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Teaching Portfolios

Products of Good Teaching

The following ideas about the products of good teaching were suggested by participants in the U.Va. Teaching Portfolio Workshop.

Work from yourself:

  • List your goals for the course, survey the students for theirs, and compare the two lists. If necessary, explain to the students why some of their goals won’t be met. In the portfolio, show how you met the appropriate goals.
  • Include a set of lecture notes with a transcript of the pertinent discussion, thereby showing parallels and progress.
  • Show the relationship between students’ answers to exam essay questions and your relevant lecture notes.
  • Show how major ideas of the course are integrated into discussion questions, essay topics, and exam questions.
  • Your articles and/or workshops on teaching in your discipline.

Work from your students:

  • Have students put their final projects on a course web site, and explain in your portfolio how the projects reveal students’ successes and learning.
  • Include samples of students’ work to show improvement and explain what you did to help the student learn: for example, drafts of students’ papers with your comments.
  • Journals in which students reflect on what they’re doing can often show a great deal how our teaching affects their learning (e.g., acting classes).
  • Include some extracts from students’ learning logs, in which they write about what they learned in class and questions and comments that they have.
  • Similarly, include some summaries of one-minute papers, in which students state the main point of a lecture, the most important points they gained from a discussion, or something they learned about solving problems.
  • Departments sometimes survey majors at the beginning of their fourth year, asking them to write specifically about the courses they have taken. Such evaluative comments can be more meaningful than those written right at the end of the course.

Information from others:

  • Ask an observer to watch your class, discuss it with you, and write up comments about it.

Practical considerations:

  • Ask the students for permission to include their work in your portfolio.
  • Ask students for permission to copy their work or, if appropriate, ask them to hand in two copies of work you expect to use.