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Professional Development Portfolio

A Professional Development Portfolio is frequently a structured mechanism by which you can record and evidence the ongoing development of your practice in teaching. In essence, it is an opportunity for you to evidence how your teaching has been critically reviewed and developed (Fry, Ketteridge and Marshall, 2009).

What do I include in the portfolio?

Before you can produce a teaching portfolio, you will need to gather evidence on your teaching, and evaluate and reflect on its effectiveness and impact. In addition, you will consider your own identity as a teaching practitioner, the values you hold and bring to your teaching, and your overall philosophy of teaching and learning. You will collate all of this evidence and reflection into your personal portfolio. Like all professional development, your engagement with your teaching portfolio will be ongoing and you will enhance it upon each new set of experiences or developments.

Elements that you might include in your portfolio are:

  • My Teaching and Learning Philosophy
  • My Identity as a Teacher in My Discipline (e.g. cultural awareness, cultural identity, values, worldview)
  • My Experiences of Teaching (e.g. ranges of cohorts, learning stages, experiences of team teaching, supervision of tutors)
  • My Approaches to Teaching, Learning and Assessment (including programme/module design, curriculum development)
  • Evidence of My Teaching (self-reflection, evaluation of data gathered from peers observing my teaching, my experiences of observing others teaching, feedback from my students (formal, informal), critical incidents)
  • Professional Development I have undertaken (e.g. engagement with UCD T&L UTL Programmes, initiatives with colleagues, Teaching and Learning Forum, UCD Performance for Growth, UCD T&L Fellowships, National Forum Professional Development Framework, National Forum projects) 
  • Evidence of Scholarly Research and Publication in Teaching and Learning (including funding received for initiatives)
  • Leadership and Management (e.g. programme chair, T&L and/or EDI committees, new course proposals)
  • Evidence of Pastoral Care and Support for Students

Learn More 

See our dedicated resource Writing a Teaching Philosophy

What is a Teaching Philosophy?

Your teaching philosophy encompasses the values and attitudes that underpin your approaches to teaching and learning. It also includes the theoretical perspectives and models that inform your teaching. Given that your philosophy is personal to you and your discipline, and based on your experiences, your learning, and your development as a teacher, if you choose to write a Teaching Philosophy Statement, this will be reflective and written in the first person.

Important questions you can ask yourself as you consider your teaching philosophy are:

  • What are my core values and beliefs about teaching and learning and my role in it?
  • What is my personal and professional cultural identity and how does that impact my teaching?
  • What does ‘teaching’ and ‘student learning’ mean to me?
  • What theories, practices, or pedagogical models appeal to me and why?

UCD and National Initiatives

UCD has devised a formal Development Framework for Faculty, a guidance on what activities are expected at different levels. It provides the opportunity for individuals to illustrate their achievements under specified headings and one of the key areas relates to Teaching and Learning:

  • Engagement with Student Learning
  • Enhancement of Practice: Personal and Professional Development
  • Module / Programme Design and Enhancement
  • Scholarship Dissemination and Esteem 

For more detail, see Faculty Promotions. You may also like to learn about how you can develop your professional teaching practice and engage with the scholarship of teaching and learning through our University Teaching Qualification. If you are a tutor or demonstrator, support is provided through a twice-yearly orientation session.

Another professional development initiative devised by UCD is ‘Performance for Growth’ (P4G). This provides the opportunity for all UCD employees to have at least one annual reflective conversation with their line manager, Head of School or alternate reviewer around achievements and challenges of the past year, goals and objectives going forward, career aspirations, and professional development. Reflection on teaching during this process is aligned with the headings from the Development Framework for Faculty.

The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is the national body which focuses on partnering with the various stakeholders in higher education, i.e., students, staff and leaders in Irish higher education, to develop ‘an inclusive, collaborative and innovative culture that maximises learning impact for the success of all students’. It has recently developed a supportive framework for the enhancement of teaching in higher education. 

You may wish to reflect on your teaching and align it with the National Forum’s Professional Development Framework for All Those Who Teaching in Higher Education, or collaborate with colleagues within and outside the institution on a dedicated teaching project.