Faculty have many roles—researcher, teacher, mentor and colleague, to name just a few. Advanced doctoral students preparing to enter the increasingly competitive job market will be expected to provide evidence of their experience in fulfilling the complicated roles faculty play in higher education.
An electronic portfolio is an excellent tool for highlighting your research, because it allows you to include materials that showcase your experiences in greater depth. In addition to including abstracts and writing samples, electronic portfolios can contain research posters, judging sheets from poster competitions, and graphs or tables that may be too awkward for inclusion in a hard copy of your portfolio.
Teaching evaluations carry more weight when accompanied by demonstrations of student learning. Add examples of student writing, comments from teaching evaluations, or examples of in-class activities from a variety of courses to your portfolio with just a scan and a few clicks of your mouse. In Electronic Portfolios: Emerging Practices in Student, Faculty and Institutional Learning, Barbara Cambridge recommends including a comparative analysis of the first and the most recent syllabi used for a course and peer observations.
Electronic portfolios provide a representative body of work that paper copies cannot; can be updated easily; provide more flexibility than the traditional portfolio; and take up less physical space. Additionally, an electronic portfolio can demonstrate your growth as a student, researcher and teacher over the course of your program. After securing a faculty position, an electronic portfolio can be a useful tool as you work toward tenure—as long as you keep it up to date!
Cambridge, B.L. (Ed.). (2001). Electronic Portfolios: Emerging Practices in Student, Faculty and Institutional Learning. Sterling: Stylus.