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Reflecting on your Teaching Practice with Faculty Portfolios

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by Amy Lin, the Teaching & Learning Centre

in the March 2020 issue


The Faculty Portfolio is a professional development activity for faculty members. The portfolio framework supports collaboration between faculty and chairs, contributing to Seneca’s commitment to great teaching.


What is a Faculty Portfolio?
A faculty portfolio provides documented evidence of their teaching journey from a variety of sources and contexts. Completing a faculty portfolio is a scholarly activity where the process of gathering and organizing material over time encourages experimentation, reflection, and development of a better understanding of the next steps to improving one’s teaching.

A faculty portfolio may also be presented publicly to share teaching successes and invite comments from colleagues and their peers.


Standards of Practice for Faculty and the Faculty Portfolio
The Faculty Portfolio is built around Seneca’s Standards of Practice for faculty. Each domain will be examined in detail with evidence and reflections to support your work in each of these areas.

The Seneca Standards of Practice for faculty is designed to

  • promote a common language that fosters an understanding of what it means to be a reflective and effective teacher
  • identify the practices and actions of the teaching faculty
  • guide the professional judgement of the teaching faculty
  • guide the implementation and evaluation of professional learning for the Seneca teaching community

The four domains are:

Domain 1: Students and Student Success
Domain 2: Professional Knowledge
Domain 3: Professional Practice
Domain 4: Professional Learning

More information on Seneca’s Standards of Practice for Faculty can be found on the Standards of Practice website.


Developmental Continuum
This tool has been designed to align to Seneca’s Standards of Practice and Core Literacies, and to recognize that faculty are on a developmental continuum of personal growth. Faculty will use the tool to identify where they are in the four domains and their areas of strengths and needs. The developmental continuum will provide a common language to facilitate conversations and receive descriptive feedback.

the faculty portfolio developmental continuum
Emerging Exploring Engaging Empowering
- Becoming familiar and learning about
- Recognizing the importance
- Observing
- Beginning to put into practice
- Experimenting and reflecting on ways to achieve student success
- Incorporate into practice
- Routine use
- Reflective on experience and practice
- Analyses and integrates information to expand practice and understand impact on teacher effectiveness and student learning
- Practice is embedded and automatic and empowers students
- Use is more sophisticated and an integral part of experience and practice
- Create ways of evaluating effectiveness


Components of the Faculty Portfolio

  • Your statement of philosophy of teaching
  • Documentation of your teaching in the four domains of the Faculty Standards of Practice
    • Students and Student Success
    • Professional Knowledge
    • Professional Learning
    • Professional Practice
  • Reflections on each of the artefacts supporting the above domains
  • Classroom observation completed by your Chair

Your Professional Learning Action Plan and the Portfolio Checklist are the final step of the process that is reviewed with your Chair. The Action Plan will inform your professional development for the upcoming year.


Tips for Completing your Faculty Portfolio
Remember that less is more. The portfolio is not a list of your accomplishments, but a collection of evidence that supports your teaching and assessment strategies and the learning of your students.

You can start anytime – but the best time would be now! It is advisable to start collecting artefacts while you are teaching and not wait until after you have finished teaching the course. This will make the process much easier when you come to put it all together.

Think of the portfolio as a chance to show off your best work as a teacher and the work of your students. However, don’t forget that you can also use negative experiences to show your growth and your ability to reflect and improve.


Ready to get started?
Visit the Faculty Portfolio section of The Teaching & Learning Centre website for more information. To request a Faculty Portfolio site, send your request to faculty.portfolio@senecacollege.ca.

If you have any further questions, contact the Teaching & Learning Centre.



View the March 2020 issue of the Academic Newsletter.

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