Faculty members preparing materials for a promotion or tenure decision, for annual performance review, or for consideration for an award are typically well prepared to discuss their efforts in research and extension activities. They are commonly less well prepared to describe their abilities, accomplishments, and aspirations as teachers. To overcome this difficulty, ISU faculty members may wish to adopt a presentation format known as a Teaching Portfolio, which has proven successful in many North American colleges and universities.
In brief, a teaching portfolio is a document that summarizes the information characterizing you as a teacher. It usually contains some standardized material, such as student evaluations of teaching, but commonly also contains information that distinguishes your teaching from that of others around you. The strength of a teaching portfolio lies in the way it integrates many different kinds of information, rather than relying on a single measure of your achievements. Whenever possible, connect your course design or development of teaching materials to how they meet the needs of your profession or discipline that have been identified at a national or international level.
To find out more about teaching portfolios, you should view the videotape What Kind of Teacher Are You?, which is available in all academic departments, college offices, and the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching . If you are not a member of the Iowa State community, you may want to purchase a copy of the videotape for use on your own campus. You may also wish to refer to one or more of the selected readings. All are available for loan from the library of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, in 3024 Morrill Hall.
Finally, because it is often easiest to construct your own portfolio after talking with a professional, you may wish to make an appointment to visit with a CELT staff member by calling 294-5357 or sending us an email message.