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A primer on teaching portfolios at CSU Rod Duncan School of Marketing and Management.

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1 A primer on teaching portfolios at CSU Rod Duncan School of Marketing and Management

2 PBF teaching Performance-based funding teaching requires that all faculty meet two criteria. In 2004 the overwhelming majority of M&M faculty meet their PBFT criteria by: –Attending two learning and teaching workshops; and –Taking one subject review. 13 out of 17 faculty members attended 2 L&T workshops. 13 out of 17 faculty members took a teaching evaluation.

3 Chair L&TAwardsStaffTeachingTeachL&T PublicTeachingPeerLMLScholCriteria CommitteeDevelopEvaluationPortfolioEnrollGrad/actionDynamicsReviewFundMet 21 YES YES

4 Changes to PBFT Starting in 2005, this system no longer works. Beginning in 2006, all subjects will be evaluated every teaching period by computer, so there will be no more requesting of reviews. In order to get a PBFT check under the new system (which is in effect now), faculty will have to conduct a “subject review”. The point of the new subject review is to “undertake a reflective subject review at the conclusion of teaching a subject”.

5 New subject review The new subject review is “intended as a reflection on all the evidence, formal and informal, that you have gathered on a particular offering of a subject”. The subject review is your own response (500 words) to the student evaluations: –What are the conclusions you draw from the student evaluation of the subject? –What are the key strengths of the subject? –What aspects of the subject could be improved? –What changes are planned as a result of this review?

6 The material you have gathered for your subject review is the same material that you would gather for a teaching portfolio. A teaching portfolio counts as criteria for PBF teaching. So you can do a subject review, repackage the material into your teaching portfolio and meet both criteria for your PBF teaching!

7 So what is a teaching portfolio? The PBF teaching guidelines describe a teaching portfolio as: “The portfolio will reflect recorded history of your progress towards excellence in teaching.” Personally I find this sort of language to be completely unhelpful. One problem you face when deciding to do a teaching portfolio is the lack of guidance about the subject.

8 So what is a teaching portfolio? I prefer a definition such as: “A teaching portfolio is a reflection on your thoughts and practices as a teacher.” It is important that you integrate: –Teaching philosophy and how your philosophy has been integrated into your teaching practices. –What you have learned about your teaching practices from your student feedback.

9 Portfolios as “science” Scientific method Model Hypotheses Testing Teaching portfolio Teaching philosophy Teaching Practice Student feedback

10 Purpose of a teaching portfolio Teaching portfolios came out of schools of education in the U.S., so they are surrounded with the “educrat” language such as the quoted paragraph above. Portfolios are very common for primary and secondary school teachers who use them as a means of evidencing and evaluating teaching quality.

11 Aims of a teaching portfolio 1.Portfolios as signals of teacher quality. 2.Portfolios as a means of internal reflection about teaching. 3.Portfolios as platforms for communicating ideas about improving teaching.

12 Portfolios as a signal of quality We have no reliable means of identifying teaching quality. However we can evaluate whether a faculty member is a concerned and reflective teacher. Portfolios are a means of doing that. As a signal, a portfolio is indicative of a person who values teaching. For some institutions, this can be a valuable addition to a CV. Update your portfolio as you update your CV.

13 Portfolios as a means of reflection As academics, we have no systematized means of recognizing what works and what does not work in our teaching. Portfolios can provide a way of organizing our thinking and our practices as teachers. Use a portfolio to record your teaching practices and student responses. “Shoebox” model of a portfolio- a place to keep your clippings.

14 Portfolios as a platform for discussion In addition to the reflective mode, portfolios can provide a public means of discussing your views on improving teaching practices. Provide evidence of: “This is what I tried, and this is what resulted.” In the best of all worlds, you would turn your reflections in your teaching portfolio into published research on teaching practices.

15 What goes into a teaching portfolio? Anything! This is both good and bad. Good as portfolios are very flexible. Bad as it is hard to know where to begin without some structure to guide you.

16 Where to begin? How are we to go about building a portfolio? After constructing one for myself, I have 3 tips: 1.Think small and build up. 2.Think concrete. 3.Cheat!

17 Think small and build up Start with a little feature of one of your subjects that you are teaching. –Give your reasons for choosing to structure your subject in that way (teaching philosophy). –Provide some evidence of student feedback/reaction to this feature (for good or for bad). Collect a few of these, and you have a teaching portfolio. In fact, this is what you do in a subject review.

18 Think concrete DO NOT start with a teaching philosophy. Instead start with particular choices that you have made about your style of teaching, ie. what assessment you use. Discuss how these choices fit into your beliefs about what is good teaching. Collect these discussions together, and you have the start of a teaching philosophy.

19 Cheat! There are a lot of resources on portfolios on the Web. There are also a lot of portfolios. Copy structures and styles from other portfolios on the Web. At least just to get you started. I copied a lot of structure from Bruce Wagner of Iowa State’s portfolio, as I thought it was the most straightforward portfolio I came across. –Contained all the details I thought belonged in a portfolio. –Laid these details out in a clear, logical manner.

20 TEACHING PORTFOLIO Bruce H. Wagner Department of Mathematics Iowa State University Spring 1998 Table of Contents 1. Teaching Philosophy and GoalsTeaching Philosophy and Goals 2. Teaching ResponsibilitiesTeaching Responsibilities 3. Teaching MethodsTeaching Methods 4. Course Syllabi and InformationCourse Syllabi and Information 5. Evaluation of TeachingEvaluation of Teaching 6. Teaching Improvement and Future PlansTeaching Improvement and Future Plans 7. Other Teaching-Related ActivitiesOther Teaching-Related Activities Appendices: etc

21 Skeleton portfolio What would be the most basic elements? 1. Simply lay out how it is that you teach: –Teaching philosophy (do this LAST) –Set out the range of classes that you teach and include sample syllabi, assignments and exams. –Detail some of your classroom practices and explain why you have chosen to these, ie. “I prefer written essay assignments because…”

22 Skeleton portfolio –Use student evaluations (or student s or spoken comments or …) to discuss your current teaching practices. 2. Set out how you might improve some current teaching practices in your subjects. –Using the student feedback and some reflection, set out some improvements you might try to implement in the future. NOTE: Much of this is simply repeating what is done in a subject review.

23 Discussion Glen Duncan


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