Teaching portfolios used in appointments for academic positions

The primary tasks of any university are to carry out research and offer research-based degree programmes. In connection with appointments to academic positions, the applicants’ documented research qualifications and documented teaching qualifications are assessed.

Teaching qualifications are documented in a teaching portfolio which is attached as a separate document to the application.

In connection with job applications, a teaching portfolio is a description of the applicant’s concrete teaching experience and evaluations. The use of a teaching portfolio serves a dual purpose: It gives applicants a chance to reflect on and document their teaching experience and qualifications, and it provides the assessment committees with a more solid basis for assessing the applicant’s experience and qualifications.

It must be emphasised that the content of a teaching portfolio is part of a greater whole. This means that assessment committees must consider the various elements of an applicant’s qualification profile in relation to each other in each individual case. The assessment must be adapted to the content and level of a given position.

The content of the teaching portfolio must be assessed with due consideration for the requirements that apply to different job categories, as assistant professorships, associate professorships and professorships do not require the same level of experience. It may thus be expected that an applicant to a professorship is able to document a higher degree of development in his or her teaching qualifications than applicants for a position at the level of associate professor.

A Teaching portfolio at Aarhus University consists of the following three elements:

1. Description and documentation (required)

2. Reasons for own choices in relation to teaching (optional)

3. Results (optional)

1. Description and documentation (required)

The following elements must be included, preferably in the form provided below (if an applicant does not have these qualifications, this must also be stated). You can find a template for this form here.

  • Teaching completed (please state role, scope, type and level)
  • 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, e.g. in connection with Master’s theses, PhDs and other types of academic supervision (please state role, scope, type and level).
  • Courses completed in university pedagogics or other pedagogical courses.

The following elements may be included:

  • Experience with working in teams of teachers, collegial supervision etc.
  • Experience with degree programme management
  • Contributions to the development of subject areas, subjects or disciplines.
  • Contributions to textbooks or teaching material.
  • Other experience in the area of teaching and university pedagogics.

2. Reasons for own choices in relation to teaching (optional)

Examples of the applicant’s courses, including comments and considerations with regard to issues such as:

  • Teaching objectives, teaching strategies and types of examinations.
  • The role of the teacher and the role of the student.
  • The applicant’s pedagogical development.

The section ‘Reasons for own choices in relation to teaching’ should include a description of how the applicant conducts his or her teaching and why the applicant has chosen to approach teaching in this way.

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 may be included are experimental and development projects, teaching-related research projects in collaboration with other institutions, work on new methods of working or forms of examination, cross-disciplinary collaboration, IT, internationalisation, internships, continuing education courses and general institutional development.

3. Results (optional)

  • Student evaluations with the lecturer’s own comments and considerations (from two different classes)
  • References from, for example, the director of studies, the head of department, course managers or co-instructors in connection with pedagogical development.
  • Other indicators of teaching quality, e.g. level of activity, completion rates, absence, average marks etc.

In the section ‘Results’, different types of evaluations may be used to indicate the results of different teaching activities, including the effect of the pedagogical choices. The evaluations and forms of evaluation included in the portfolio must be accounted for and commented on.

Example of completed form: