Guidelines for preparing a teaching portfolio


A teaching portfolio contains a description of your teaching experience, considerations and evaluations of your teaching activities. The teaching portfolio serves as documentation for the following: the teaching assignments that you have performed, how the teaching has been conducted, why you have chosen to approach the teaching in that way and with what results. 

A teaching portfolio at Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University must include the following three elements:

1. Description and documentation

The following elements must be included and must 1) be listed according to factual information in the form found below and 2) partly described in the applicant’s own words (it should also be mentioned, if the applicant does not possess these qualifications):

  • Conducted teaching (the scope, number, nature and level of the courses)
  • Experience with course management/responsibility (please state role, scope, type and level)
  • Examinations carried out (please state role, scope, type and level).
  • Experience with supervision (Master’s thesis, PhD and similar tasks - please state role, scope, type and level)
  • Courses completed in university pedagogics or other pedagogical courses
  • Experience working in teams of teachers, collegial supervision etc.
  • Experience with degree programme management and development, including postgraduate teaching and further and continuing education
  • Contribution to the development of subject areas, subjects or disciplines
  • Contribution to textbooks or teaching material
  • Other experience in the area of teaching and university pedagogics

2. Reasons for choices in relation to teaching

Here the applicant should describe in his or her own words how the teaching was conducted and why the applicant has chosen to approach the teaching in the given way. The applicant must provide examples of teaching plans with comments, the teaching material used and guidelines that describe and document the applicant’s own perception of e.g.:

  • teaching objectives and strategies
  • the correlation with the form of examination, didactic conditions and the connection with the general course goals pursuant to the academic regulations
  • the role of lecturer and the role of student
  • the applicant’s own pedagogical development

The examples presented may serve to shed light on correlations between the examination form, didactic conditions and the connection to general course objectives pursuant to the academic regulations. Other areas which can be used as a basis for assessment include experimental and development projects, teaching-related research projects in collaboration with other institutions, development of new working methods and/or forms of examination, interdisciplinary collaboration, integrating IT, internationalisation, internships and continuing education courses.

3. Results

Here the applicant should describe the results of the chosen forms of teaching. The results must be documented by statements, evaluations, course certificates, statistics, or simular.

  • Evaluations from students (from at least two different classes)
  • References from, for example, the director of studies, course manager, the head of department or others in connection with pedagogical development.
  • Other indicators of teaching quality, e.g. level of activity, completion rates, absence, average marks etc.

The evaluation of the applicant’s teaching should be kept within a relevant and systematic framework which includes ordinary teaching evaluations, statements in connection with course participation or teamwork, statements from pedagogical supervisors. This means that the attached evaluations and evaluation forms must be contextualised and commented on, so that they are linked to the different teaching activities and the that effect of the pedagogical choices are commented on if possible.

Assessment committees should, however, take note that there are limitations to the value of the information and documentation procured from students, colleagues, supervisors or directors of studies.

Guidelines for the applicant about the format of the teaching portfolio

A teaching portfolio is not meant to be a collection of all the documents and material produced in connection with the applicant’s teaching activities. Rather, a good teaching portfolio consists of carefully selected and well-organised material that yields a clear, well-documented and thorough picture of the applicant’s teaching experience, perspectives on teaching and his or her teaching results.  The teaching portfolio is used by the members of the assessment committee and throughout the appointment process, and it should include the applicant’s considerations regarding his or her approaches to teaching and any further contributions he or she has made to the teaching in various fields.  A teaching portfolio typically consists of 4-8 pages excluding appendices.

Combined, the three main points - description and documentationreasons for own choices in relation to teaching as well as results constitute a solid basis for assessing the applicant’s teaching qualifications. The point description and documentation should clarify the extent and diversity of the applicant’s teaching experience and experience in developing teaching activities and constructing syllabi as well as the applicant’s role in this.  The point Reasons for own choices in relation to teaching and supervision describes the  applicant’s method of teaching and supervision in the chosen topics and the reasons for these didactical choices.   The point Results should include the results of evaluations of the applicant’s various teaching activities.  The applicant must state the reason for selecting the attached evaluations.

Please note that the portfolio must be considered in due regard to the requirements that apply within the job category in question, since the different job categories – assistant professors, associate professors and professors – require different levels of experience.  Applicants for a professorship are expected to document a higher degree of development in their teaching qualifications than applicants for an associate professorship.

The purpose of the teaching portfolio

The management at Aarhus University have decided that all applications for academic positions advertised after 1 April 2015 must be accompanied by a teaching portfolio.  The purpose is to place the necessary emphasis on the applicants’ teaching competences when assessing candidates for academic positions.

The university’s primary purposes are to conduct research and offer research-based degree programmes. For appointments of academic staff, the qualification assessment places emphasis on the applicant’s documented qualifications as a researcher and lecturer, and the overall purpose of a teaching portfolio is to give the assessment committee a foundation for assessing the applicant’s teaching qualifications.    

Using the teaching portfolio in the appointment process serves a double purpose: it gives applicants a chance to consider and document their teaching experience and qualifications, and it provides the assessment committee with a more solid basis for assessing the applicant’s level of experience and qualification.