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Introduction to Academic Portfolios

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1 Introduction to Academic Portfolios

2 Overview Fundamental features of academic portfolios
Four basic processes for the creation of an academic portfolio Example: The “Teaching Portfolio” as part of your academic portfolio Advantages of an academic portfolio Interactive electronic portfolios: A new medium for academic portfolios Bibliography: Electronic portfolios.

3 Two Approaches to Portfolio Creation
Portfolios for Self-Evaluation & Development: The Learning Portfolio (students) The Course Portfolio (instructors) The Teaching Portfolio (instructors) The Academic Portfolio (faculty) The Professional Portfolio (The “job market”)

4 Fundamental Feature of the Academic Portfolio Created for Self-Evaluation
A fundamental feature of the (self-evaluative) academic portfolio is the intentional focus on learning and assessment: the deliberate and systematic attention not only to teaching and research skills, but also to a faculty’s self-reflective, meta-cognitive appraisal of how, and more importantly, why learning, teaching, and research are being perfected.

5 What is Meta-cognition?
Awareness of a learner’s own thought processes Conscious of self-awareness Knowledge and understanding of one’s intellectual approaches and strategies used in learning and teaching Awareness of how other learners’ approaches may differ Level of insight that allows learners to give themselves feedback = Dialogic reflection Hughes, H. Woodrow Dialogic Reflection: A New Face on an Old Pedagogy MacLellan, Effie (1999). “Reflective Commentaries: What do they say about learning?” Educational Action Research, Volume 7(3): [pdf on CET web]

6 Metacognition: Implications
A highly personal process Involves reflective judgment and informed choices Focuses on the uniqueness of each individual Fosters individual’s ownership of his or her own learning and career development

7 Benefits of Dialogic Reflection
Increased understanding of How you learn and what are your learning outcomes What you have (and have not ) learned What do you value? Role in learning how to articulate in writing one’s thoughts and ideas How others view your work Enhanced ability to make connections Among courses taught and in the context of teaching “without boundaries” Among research experiences and research collaborations Increased sense of learning over time

8 Sample Reflections When one basic goal is improvement over time, consider: Documentation of steps (analogous to keeping a log for lab research) Commentaries (as for solutions to math problems) Evolution of a course, of a speech, or of a paper “History” of a piece of artwork Johnson, Bil (1996), The Performance Assessment Handbook, Vol. 1. Princeton: Eye on Education.

9 Four Basic Processes for the Creation of an Academic Portfolio
Collection A relatively short collection of materials that summarizes and highlights an individual’s activities as a teacher and researcher. Selection Why are you creating the portfolio? Who is reading it, and why? Reflection Thinking critically about your total learning, teaching, and research experiences Connections Making personally meaningful connections between Your teaching, Your field of research, its body of knowledge, and its applications Your service and community experiences

10 Goals of an Academic Portfolio
Demonstrate breadth of learning, teaching, and research Range of achievements. Collecting and connecting your various accomplishments; a creative representation of your work and of you Evaluate achievement of intended outcomes Opportunity to showcase your accomplishments. Your best work Reflect, assess own educational experience Representative pieces; written reflections. To make connections between where you were, where you are, and where you want to be Illustrate the learning process Multiple drafts -- a process. To document teaching and research as it evolved over time. Share one’s expertise Legacy of best practices in both teaching and research.

11 Example: The “Teaching Portfolio” as Part of your Academic Portfolio
Why a Teaching Portfolio? To serve as supporting materials (documented evidence, specific data) of one’s effectiveness as a teacher To document one’s teaching as it evolved over time To obtain feedback and to share one’s expertise (mentoring, legacy of best practices)

12 Seven Steps for the Creation of a Teaching Portfolio
1. Summarize teaching responsibilities Courses taught, whether they are graduate or undergraduate, required or elective; Teaching-related activities (e.g., serving as faculty advisor to student organizations, advising individual graduate or undergraduate students). 2. Describe your approach to teaching Reflective statement about teaching, strategies, methodologies and objectives [“Teaching Philosophy Statement”]. The most effective reflective statements provide detailed examples of classroom practices which show how the faculty’s teaching methods fit his or her aims and the context of the course.

13 Seven Steps for the Creation of a Teaching Portfolio (Cont.)
3. Select items for the portfolio Items which are most applicable to the professor’s teaching responsibilities and approach to teaching; Choice of items should also reflect the professor’s personal preferences, style of teaching, academic discipline, and particular courses. 4. Prepare statements on each item Statements on activities, initiatives, and accomplishments on each item Do the syllabi of courses coalesce around a specific theme about your teaching? have you participated in programs, colloquia, or seminars designed to improve teaching? Do you have a variety of measures of your teaching effectiveness? Back-up documentation and appendices are referenced as appropriate.

14 Seven Steps for the Creation of a Teaching Portfolio (Cont.)
5. Arrange the items in order The sequence of the accomplishments in each area is determined by their intended use (e.g., to demonstrate teaching improvement: entries that reflect that goal should be stressed -- such as participation in seminars and workshops designed to enhance classroom performance). 6. Compile the supporting data Evidence supporting all items mentioned in the portfolio: e.g., original student evaluation of teaching, samples of student work, invitations to contribute articles on teaching in one’s discipline, colleagues’ evaluations. Such evidence is not part of the portfolio but is back-up material placed in the appendix or made available upon request.

15 Seven Steps for the Creation of a Teaching Portfolio (Cont.)
7. Incorporate the portfolio into the curriculum vitae Although the portfolio may stand as a separate document [e.g., assembled in a three-ring binder], a professor may choose to insert it into his/her curriculum vitae under the heading of “teaching”. The intent is to provide a formal record of teaching accomplishments so they can be accorded their proper weight along with other aspects of a professor’s role.

16 Contents of an Academic Portfolio: Teaching
Faculty Member's Name Department/College Institution Date Table of Contents for Teaching Section 1. Teaching Responsibilities 2. Statement of Teaching Philosophy 3. Teaching Methods, Strategies, Objectives 4. Student Ratings on Summative Questions 5. Colleague Evaluations From Those Who Have Observed Classroom Teaching or Reviewed Teaching Materials 6. Statement by the Department Chair Assessing the Professor's Teaching Contribution 7. Detailed, Representative Course Syllabi 8. Products of Teaching (Evidence of Student Learning) 9. Teaching Awards and Recognition 10. Teaching Goals: Short- Term and Long-Term 11. Appendices

17 Contents of an Academic Portfolio: Research
Table of Contents for Research Section Research Statement 2. Research Methods, Strategies, Objectives 3. Students accomplishments in research lab Significant outcomes of collaborative or inter-disciplinary research Research awards and recognition 6. Research Goals: Short- Term and Long-Term 7. Appendices

18 A Document that Evolves Over Time
Remember: The portfolio is a living collection of documents and materials which change over time New items are added, others are dropped. Once each year, when the research and service section of the curriculum vitae are updated, the same is done for the portfolio’s teaching and research sections.

19 Features of Portfolio Formats
Limitations of Physical Portfolios (paper or CD) Logistic challenges (space and time). Advantages of Electronic Portfolios Information in multi-media (text, graphics, animation, sound,video) Hypertext environment: e.g., menus, hyperlinks, searchable information Non-linear thinking; “deep” organization Asynchronous access for others (for feedback and collaboration)

20 Advantages of an Academic Portfolio
The Section on Teaching Provides the stimulus and structure for self-reflection about areas of teaching (including those needing improvement) Concentrates on reflective analysis, action planning, and assessment of student learning. Provides evaluators with hard-to-ignore information on what a professor does in a classroom and why he/she does it. The Section on Research Provides the stimulus and structure for self-reflection about areas of research that may lead to inter-disciplinary collaboration Provides colleagues with the opportunity to contribute to the portfolio’s creation through feedback and file exchanges Excerpts of Portfolio can be used in successful grant applications Used as credentials for those seeking academic positions

21 Interactive Electronic Portfolios: A New Approach for Academic Portfolios
Barrett, Helen (Univ. of Alaska, Anchorage) Using Technology to Support Alternative Assessment and Electronic Portfolios Create Your Own Electronic Portfolios Martin Kimeldorf’s Portfolio Library Mable Kinzie (An informal approach to the academic portfolio)

22 Bibliography: Electronic Portfolios
Barrett, Helen C. (2004) . “Electronic Portfolios as Digital Stories of Deep Learning -- Emerging Digital Tools to Support Reflection in Learner-Centered Portfolios Greenberg, Gary (2004). “The Digital Convergence: Extending the Portfolio Model,” Educause Review, July-August. Jafari, Ali (2004). “The "Sticky" ePortfolio System: Tackling Challenges and Identifying Attributes,” Educause Review July-August 2004. Love, Douglas, Gerry McKean, and Paul Gathercoal (2004). “Portfolios to Webfolios and Beyond: Levels of Maturation,” Educause Quarterly Vol. 27(2) (Descriptions of developmental stages offer institutions guidance about their place in the process and how to move to the next level)

23 Bibliography: Electronic Portfolios (Cont.)
Seldin, Peter (1997). The Teaching Portfolio. Bolton, MA: Anker. Tomorrow's Professor Msg.#567 Answers to Common Questions about the Teaching Portfolio. Tomorrow's Professor Msg.#568 Electronic Learning Portfolios Zubizaretta John, (2004). The Learning Portfolio. Bolton, MA: Anker.

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