Unit 2: Creating a Strong Portfolio
Increasingly, health professions institutions are requiring faculty to include an educator's or teaching portfolio with their overall faculty promotion and tenure portfolio. When reviewing your institution's promotion and tenure guidelines, there will likely be an extensive section that lists what is expected for documenting excellence in teaching. This development in the promotion and tenure guidelines followed, in large measure, Boyer's landmark book, Scholarship Reconsidered. The book cited the important need for universities to broaden the definition of scholarship to include the scholarship of teaching.
The section below on the Educator's or Teaching Portfolio provides an overview of the extensive work that has already been done to show how the scholarship of teaching can be documented. We encourage you to obtain and use these resources and references in developing your teaching portfolio. Even if your institution does not require a teaching portfolio, this section may provide you with useful information for organizing your teaching materials.
The section below on Tips & Strategies for Documenting Community-Engaged Teaching provides resources, tips and strategies from the Scholarship Project faculty which highlights how community-engaged teaching can be integrated into the scholarship of teaching framework.
Depending on your discipline and your institution, you might use the term service-learning, community-based education, practice-based teaching, experiential or active learning, internships, practicum, etc. We use the term "community-engaged teaching" simply to parallel the term community-engaged scholarship. We recommend using the terminology that will be most familiar to your promotion & tenure committee.
Your institution's promotion and tenure guidelines will provide you with the areas that the committee will be reviewing for teaching excellence. In addition to these guidelines, many institutions are also providing faculty with a descriptive list for what to include in one's teaching portfolio. An educator's or teaching portfolio is "a system of documentation developed to present faculty's expertise as educators and scholars"
Below, we present the core elements of the educator's or teaching portfolio, and then focus specifically on how to integrate community-engaged teaching and educational scholarship into this section of your documentation. As always, it is important to follow the promotion and tenure guidelines your institution has developed for teaching portfolios and then the more specific guidelines for what to include in the portfolio itself.
Medical College of Wisconsin: 10 Categories of the Educator's Portfolio
There are now many useful resources of the core components of the teaching portfolio. At the Medical College of Wisconsin, Simpson and her colleagues have developed 10 categories for one's teaching and educational scholarship. These categories are listed below:
Eastern Carolina University School of Medicine has also developed a useful and detailed teaching portfolio site. The elements that are presented in this document are slightly different than those used by the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Click here for more references & resources on the educator's or teaching portfolio.
Each institution varies with how they have written guidelines for what demonstrates excellence in teaching. Although most guidelines for teaching do not specifically cite ways to document community-engaged teaching, there are examples of those that do. These include:
of Arkansas School of Public Health
The University of Utah has developed a set of guidelines for teaching excellence in service-learning, below:
Within the framework of the educator's or teaching portfolio, there are a number of important ways that you can integrate and highlight community-engaged teaching. The Teaching Statement or Philosophy of Education is the foundation for your teaching portfolio. This 2-3 page statement provides you with an opportunity provide your promotion & tenure committee with a framework for what draws you to teaching through an "explicit statement of your goals" and an "integration of your personal background experiences, training and readings and reflection."
East Carolina University School of Medicine uses the following framework for the teaching statement:
It may include:
Within the teaching statement, you can highlight community-engaged teaching.
Tips & Strategies for Documenting Community-Engaged Teaching in a Teaching Statement
Tips & Strategies for Documenting Community-Engaged Teaching in Your Overall Portfolio
After developing the teaching statement as the philosophical foundation for your teaching portfolio, you can document your teaching activity and scholarship in other sections of your portfolio. As with each section of the portfolio, the more organized you are in its presentation, the better. Experienced promotion & tenure committee members and academic leaders have indicated that a well-organized portfolio plays in important role in its outcome. Many of the documents will be routine ones that the university has been collecting and organizing, such as standard end-of-course learner evaluations. In other areas, you may have some latitude in highlighting community-engaged teaching. Here are some tips you may want to consider:
Please click here for examples of faculty members' teaching statement.
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