I have been recently introduced to the idea of teaching portfolios, that is a collection of teaching experiences and references made by peer educators. Their supposed purpose is to go along a researcher CV when applying for a position in academia, i.e. assistant/associate professor.

Any first hand experience?

4 Answers 4


This may be useful for someone considering a career at a teaching-first school, but I've never seen such portfolios asked for or even considered at research universities in the US and the larger European countries.

  • 2
    As far as I know, they are standard requirements in Australia's universities, and spreading at least to northern Europe.
    – Luca
    Feb 20, 2012 at 16:04
  • I've revised my answer to make it more specific. But it's yet to catch on in most countries.
    – aeismail
    Feb 20, 2012 at 16:19

Creating a "portfolio" for teaching used to be the norm for those entering the teaching career on the secondary (high school) level and below. My portfolio is HUGE (a 3-inch binder stuffed full of lesson plans, my philosophy of education, professional development, letters of recommendation, photos of my students, etc.), but I've only had one administrator ever actually LOOK at my portfolio and that was when I was interviewing for my first teaching position.

The move I've seen from many universities is to have their teaching students create virtual or online portfolios. If I were you and I were considering applying for a higher-ed. position, I certainly wouldn't create anything that was a step backwards in technology. If you choose to create a portfolio, spend the time and create a virtual one.

  • On the one hand, I'm not certain that it's even necessary to spend time creating a virtual portfolio, given that it's never looked at. On the other hand, sites like SlideShare.net make it so easy to do that you really won't spend any time on it at all.
    – eykanal
    Feb 21, 2012 at 21:10
  • I agree. However, since it's rare, it might be something that helps you stand out. Create it and then throw it on your resume somewhere with, "Visit my virtual portfolio at www.blahblahblah.net".
    – Meg Coates
    Feb 21, 2012 at 21:47

I have to agree with Meg Coates answer, they don't seem to be as important and they are made out to be by the powers to be. I created a "portfolio" and the only person who ever looked at it was a colleague who was part of an interview process. They don't appear to be looked when you go in for interviews. I like that I can look back on my portfolio and see past achievement and progress over the years but to be honest I quit updating mine about 4 or 5 years ago.

My final message would be go for and create the portfolio but don't be disappointed if it does not get reviewed during your hiring process.


I think it's going to depend wildly on the position and very unpredictable factors. In my extremely limited experience in one discipline (mathematics) at one level (research university), a portfolio would probably only be useful if the committee had already decided to hire you, and higher-ups (chairs, deans, provosti) expressed concern about your teaching. In the right situation, they could be very useful, but it's not the most common in the world.

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