Portfolio Pointers: Preparing and presenting high quality teaching portfolios
This goal of this project was to develop a set of guidelines for creating teaching portfolios for the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards or for other purposes. It includes key pointers to “getting started”, collecting evidence, interrogating practice, editing, and protecting the unique “voice” of the nominee and their student body.
The guidelines consist of general principles and practical examples from both successful academic developers and award recipients and some examples from award-winning portfolios to illustrate good practice.
- Dorothy Spiller – The University of Waikato
- Pip Bruce-Ferguson – The University of Waikato
- Kelly Pender – Bay of Plenty Polytechnic
- Judith Honeyfield – Bay of Plenty Polytechnic
- Te Kahautu Maxwell – The University of Waikato
- Alison Campbell – The University of Waikato (project mentor)
Date - March 2011
Teaching portfolios have been used in the education sector for many years and for multiple purposes. Compiling a portfolio is often a significant part of professional development programmes, and is frequently required for career advancement purposes or tertiary teaching position applications. Portfolios are also used internationally in teaching awards selection processes and this is now the expectation for all those nominated for Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards in New Zealand.
The benefits of the portfolio process and the creation of portfolios which highlight exemplary practice across the tertiary sector extend far beyond applauding the work of individual teachers. The Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards celebrate teaching and teachers across the tertiary sector. The portfolios that are produced and disseminated within the institutions of the project team provide a conversational forum for all tertiary teachers to examine and reflect on their own practice and to build networks and find synergies with other teachers in their discipline. The portfolio “forum” is a teaching conversational space with relevance for teachers across the tertiary teaching sector. These portfolios and the thought processes and teaching practices that they document become professional development resources that can inspire and change tertiary teaching practices long after the applause has settled. In the long term, these benefits will be passed on to students and contribute to an enhanced learning experience for them, a goal shared by all who work in the tertiary sector.
The Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards now recognise that many Māori tertiary teachers are called on to provide vision, leadership and teaching in a wide range of contexts outside the traditional classroom. The introduction of the new category of a Kaupapa Māori Teaching Excellence Award by Ako Aotearoa in 2010 provides the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the rich and unique contribution that many Māori tertiary teachers make to the community, Iwi and to the nurturing of Te Reo and Tikanga.
The many benefits that may accrue to tertiary teachers from the production of teaching portfolios may not be immediately evident to the individual teacher faced with compiling a portfolio, frequently to meet a tight deadline. Our experience has been that for some teachers, juggling multiple work pressures, the prospect of compiling a portfolio seems too daunting and leads them to turn down a nomination. The incentive for this project was to produce a set of guidelines to simplify the portfolio development process for nominees and those who advise and support them. Our aim is to prompt people to consider ways of examining their practice, so they can select and articulate material that records their teaching narrative in the best way possible. We include general points to consider, questions to act as prompts and examples from the portfolios of 2010 winners. We also remind you that this work must be supported by a range of evidence – narrative, visual images, short statements, referee comments and most especially the voice of students.
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