Educational Portfolio: benefits and process

Educational Portfolio

An educational portfolio is nothing but a coherent document that includes the set of materials that communicate your effectiveness as a trainer. There are numerous benefits of constructing a good portfolio for trainers-

  1. For the advancement in trainer career-
    1. The teaching portfolio is generally required when a teacher is looking for a promotion in the same organization or looking for a new job. 
    2. Recent graduates can use a portfolio to score an academic position. It is even used by instructors seeking tenure or promotion by demonstrating growth through their past careers. 
    3. The portfolio is also a great tool to review the instructors for salary review. It ensures that good teaching is appropriately rewarded. 
  2. For improvement of teaching-
    1. Portfolios once created can be used and reused if periodically updated for the improvement of teaching.
    2.  It makes the teachers aware of what they are doing right and conversely, what needs improvement.
    3.  It can even motivate them to conduct research and find new techniques or evaluation procedures to improve the experience of their students.
  3. For the administrators or organizations-
  4. Portfolios provide a great assessment tool for teacher evaluation.
  5. Help keep a proper record of teachers’ accomplishments. 
  6. It motivates teachers to do better and better, develop as well as present better evidence of teaching and learning. 

The creation of the educational portfolio is a comprehensive process that includes the quantitative as well as qualitative achievements of a trainer. Broadly, the process looks something like the following-

The collection of the items for your portfolio would be the first step towards making a successful educator portfolio. Degrees, certifications, letters of recommendation are included here. You can even include pictures, lesson plans, resumes, work samples, letters, etc. It can even include audio. Any and everything that can attest to your career and good run as an educator can be included. These things help personalize your teaching portfolio. Every teacher can have degrees and certifications but not everyone can have personalized handwritten notes from students, thanking them for their support in their education and life. 

  • Selection of the most relevant artifacts-

The next step is the difficult one. Choosing the right material to be used in your final portfolio can be a little unsettling, but not impossible. The key is to include your best work that showcases your efforts and their results on the student education and its quality. The questions that the artifacts must answer are the teaching skill they showcase, prospective employers would like to see and the professional guidelines to be followed. 

  • Refine the selected items-

After you have completed the final selection process of the items and artifacts for your portfolio, the said artifacts need to be refined to be presented professionally. Few of your lesson plans might need retyping or the images included might need to be cleaned up. Some explanations and descriptions are required for all the artifacts that would be included in the portfolio to explain their importance. Also, the resumes and other documents must follow a proper format. This refining or polishing gives a professional outlook to your teaching portfolio.

  • Organize your documents-

In the next step, the documents and artifacts need to be organized in proper order. Here all the items are grouped, organized, and sorted preferably in sections. All the data must be factual, for this the help of an LMS can be taken. After considerable use, the LMS gives you the growth chart of students and lesson plans, etc. LMSs such as Adaptive LMS will help give you proper quantified as well as qualified data to be included in your portfolio. 

  • Edit it to get desired professional appeal

The final step is to edit the portfolio finally. All the desired tweaks and finishes must be applied here to get to the final product of your portfolio.

After this is done, the final product needs to be reviewed and re-reviewed. Review it by yourself a few times and then you can rope in a knowledgeable person to finally review your handiwork to give you peace of mind. 

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