For an activity to be designated as scholarship, it must manifest three key characteristics-it should be public, susceptible to critical review and evaluation, and accessible for exchanged and use by other members of one’s scholarly community. The Peer Review of Teaching Project invites you to archive your course portfolio in this national repository so that the intellectual work of your teaching can be shared, used, and peer reviewed by other post-secondary faculty. The repository accepts and stores portfolios as a single Adobe PDF file archived on our website.
What to Include in a Portfolio
There is no set format or checklist for developing a course portfolio since each will be unique to the course, content material, and discipline. In general, a course portfolio primarily represents personal testimonies of teaching experience and practice. Individual authors control the main format of content of their course portfolio.
The varied components that should be considered for incorporation include the following:
- Portfolio Purpose: Goals/objectives of the portfolio, personal reflections on the chosen course (describing major objectives and approaches to personal attainment), or questions you would like readers to address when reviewing the portfolio.
- Course Design: Description of the course and its context, who are the students in the course, summary of course goals and learning objectives, and placement of the course within the broader department and university curricula.
- Teaching Methods: Implementation of teaching methods, course materials, course activities employed, and mechanisms used to evaluate students.
- Outcomes: evidence of student learning, indicators of effectiveness, progressive development, and attainment of learning objectives.
- Reflection: what have you learned in developing this portfolio and what are your future plans for the course.
Sample Portfolio Outline
This portfolio outline is typical of portfolio submitted. Participants of Peer Review of Teaching Project are encouraged to use this as a guide for categories and content to include in your portfolio.
- Table of Contents
- Introduction to the Portfolio
- Objectives of Peer Review Course Portfolio
- Description of the Course
- Teaching Methods/Course Materials/ Course Activities
- The course and the broader curriculum
- Analysis of Student Learning
- Planned Changes
- Summary of Overall Assessment of Portfolio Process
Other Material to Include
In addition to your reflective interactions, most portfolios include a copy of the course syllabus and examples of student work. Because this portfolio is not an archive of the course, but rather a summary of your own reflections, you should use “reflection as the filter” to decide what to include and what not to. That is, the only extra materials (e.g., student examples, homework assignment descriptions, copies of examinations) that should be included with your portfolio are those upon which you offer detailed reflection. For example, suppose one of the items you are exploring with your portfolio is a semester term paper. In general, there is no need to include a student’s 30-page paper in your portfolio. Rather, we would encourage you to extract several key paragraphs or sections, which highlight why you consider the paper to be a high pass, medium pass, or low pass example of student learning. Keep in mind that the objective of creating the course portfolio is to develop a document that someone else will actually want to read.