Reviews of forthcoming textbooks
  38. Service on teaching committees
  39. Assistance to colleagues on teaching matters
  40. Work on curriculum revision or development
  41. Honors, Awards, or Recognitions
  42. Teaching awards from department, college, or university
  43. Teaching awards from profession
  44. Invitations based on teaching reputation to consult, give workshops, write articles, etc.
  45. Requests for advice on teaching by committees or other organized groups

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