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Teaching Portfolios

Teaching Portfolio FAQ


When is the next Workshop?
There is currently no timeline for the next offering of the Teaching Portfolio Workshop.

What is a teaching portfolio?
You select, analyze, and comment on documents that demonstrate your teaching of your academic discipline. The narrative explanation of your teaching is usually limited to six to eight pages and includes a reflective statement about your teaching. It is normally accompanied by appendices: for example, syllabi, students’ work presented anonymously, perhaps with your remarks or grades, students’ mid-semester and/or final course evaluations and comments, a videotaped class, comments from colleagues’ observations. Other ideas of items to include and ways to present the information have been compiled by past workshop participants.

How are teaching portfolios used?

  • As an analytical self-reflection designed to enhance your teaching
  • To document your effectiveness as a teacher
  • To enable you to strengthen the relationship between your teaching and research
  • As supporting evidence of your professional expertise
  • As a developing draft document that helps beginning faculty clarify the whys and hows of your teaching
  • As a legacy for your department

How can I learn more about teaching portfolios?
You can read about Teaching Portfolio Workshops in the October 1995 and Fall 1997 issues of Teaching Concerns, our newsletter. The TRC also has several videotaped workshops that serve as introductions to teaching portfolios. To get an overview of what a teaching portfolio might contain, see these extracts from Peter Seldin’s book The Teaching Portfolio: A Practical Guide to Improve Performance and Promotion/Tenure Decisions (2nd ed.).

Who may apply for the Workshop?
Any U.Va. faculty member or TA who would like to document effective teaching. Those faculty members who would like to serve in the future as coaches, mentors, consultants to faculty colleagues and graduate student teaching assistants are especially sought.

How much time will this take?
Approximately 25-45 hours over a two-week period, normally the second half of May. Workshop participants will be asked to gather relevant materials about their teaching and to read introductory material about teaching portfolios before the workshop begins. The first workshop session helps portfolio writers begin the narrative statement, the second session focuses on analyzing what constitutes a good portfolio and on deciding how to document teaching effectiveness, and the third celebrates writers’ completed portfolios. Interspersed between workshops are two private meetings with a consultant or coach, to work specifically on individuals’ portfolios.

What do I need to do before the Workshop?
Many portfolio writers have told us that they wished they had known more years ago about documenting their teaching. We recommend that you think about what constitute products of good teaching for you as you go about your teaching. It can take very little time to gather some of the information that you will find invaluable in assembling your portfolio.

What is the cost of the Workshop?
The workshop is free and includes a complimentary copy of the background readings on portfolios, as well as two luncheons and several refreshment breaks.

How do I apply?
An application consists of three parts (there is no application form):

  • a letter explaining why you would like to participate in the Teaching Portfolio Workshop. Why do you want to create a teaching portfolio? How do you plan to share your new expertise with colleagues? Are you interested in coaching colleagues writing portfolios in the future?
  • a one-page curriculum vitae.
  • a brief statement of support from the departmental chair.

Address applications to the Teaching Resource Center, University of Virginia, Hotel D, 24 East Range, P.O. Box 400136, or via e-mail to