Teaching Portfolio Workshop

On February 20, more than 60 graduate students and postdocs attended a two-hour workshop about teaching statements and teaching portfolios. Participants learned how to develop their own teaching portfolios.

While the scope and specific contents of a teaching portfolio vary according to its use, Dr. Laurie Bellows, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, outlined the three major components of any teaching portfolio.

  1. Teaching Responsibilities
    Lists all of the courses taught, including:
    • The course title, level, and number as well as the dates you taught the course
    • A description of your role in the course (i.e., instructor, TA, grader)
    • The number of students enrolled in the course
    • A brief description of the course
  2. The Teaching Statement, or Teaching Philosophy
    This is the backbone of the Teaching Portfolio. You should address four core elements of your teaching.
    • Learning objectives—what you want students to do/learn.
    • Teaching methods—how you as an instructor help students learn.
    • Student assessment and grading methods—how you know if students have achieved the learning objectives.
    • Teaching assessment—how you measure your effectiveness as a teacher.
  3. Evidence of Effective Teaching
    • Material that you develop yourself, such as syllabi, teaching samples, or narrative reflections.
    • Information provided by colleagues, including observation notes and summaries or letters.
    • Materials from students, like course ratings or letters and individual samples of student work.

The main theme of the workshop was that the process of putting together a teaching portfolio may be more valuable than the final product. Reflecting on how to improve your teaching and documenting your experience helps you continue to develop your teaching methods and how you approach learning in the classroom. Over time, you can measure your development by comparing versions of your teaching portfolio.

Resources

The Teaching Portfolio, a book by Peter Seldin, offers an introduction to the teaching portfolio and includes helpful examples from a variety of disciplines. Access the digital edition of The Teaching Portfolio through UNL Libraries.

George David Clark advises how to develop an effective teaching portfolio

Graduate Studies outlines the various parts of the Teaching Portfolio, including the teaching statement

Gabriela Montell offers helpful hints for writing your teaching statement and tailoring it to different jobs

Make your teaching statement memorable, advises James Lang in the Chronicle of Higher Education.