Greetings from the Center for Teaching & Learning.
This past week was a busy and productive one for ACTL. I want to thank Brian Katz and Beth Whitty for their help with Grade books in moodle and Lendol Calder, Mike Egan and Steve Hager for sharing their Evidence of Professional Growth: Course and Career Portfolios. For those who were unable to attend the former but are interested, please let me (or Brian, Beth or Shawn Beattie) know; handouts and web resources are available.
For those interested in but unable to attend the latter, I hope to revisit this topic in the future. Many interesting points were raised in the discussions and in the feedback provided. In addition to the obvious questions ("How do you get started on a portfolio?" "What's the best medium to use?" "What should go into a course/career portfolio?"), some other provocative questions raised include
- Should what we do in the classroom be "open to the public?" If so, to what extent? What are some of the pros and cons of doing so?
- Is this form of "making teaching visible," a valuable tool for the peer review of teaching?
- Is the time and energy required to put one of these together really worth it, or is this simply more busy work to please the administration?
- Perhaps most importantly, does a course portfolio really enhance student learning in a meaningful, perhaps even measurable way?
If you're interested, Dan Bernstein addresses some of these issues in his book Making Teaching and Learning Visible (available in the teaching collection in the Tredway Library). It is an excellent resource if you are interested in using a course portfolio to document the intellectual work and student learning that are taking place in your classroom. Other resources that are (or will soon be) available in the teaching collection are
The Academic Portfolio: A Practical Guide to Documenting Teaching Research and Service by Peter Seldin and J. Elizabeth Miller
Exploring Signature Pedagogies: Approaches to Teaching Disciplinary Habits of Mind by Regan Gurung, Nancy L. Chick and Aeron Haynie (Eds.)
All three of these have examples from a wide variety of disciplines. Of course, if you're interested, you should also take a look at
Lendol Calder's Uncoverage Page -
Steve Hager's Biology Page -
We also hope to follow up with resources and a training session addressing those "obvious" questions mentioned above. Stay tuned.
In the meantime have an enjoyable week 7!
Augustana Center for Teaching & Learning
P. S. Books for the reading group have been ordered. If you signed up, watch for "a (math) geek bearing gifts!"