Assessment of the teaching portfolio

Guidelines for assessment committees

The applicant’s teaching qualifications cannot be assessed based on just one criterion. The final assessment of an applicant’s teaching qualifications should therefore take several criteria into account, not unlike in the assessment of an applicant’s qualifications as a researcher.

The following criteria should be included in the assessment committee’s overall assessment:

The following criteria should be included in the assessment committee’s overall assessment:

  • The scope and diversity of the applicant’s teaching experience
  • Development of teaching qualifications
    Among other things, an assessment should take into account whether the applicant has:
    • acquired experience teaching on several levels (BA, MA, PhD and continuing education programmes, guest lectures at other universities)
    • acquired experience with various forms of instruction (including various forms of lectures, classroom teaching, student guidance and collegial supervision etc.)
    • expanded his or her knowledge of pedagogical and didactic subjects
    • been involved in work to develop new forms of instruction, courses, disciplines and study programmes.
  • The relevance and consistency of the arguments 
  • The assessment should take into account whether there is a high level of cohesion between the applicant’s goals, strategies, forms of instruction and examination, his or her own role as a lecturer and expectations to the students. 
  • Results
    Based on the students’ evaluations, the assessment committee should consider the extent to which the organisation of the courses and the teaching has contributed to the students’ learning. Emphasis should also be on how the applicant has interpreted the students’ evaluations and in what ways the evaluations have been applied by the applicant in the work to develop his or her teaching approaches and activities afterwards. References from e.g. directors of studies, programme directors or heads of department, e.g. in connection with pedagogical development, may also be included in the assessment of the applicant’s qualifications. Assessment committees should take note that there are limitations to the value of the information and documentation procured from students, colleagues, supervisors or directors of studies. 
  • Whether the material is in accordance with the department’s needs, as described in the job advertisement.
  • Job category 
    The teaching portfolios are used and assessed with due regard for the requirements that apply within the various job categories. 

    Applicants for assistant professorships are not required to have previous teaching experience. However, many applicants have some experience from the PhD programme and/or from employment as student teachers, which they may account for in the teaching portfolio. 

    Pursuant to the job structure and Aarhus University’s supplementary regulations, applicants for associate professorships are subject to minimum requirements regarding their level of teaching experience and teaching education. Accordingly, based on the documentation in the teaching portfolio, the assessment committee must ensure that the applicant meets the following minimum requirements: 
    • The applicant has completed the compulsory course on university pedagogics for assistant professors at Aarhus BSS (or similar)
    • The applicant has been responsible for two full semester course programmes (10 ECTS regular courses) - preferably at two different levels and with the application of various forms of instructions - under qualified supervision (or similar)
    • The portfolio must include a statement by the director of studies or other relevant expert regarding the applicant’s pedagogical qualifications and experiences.

Please note:

If the applicant does not have sufficient teaching experience at the time of assessment, he or she may be employed on a probationary period within which the minimum requirements must be fulfilled. 

Applicants for professorships are not subject to any formal requirements regarding their teaching abilities, but applicants for professorships are expected to be able to document a higher degree of development in terms of their teaching qualifications than applicants for academic positions on a lower level.  

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.