Instructions for pedagogical portfolio – how to document your pedagogical qualifications
Chalmers University of Technology aims to offer a world-class education. An important part of this endeavor is the pedagogical competence of the teachers. Chalmers' view of pedagogical competence is based on the internationally accepted concept of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, which involves developing a scholarly approach to one’s teaching. This includes continuously working to improve the conditions for students' learning, as well as exchanging experiences of teaching and learning with colleagues.
To document, develop and evaluate pedagogical competence, a pedagogical portfolio is used. It is a single document where a teacher's pedagogical qualifications and approach are continuously documented and reflected upon. The portfolio should be a dynamic document, and it is recommended to update it once every few years by compiling experiences and reflections that could be added to appropriate sections.
The portfolio is a tool that is used as a basis for continuous pedagogical development in e.g. employee appraisal talks, and for assessing pedagogical competence in promotions and recruitments. It must contain both qualitative and quantitative qualifications in order for pedagogical experts to be able to assess the pedagogical competence (see assessment criteria for pedagogical competence in Chalmers’ Appointment regulations for teaching and research faculty).
The following describes the layout of the pedagogical portfolio used at Chalmers and what is expected to be included under each heading.
Under each section, describe what you have done, how you have worked and why you have worked as you have done, as well as what results and further development your work has led to. Substantiate your qualifications and efforts with appropriate documentation, such as course documents, course materials, course evaluations, course development documentation, publications, grades, certificates and references. Add all documents as appendices and reference them in the main text. The text should be brief, clear and concise, and make sure your pedagogical competence stands out. A recommended scope is about 10 pages, excluding appendices.
Sections 1–4 should always be included in your educational portfolio. Under sections 5–8, you can describe additional pedagogical qualifications that you may have acquired.
1. Background and short presentation
Write a short introductory presentation of your working life and research background, including your pedagogical duties and experiences, to give the reader an overview of your qualifications. If this information is found in your CV or application letter, refer to that document.
2.1 Education and experience in your subject area
Describe your education and experience in the specific subject area (i.e. the scientific and practical basis on which you base your teaching, for example biology, electrical engineering, architecture, etc.). If this is described in your CV, you can refer to that document.
2.2 Pedagogical training
Describe the courses in pedagogy you have completed. Include course name, course code, credits/weeks of study, and when you took the course. Attach certificates as appendices. If you have knowledge about teaching and student learning that you have acquired in other ways, describe it here.
3. Experiences of teaching, supervision and education management
Write a summary of your experiences of teaching, supervision and pedagogical management. Specify the scope and variety of your experiences, as well as the roles you’ve had.
Supplement this summary with a more detailed list of your experiences, attached as an appendix.
Make a breakdown into:
- Courses at undergraduate, advanced and postgraduate level, as well as in professional education.
- Bachelor's and Master’s degree projects, licentiate and doctoral theses.
- Management work in education. For example, assignments as Assistant Head of Department, Head of Programme, Teacher Team Leader, Education Leader/Secretary and Study Counsellor. Committee work related to educational issues is also a merit.
Documents confirming your teaching assignments, your role as supervisor and your service on various assignments should be included as appendices.
If you have extensive experience, you can limit the documentation by writing a broad overview of your experience and then focusing on, for example, the last 5 years and a selection of pedagogical assignments that substantiate your pedagogical competence.
4. Your educational activities: approach, reflection and development
This section is one of the most important parts of the pedagogical portfolio. This is where you display your pedagogical outlook, that is, the approach to teaching, supervision and student learning that forms the basis of your pedagogical work. By describing and reflecting on your pedagogical activities and the conditions for learning, you clarify your approach to current and future pedagogical assignments.
4.1 Pedagogical outlook
As a background to the examples you choose below, briefly describe the most important ideas on which you build your pedagogical approach and practice, as well as how these are based on proven experience and/or theory and research in higher education.
4.2 Examples of pedagogical activities and approaches
In this section, describe and reflect on some examples from your pedagogical activities that you want to highlight as characteristic examples of your pedagogical competence.
A) Start by selecting 1–2 courses from your educational activities and show how you work as a teacher. Your course examples may include how you have planned, implemented, evaluated and developed a course, a course element, a laboratory experiment or an exam.
For each example, take care to:
- Describe and reflect on what you have done, how you have worked, and justify why you choose that way of working, what has gone well and what could be improved, how your way of working promotes student learning and what the results of your pedagogical work have been.
- Describe and reflect on how your pedagogical activities are based on proven experience and how they relate to theory, development and research in higher education.
If you have experience in supervision and/or other higher education assignments with a focus on management and development, describe and reflect in the same way as under point A) around some examples from this activity according to the following points B) and C):
B) Select 1–2 supervision assignments that demonstrate how you work as a supervisor.
C) Select 1–2 examples that demonstrate your work in other higher education assignments, like management roles. This may include pedagogical development work or assignments such as Assistant Head of Department, Head of Programme, Teacher Team Leader, Education Leader/Secretary and Study Counsellor.
Materials such as course descriptions, lesson plans, examination assignments, laboratory experiments, reports on pedagogical development work or other materials that you have developed should be attached as appendices.
4.3 Personal pedagogical development and future plans
In this section, you should reflect on your pedagogical development over time. You should describe your visions and future plans, and if you have extensive experience, you are also expected to reflect on your development to this day.
A) If you are further on in your career, describe and reflect on how your pedagogical approach has developed over time, focusing on the last 5–10 years. Discuss the steps you have taken to develop your pedagogical practice and competence. Describe how you have approached changing conditions for your teaching, and how you have kept your pedagogical competence up to date.
B) Regardless of your career stage, describe your future pedagogical goals and visions and how you think about your future pedagogical work and your continued competence development. Connect this to your examples under 4.2, if appropriate. Describe what steps you plan to take to develop your pedagogical practice and skills.
5. Production of study materials
Describe your efforts to produce textbooks, compendiums, laboratory guides, etc. Indicate the target group and the extent of your own effort. You should clearly describe your pedagogical considerations, for example on the basis of the didactic questions of what, how and why. Also describe to what extent others use the study materials you have produced.
6. Collegial collaboration for learning
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning includes exchanging experiences of teaching and learning with colleagues. Exchanges can take place within a specific subject area or on a more general basis, as well as locally or internationally.
Describe how and to what extent you have collaborated with colleagues on teaching and student learning, for example by participating in higher education conferences, pedagogy research and publications, activity in educational networks and other forms of sharing of experience.
7. Pedagogical activities and knowledge sharing outside the university
Describe the pedagogical activities that you have pursued outside the university. This might cover dissemination of knowledge about research and education to the surrounding community, for example at science festivals or in popular science publications.
If you have worked in environments outside the university and have experience in, for example, project management, personnel training or similar, describe this. The pedagogical content must be clear for all activities you describe.
8. Other pedagogical qualifications
Describe other pedagogical qualifications that you consider relevant, such as teacher awards, study trips with a pedagogical purpose, pedagogical mentoring, collaborations on educational issues and participation in educational networks.
Present the appendices that you refer to in your educational portfolio in a clear and transparent manner. Preferably use a numbered table of contents with a clear title for each appendix. All included appendices should be referenced in the running text.
Keep in mind that it is important to be able to substantiate the experiences you bring up in the portfolio, and that you should therefore attach certificates from, for example, Director of Studies that certify the responsibility you have had for various forms of pedagogical activities as well as your pedagogical skills. Furthermore, it is important that sufficient details are disclosed. For example, in order to clearly strengthen your experiences as a supervisor, it is important that things such as students’ names, dissertation titles, graduation years, your role as main supervisor, “de facto” main supervisor, assistant supervisor and years of study are clearly presented. Furthermore, attached documentation to confirm this as needed, e.g. course transcripts from Ladok, summary of doctoral student supervision from Ladok obtained via Qlikview,* copies of other formal documents that can support the role of supervisor/examiner, letters from the main supervisor confirming and describing your role if you were the “de facto” main supervisor. However, pay attention so that personal information such as social security numbers of students are not included in your appendices.
* Note that Chalmers Faculty Appointment Committee relies on graduate student supervision data found in Ladok/Qlikview, so it is important to make sure the information found there is correct and up to date. This is relevant for Chalmers employees only.