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Developing Your Educator's Portfolio

The purpose of a portfolio is to make significant chunks of what educator's do available for peer review.  Only when we have something to value, will we have something to evaluate....and we cannot value something that we cannot share, exchange, and examine.      L. Shulman, PhD, AAHE, 1990
Teaching vs. Educator's Portfolio
Educators wear many different hats including (1) serving on committees; (2) directing courses/clerkships/rotations; and (3) curriculum development to mention just a few.  Teaching is just one of the multiple roles educators fulfill.  MCW chooses to use the Educator's Portfolio (EP) because it captures a breath of roles based on review of literature, survey, and personal experience.
The EP provides evidence of quality rather than just highlighting samples of an educator's work (e.g., cases, videos, book chapters).

10 Categories of the Educator's Portfolio
  1. Philosophy of Education – Personal theory of learning and teaching
  2. Curriculum Development/Instructional Materials – Design, development and evaluation of curricula/programs
  3. Teaching Skills – Documentation of teaching by target audience, year and topic
  4. Assessment of Learner Performance – Construction and implementation of examinations/methods of assessment
  5. Adviser – Lists of formal and informal advisees
  6. Educational Administration – Leadership and management in education
  7. Educational Scholarship – Leadership and management in education
  8. Continuing Education – Evidence of growing knowledge and skills as an educator
  9. Honors and Awards – Recognition by peers and students
  10. Long Term Goals – Reflection on portfolio and future plans

Developing Your Educator's Portfolio
  1. Begin with a short personal statement (Philosophy of Education) about what you are highlighting in the evidence you provide.

    "The evidence below shows my effectiveness as a medical teacher for required, core courses for MCW medical students and GIM residents, 2003-2004 year".
  2. Write down all the "education-related" activities you are involved in within the day.  Review your list and place a "V" next to the activity that you value and ask yourself "Does this count toward promotion?” Have you made a difference?  Do you value your work? Select an item/topic and specify what you do in detail, then document your information in CV-format, using phrases, not complete sentences.

    ROLE: Small Group Facilitator

    M1 Medical Information Management
    Small group instruction to apply critical evaluation skills to publish articles 4-8 groups, 8-10 students, each semester, instruction schedule staggered to   accommodate all 200-220 students with 3-6 issues.
  3. Next, present your data.  You may ask yourself "What should I show?".  To help you determine what evidence (data) to use, think about a hierarchy:
3. Results
2. Analyzed data compared to my peers
1. Analyzed data alone
Use a visible table or chart.   A good thing to remember is to be sure to collect data in all of your educational roles and save it in a file - then when it comes time to develop your EP you can demonstrate your strengths as an educator). 
Use comparative data.  How do you rate compared to other faculty (makes for a much stronger presentation).  Instead of showing the "means" result - try displaying data as a "frequency" (very good, better, etc.)  Note: Be sure to include names of lectures.


Sample EPs

Associate Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine
Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics/Emergency Medicine
Associate Professor
Department of Family Medicine Residency Program
Associate Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine
Associate Professor
Department of Family Medicine
Assistant Professor
Medicine/General Internal Medicine
Portfolio Resources
Beecher A, Lindemann J, Morzinski J, Simpson D.  Use of the Educator's Portfolio to Stimulate Reflective Practice Among Medical Educators.  Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 1997; 66(5):249-256.
Braskamp L. Ory J.  Record and Portfolios, Assessing Faculty Work: Enhancing Individual and Institutional Performance.  San Francisco: Jossey Bass: 1994, pgs. 226-236.
Carroll R.  Professional Development: A Guide To The Educator's Portfolio.  Advances In Physiology Education, 1996;16(1):S10-S13.
Challis M, Mathers N, Howe A, Field.  Portfolio-based Learning: Continuing Medical Education For General Practitioners - A Mid Point Evaluation.  Medical Education, 1997; 21:22-26.
DeWitt T, Vaughn L.  Promotion Criteria For Clinical Educators.  JAMA, 1998; 279(2):116.
Fincher R, Simpson D, Mennin S, Rosenfeld G, Rothman A, McGrew M, Hansen P, Mazmanian P, Turnbill J.  Scholarship in Teaching: An Imperative For the 21st Century.  Academic Medicine, 2000; 75: 887-894.
Glassnick C.  Reconsidering Scholarship.  J Public Health Management Practice, 2000; 6:4-9.
Hafler J, Lovejoy F.  Scholarly Activities Recorded in the Portfolios of Teacher-Clinician Faculty.  Academic Medicine, 2000; 75(6): 649-652.
Hutchings P, Shulman L.  The Scholarship of Teaching New Elaborations and Developments.  Change, 1999; Sept/Oct: 11-15.
Kuhn G.  Faculty Development: The Educator's Portfolio: Its Preparation, Uses, and Value in Academic Medicine.  Academic Emergency Medicine, 2004; 11(3):307-311.
Leschke R, Simpson D, Hargarten S.  Experiments Utilizing an Expanded Definition of Scholarship in the Promotional Process: The Medical College of Wisconsin.  SAEM/AACEM Faculty Development Handbook.  Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
Levinson W, Rubenstein A.  Integrating Clinician-Educators into Academic Medical Centers: Challenges and Potential Solutions.  Academic Medicine, 2000; 75(9):906-912.
Lindemann J, Beecher A, Morzinski J, Simpson D.  Translating Family Medicine's Educational Expertise Into Academic Success.  Family Medicine, 1995; 27(5): 306-309.
Lovejoy F, Clark M.  A Promotion Ladder for Teachers at Harvard Medical School: Experience and Challenges.  Academic Medicine, 1995; 70(12): 1079-1086.
Marks E. Defining Scholarship at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine: A study in Cultures.  Academic Medicine, 2000; 75(9):935-939.
Mennin S.  Standards for Teaching in Medical Schools: Double or Nothing.  Medical Teacher, 1999; 21:543-545.
Simpson D, Hafler J, Brown D, Wilkerson L. Documentation Systems for Educators? Seeking Academic Promotion in US Medical Schools. Academic Medicine, 2004; 79(8):783-790.
Simpson D, Marcdante K, Duthie E, Sheehan K, Holloway R, Towne J.  Valuing Educational Scholarship at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  Academic Medicine, 2000; 75: 930-934.
Simpson D, Fincher R.  Making A Case for the Teaching Scholar.  Academic Medicine, 1999; 74: 1296-1299.
Simpson D, Morzinski J, Beecher A, Lindemann J.  Meeting the Challenge to Document Teaching Accomplishments: The Educator's Portfolio.  Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 1994; 6:203-206.


Portfolio Web Sites
  • University of Flordia College of Medicine - Faculty Development/Society of Teaching Scholars, Educator's Portfolio.
  • University of Miami School of Medicine - Guidelines for Construction of an Educator's Portfolio.
  • Medical College of Georgia - Educator's Portfolio.
  • University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine - Electronic & Word document versions of EP.
  • Brown University - The Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning - The Teaching Portfolio (pdf document).
  • The University of Texas at Austin - Preparing a Teaching Portfolio.
  • John Hopkins School  of Medicine - Documenting Your Scholarship In Teaching (Teaching Portfolio)