Teaching Portfolios

Please note that, throughout the Teaching Portfolios section of the website and wiki, we use the terms "teaching portfolio" and "teaching dossier" interchangeably.

What is a teaching portfolio?

A teaching portfolio is a document that contains carefully selected and assembled materials and representative artifacts of your achievements in teaching. These materials and your accompanying narrative describe and represent your beliefs, thoughtfulness, and innovations in teaching.

Why create a teaching portfolio?

The teaching portfolio can serve many purposes, some of which include:

  • To document teaching effectiveness
  • To reflect on your approach to teaching (often called your "teaching philosophy")
  • An occasion to assess your practices, question your methods, and to plan for the future
  • As a formative tool to improve teaching strategies
  • As a supplement to the curricula vitae

At UBC-V, portfolios are typically required as part of the tenure and promotion process.

Getting started

If you're getting your portfolio ready for a job application or promotion and tenure, make sure to give yourself plenty of time. Crafting and assembling together a portfolio takes time. Before you start, talk to your department head to fully grasp the process, expectations, and deadlines.

Though starting a portfolio can be a daunting task, there are many resources and guides available to help you. We invite you to read and consider the information provided in the tabs above.

View "Teaching Dossier: An Introduction" (4:21 mins)

You may contact us for an individualized one-on-one consultation anytime.

Teaching portfolio self-assessment tool

To help you assess your own portfolio, download the Teaching Dossier Self-Assessment Tool (Word). If you'd like to have access to this as a Google document, click here.


For more information, please contact Dr. Isabeau Iqbal at isabeau.iqbal@ubc.ca


Pelger, S., & Larsson, M. (2018). Advancement towards the scholarship of teaching and learning through the writing of teaching portfolios. International Journal for Academic Development, 23(3), 179-191.

Trevitt, C., Stocks, C., & Quinlan, K. M. (2012). Advancing assessment practice in continuing professional learning: Toward a richer understanding of teaching portfolios for learning and assessment. International Journal for Academic Development, 17(2), 163-175.

What Goes Into a Teaching Portfolio?

Typically, a portfolio includes:

  • a teaching philosophy statement
  • information about your teaching activities
  • evidence of, and reflections on, teaching effectiveness
  • an Equity Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility statement (i.e., your approach to EDIA)

The specifics of what you include will depend on:

  1. the purpose of the portfolio;
  2. your discipline;
  3. the importance assigned to different items by your department and Faculty; and
  4. your appointment type* (for example, if you are an Educational Leadership faculty member, your dossier will contain a statement of Educational Leadership)

*Please speak with your department head or other trusted source to find out about the requirements in your context. If you are a faculty member at UBC, you will also consult the SAC Guide for requirements at each rank.


Little-Wienert, K., & Mazziotti, M. (2018). Twelve tips for creating an academic teaching portfolio. Medical teacher, 40(1), 26-30.

Teaching Philosophy Statement

"A teaching philosophy is a narrative essay which reflects an individual’s beliefs and values about teaching and learning, often including concrete examples of the ways in which that individual enacts those beliefs" (Bowne, 2017, p. 59).

It is typically 1-2 pages in length, written from the first person and in the present tense.

The teaching philosophy statement (TPS) communicates:

  • Your approach to teaching
  • How your teaching facilitates student learning
  • Why you teach the way you do
  • The goals you have for yourself and for your students
  • How your teaching enacts your beliefs and goals
  • What, for you, constitutes evidence of student learning
  • The ways in which you create an inclusive learning environment

As appropriate, draw from scholarly literature to help ground the approaches you take and beliefs you hold.

Prompts to Help you Write Your Teaching Philosophy Statement

To assist you in writing your teaching philosophy statement, you may find the questions below helpful:

Teaching Approach
  • Why do you teach the way you do? (How does your approach connect to your conception of how learning occurs? How does it link to your discipline?)
  • How does your teaching facilitate student learning?
  • How does your teaching reflect your beliefs and goals?
'Classroom' Climate
  • How would you describe the climate in your classroom (e.g., online, blended, face-to-face, etc.)? How do you think your students would describe it?
  • How do you create an inclusive learning environment?
Decolonizing Teaching
  • How do you situate yourself in relationship to the traditional territories on which you teach and live?
  • What approaches have you adopted to decolonize your course and teaching?
Teaching Goals and Strategies
  • What goals do you have for yourself and for your students?
  • How do your courses contribute to students' achievements in their university program and in their community?
  • What is your approach to designing a course and/or other learning experiences?
  • How do you assess students' learning and why do you choose this approach?
Teaching Aspirations
  • How would you like to grow as a teacher? What steps are you taking towards this?
  • In which ways has your teaching changed in the last five years? Are these changes for the better (for you, for your students)? Explain.
  • What would you like your students to remember about you as a teacher ten years from now?

Additional Resources

Here are some more resources to help you get started in writing and evaluating your teaching philosophy statement.

Sample Statements from UBC

You can find some teaching philosophy statement examples (and full portfolios) from UBC colleagues here:

  • Christina Hendricks, Professor of Teaching, Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia, CA
  • Sarah Leavitt, Assistant Professor, Creative Writing Program, University of British Columbia, CA
  • Greg Martin, Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia, CA
  • Jonathan Verrett, Associate Professor of Teaching, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia, CA


Bowne, M. (2017). Developing a Teaching Philosophy. Journal of Effective Teaching, 17(3), 59-63.

Teaching Statements. Center for Teaching. Vanderbilt University.

Teaching Activities

Now that you have articulated your teaching philosophy, you can build a case and connect that to your approach/beliefs/values as described in your philosophy.

The information below provides guidelines for what to include; you may encounter overlap and will need to decide what works best for you. As you consider what to include and/or emphasize, think about UBC's Strategic Plans.

Please consult your Department for requirements and samples (you may need to reach out to individual colleagues to ask if they would be willing to share their portfolio with you).

Teaching Responsibilities

Key information includes course titles and codes, enrolment numbers, and succinct descriptions of your roles and responsibilities for each course.

Include information about:

  • Teaching methods used in the classroom (e.g., collaborative inquiry, problem-based learning, case studies, lecture, small group discussion, problem solving, project-based, student presentations)
  • How you design your course and learning experiences within your course, how you think about and incorporate assessment of learning, attention to inclusivity, etc
  • Where appropriate, the number of teaching assistants assigned to assist you in the course and the nature of their involvement.
  • Details of other teaching activities such as invited lectures, special projects, seminars, advising students, supervision of a teaching or research practicum

In this sample, Dr. Greg Chan outlines his teaching responsibilities in the undergraduate classroom and provides sample syllabi.

Contributions to the Teaching Profession and/or Your Institution

This is an opportunity to share about innovative teaching strategies and other contributions you have made to curriculum and/or course development. As you write about this, resist the temptation to simply list your activities; consider how to include evidence of impact.

Include information about:

  • Workshops and seminars about teaching that you designed and instructed, including number of people who attended and any follow-up activities
  • Curriculum materials - details of published and unpublished curriculum materials, textbooks, workbooks, case studies, class notes, lab manuals
  • Research and professional contributions related to teaching - books, articles, papers in conference proceedings, bibliographies, newsletters

In this sample, Dr. Christina Hendricks (UBC) provides evidence of her educational leadership.

Supervising and Advising Students

Set the context of your supervisory duties.

You may wish to include information about:

  • Names of those supervised and the nature and extent of the supervisory activity. It is also useful to indicate the outcome of the supervision (e.g. the thesis title and acceptance date, the citation information of a student publication, or the date and venue of a public performance)
  • Supervision of graduate and undergraduate independent study or directed readings
  • Advising and mentorship on program of study, courses, or career and professional advice
  • Supervision which has contributed to publications and conference presentations

Professional Development in Teaching

This section describes the professional development activities (reading, conferences, courses, workshops) you have engaged in to enhance your abilities as an instructor. By including this section, you demonstrate engagement with and commitment to teaching--especially when you include a description of how you used the new information in your teaching.

You may wish to include information about:

  • Workshops, sessions, or certification that is specific to your development as an instructor
  • What key skills you gained and/or changes you made in your teaching as a result of participating in the activity
  • Attendance at professional training, orientation, or development sessions for faculty, such as orientation sessions for new faculty

In this sample, Dr. Jenélle Dowling summarizes her attendance at professional development activities and how she uses this knowledge in her classroom.

Committee Service

Many departmental, Faculty and University-wide activities do not take place in classrooms but do provide important support for teaching.

You may wish to include information about

  • Relevant activities that you have undertaken as a member of a Faculty, department, or cross-disciplinary committee, subcommittee, ad hoc committee, or task force. If relevant, consider membership in the Senate, Board of Governors, library committees, teaching and scholarship committees, Advisory Boards, teaching awards committees (faculty awards, university awards, special awards e.g. TA teaching) and other committees working on academic policy, curriculum, review, planning and implementation as they pertain to teaching activity
  • Teaching assistant professional training, orientation, or development
  • Involvement in establishing, adjudicating, or administering awards or honours recognizing and celebrating student achievement
  • Observing others teaching as part of formal or informal evaluation and feedback regarding teaching effectiveness

Documenting Your Teaching Effectiveness and Reflections

This section of your portfolio typically includes various sources of information that, collectively, demonstrate your teaching effectiveness.

Materials to draw from to document your effectiveness and to reflect on your teaching [1]:

  • Summarized student evaluations of teaching, including response rate
  • Peer reviews of teaching
  • Data from mid-course feedback or other formative student feedback
  • Teaching recognitions such as (1) awards received by your department, institution, and external awards (professional association, national and international teaching awards) and (2) funding received to pursue a teaching initiative. Note: Nominations for awards also indicate your reputation as a teacher.

Other materials may include:

  • Unsolicited and solicited letters from students (initiated by the unit)
  • Written comments from students on class evaluations (please note that, at UBC, the recommendation is against incorporating select comments from students; ie, you need to include all the comments or none)
  • Statements from alumni
  • Letters from course head, division head or chairperson

You will want to include your own reflections about your effectiveness in this section.

Additional Resources

The sample teaching portfolios below incorporate reflection and evaluations of teaching effectiveness:

  • Martin Andresen, Professor, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, CA
  • Jonathan Verrett, Associate Professor of Teaching, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (see 2020 Tenure Application tab), University of British Columbia
  • Catherine Rawn, Professor of Teaching, Psychology Department, University of British Columbia


Educational Leadership

Educational leaders promote meaningful changes that have a deep impact beyond the classroom and documenting your educational leadership activities is necessary for candidates in both the professoriate stream and educational leadership stream. Please do not assume that your educational leadership contributions will be “obvious” to your reader; instead, work to carefully present a case for your contributions, and highlight the impact of your work (with evidence, where possible).

At UBC, a well-constructed teaching portfolio and effective curriculum vitae may be used for merit considerations and in the tenure and promotion process. The teaching portfolio allows you to meaningfully expand on, and demonstrate the impact of, initiatives (and other information) you have included in your CV.

Please consult with your department head or chair of the tenure and promotion committee to determine exactly what documentation you must supply and in what format. The Senior Appointment Guide also provides helpful information.

Portfolios from UBC Educational Leadership Faculty Members

  • Silvia Bartolic, Associate Professor of Teaching, Department of Sociology, University of British Columbia
  • Christina Hendricks, Professor of Teaching and Academic Director for the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, University of British Columbia
  • Catherine Rawn, Professor of Teaching, Psychology Department, University of British Columbia
  • Jonathan Verrett, Associate Professor of Teaching, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia

Many thanks to the EL faculty members who have shared their teaching portfolios. If you would like to add your EL portfolio to list, please email Isabeau Iqbal (isabeau[dot]iqbal[at]ubc.ca).

Teaching Dossiers Additional Resources

Paper vs. Electronic

When it comes to developing your teaching portfolio, you will need to decide on a format: it can be in paper or electronic form – some people do both.

The following are some things to consider:

Electronic Paper
Audience Who is your target reader? Which format is most accessible to your target audience (i.e. most likely to be read)? Which format does your reader expect/want?
Ability to Customize Most software allows you to make a duplicate copy of your portfolio, resave with a different name, and edit as necessary, as well as modifying the ‘look and feel’ (colours, fonts and so on). All relevant documents will need to be resaved with changes and then printed off.
Multimedia Can include pictures, video clips, sound clips, text, images. Can include text and images.
Portability Content uploaded directly to the web. Can be viewed from any computer with internet access. As it is a physical document, it is often bulky, consisting of one or more large binders.
Security Variable, depending on the portfolio software: you can invite people to view your portfolio, send a link to your portfolio, make your portfolio public, or keep it private. Portfolio can be viewed by those whom you give it to in hardcopy format.
Ability to demonstrate learning/knowledge construction over time Yes Yes
Feedback Depending on the software used to create the portfolio, others may be able to provide you with feedback and you can choose whether to make feedback visible or not to others. Feedback cannot be easily incorporated into the portfolio unless you add it as a separate document.
Potential to encourage interaction (collaboration, communication) Easy to share as a hyperlink. You can choose to release smaller parts of it to certain people and allow others to view most or all of the material on your portfolio site; you may even pre-set a time span during which a given part of your portfolio can be viewed. Can be shared by lending the physical copy or printing/photocopying more copies.
Flexibility Yes. Flexibility influenced by choice of software. Flexible within the constraints of using paper and hardcopy artifacts.
Organizing and cataloguing learning materials Material can be easily organized, catalogued and modified; e-Portfolio software often includes tools for organizing/reorganizing materials. Materials can be organized, catalogued and modified within their source files (Word, PDF) or by reorganizing the paper copy.
Sustainability In addition to keeping your portfolio updated, regular maintenance may be required to ensure hyperlinks are still live and accurate. It is also important to note there are many ways to navigate through your portfolio and that changing one page may have cascading effects elsewhere. Sustainability depends on the frequency of updates to portfolio content.
source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Documentation:CTLT_Resources/Selected_TL_Topics_Portfolios