Showcasing your college teaching

With an e-portfolio. You should have an e-portfolio.  We require portfolios as part of the culminating experience in many of our degrees, and we've switched to e-portfolios in some of them. We haven't found the perfect software, yet, I'm afraid.  I'm also on a statewide PLA task force that has discussed e-portfolios as a means for students to document their college-level learning.  From David Brooks, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Should Graduate Students Create E-Portfolios?
I asked Chris Pastore, a newly hired visiting lecturer in my department, about his online portfolio, because a senior professor on the search committee that hired him had praised it. Chris built his site as one of his final projects while earning a master's in teaching philosophy at the same time he was completing his Ph.D. in history. The learning curve for Web design, he said, was fairly steep yet painless. None of the jobs he applied for in the last year asked for a teaching portfolio, but he was able to showcase his electronic version by simply dropping his URL in his cover letters to potential employers.

While it appears concise and well organized, his e-portfolio also allowed him to include far more material than the traditional, 20-page print portfolio sent to search committees. And, Chris said, search-committee members could all read the information simultaneously, rather than having it linger on one person's desk indefinitely.

Most faculty members I consulted admitted that they are quick to scope out the personal Web sites of job candidates. Graduates who maintain e-portfolios confirmed that when they've tracked their hits, most of the hits are from the places where they've applied for jobs or fellowships.
I'm not aware of any academic jobs that require candidates to have e-portfolios—yet. Most of what's possible to put together on a site is possible in PDF form, too. So, when coursework, comps, conference presentations, and dissertation deadlines loom, why do it?
It's more than a question of careerism....


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