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Teaching Portfolio

“Individual faculty members are responsible for presenting persuasive evidence to the university that they qualify for CFS candidacy, CFS, or rank advancement.” (BYU Rank and Status Policy 1.2)

Semester Self-Evaluation - Form Entry or Adaptable Template
Teaching Narrative (by category) - Form Entry or Adaptable Template
Teaching Narrative (freeform) - Form Entry or Adaptable Template
Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness Through Self-Evaluation and Peer Review - Form Entry

(NOTE: use the Form Entry documents to type within pre-set areas. The Adaptable Templates can be modified to fit a custom need or department specification.)

The Teaching Portfolio

The Teaching Portfolio is intended to be a systematic process that helps you become a better teacher. While it can be argued that there is a certain threshold to be met—students should be substantially achieving the learning outcomes within an environment that is inspiring and fosters belonging—the expected outcome of maintaining and updating your portfolio is to continuously seek ways to help students become better learners; to develop collegiality and community; to refine teaching methods and materials; and to adapt to changing needs (see BYU Rank & Status Policy 3.2) based on documented evidence.

The portfolio formalizes a best practice that most teachers already do informally, and all teachers should do—namely, to take a little time at the end of each semester to identify what went well, what could be improved, and what you can do about it. Thus, you should begin compiling your portfolio during the first semester of teaching and add to it regularly. In essence, the portfolio is a teaching journal to highlight your strengths, to guide your decisions, to document your results, and consequently, to demonstrate that you are fulfilling your teaching stewardship.

The Teaching Portfolio should be structured around the Three Pillars of Effective Teaching and will include evidence of student achievement of learning outcomes, a description of how the learning environment inspires learning and promotes belonging, and documentation of a faculty member’s efforts to continuously improve teaching and learning.


Sources of Evidence and Formative Activities

Your Teaching Portfolio will be more helpful to you and more persuasive to reviewers if decisions are guided by evidence and feedback, and actions are consistent, prioritized, and sustainable (i.e., you are not trying to do too much). Improvement activities should be prioritized according to potential impact to student learning and/or the learning environment and practical considerations such as time and resources. In the long run, a steady program of incremental improvements is more effective than occasional bursts of intense activity.

For student learning, formative review of learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessments from a colleague or CTL consultant can provide both feedback and evidence that learning outcomes are appropriate, learning activities are aligned, and assessments are valid measures of student learning. Students can provide feedback as to whether they recognize the connections between outcomes, activities, and assessments. Student performance on assessments provides direct evidence of student learning and can help you identify where students are doing well and where they need help.

While Student Ratings & Comments are a good source of evidence and feedback about the learning environment, you need not wait until the end of the semester to gather input and make adjustments. You might invite a peer, your CTL consultant. or a SCOT (Students Consulting on Teaching) to observe your class. Somewhere in early to mid-semester, you can have students complete a Mid-Course Evaluation. Where feasible, you can implement improvements immediately.

At the end of each semester, you can use this feedback and evidence to evaluate your teaching stewardship—to demonstrate areas of strength and to identify a few high-priority refinements to undertake. As you implement these refinements in the following semester, document the results and include them in your portfolio. Together, these provide evidence that you are engaged in processes of improvement. In addition, showing that you have proactively sought opportunities for feedback is also persuasive.

The Teaching Portfolio is most effective and most efficient when it is used as a living, growing record of the teaching stewardship. It provides a resource to guide your teaching career and to demonstrate how you are helping achieve the Aims of a BYU Education.

Note however, that the teaching portfolio is not intended to be a repository of all teaching artifacts and activities. Rather, it is intended to be a curated and contextualized presentation of evidence of your “present qualifications and future promise” (BYU Rank & Status Policy 5.1). “The portfolio itself is an indicator of professional maturity. A portfolio that is professional, thorough, and concise is especially persuasive” (BYU R&S Review Procedures 1.1).

Summative Peer Review of Teaching

If you have engaged in the process as expected, you will be ready for peer- and rank and status review. To complete your rank and status portfolio, all that remains is to provide a narrative to summarize, contextualize, highlight successes, and lay out your agenda for future improvements along with a few additions detailed here: Materials for Professorial Faculty; and Materials for Professional Faculty.

In essence, peer reviewers evaluate whether the faculty candidate has presented credible evidence that they are fulfilling their teaching stewardship. Evaluation is centered around the teaching portfolio. Reviewers then triangulate what they find in the portfolio with student ratings as well as visits to your classroom. Nonetheless, the teaching portfolio gives you a powerful voice in the rank and status process.