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By John Zubizarreta
Director of Faculty Development
Columbia College, SC, U.S.A.

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  1. 1. Winston-Salem State University Developing the Academic Portfolio for Improvement, Assessment, and Evaluation of Teaching 9-12 Aug. 2010 John Zubizarreta Director of Honors & Faculty Development Columbia College <> FOUR-DAY ACADEMIC PORTFOLIO WORKSHOP The international movement in higher education toward the use of academic portfolios for improving classroom performance and for a wide range of personnel decisions is at an unprecedented height. Institutions in the United States, Canada, the Middle East, and many European and Australasian countries now have implemented portfolios as a vital instrument in enhancing the quality of teaching by taking advantage of the portfolio's efficacy in promoting an institutional culture of reflective practice, a venue in which faculty take ownership of their development and evaluation by critically examining the varied dimensions of the teaching enterprise and by tying reflection to selective, concrete evidence of performance. The process of writing an academic portfolio has intrinsic value in improving teaching because it invites a faculty member to collaborate closely with a mentor in examining teaching philosophy, methods, materials, unique ventures, diverse evaluative sources, and goals in a concise format that balances materials from self, from others, and from the products or outcomes of student learning. The mentoring aspect of portfolio writing is crucial in helping faculty focus on teaching improvement efforts and on methods of documenting performance. The three-step mentoring process conducted in a four-day workshop is the most effective way of keeping faculty on task in developing portfolios, a strategy that encourages faculty and mentors to collaborate intensely over a specific period of time which involves three private conferences in which they discuss issues of purpose, structure, contents, documentation, implementation, and goals. In a group workshop scheduled midway in the four days, other topics such as mentoring or evaluation are explored in plenary session, but the central purpose of the mentoring process is to maximize the teaching improvement that results from close collaboration in portfolio development. During the workshop, faculty meet together during the opening and closing events and at the working lunch session on the third day. They meet individually with their mentor three times and work on their own between consultations, developing their portfolio drafts and collecting selected information for inclusion in the portfolio.
  2. 2. WORKSHOP SCHEDULE Day One: 8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Coffee. Check in and pick up workshop materials. 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. General session: information, scheduling, expectations, questions. Chairs & faculty invited to discuss implementation and evaluation issues. 10:00 - 2 p.m. Individual 30-minute conferences with mentor. Day Two: 8:00 - 4:00 p.m. Individual 30-minute conferences with mentor. Day Three: 8:00 - 4:00 p.m. Individual 30-minute conferences with mentor. 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Working Lunch: The Mentoring Process and/or Issues of Evaluation. Chairs & faculty invited to join the conversation and planning ideas. Day Four: 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. Individual conferences with mentor, if needed. 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Closing session. Academic leaders & faculty invited. Reception with PORTFOLIO DISPLAY and awards. The Workshop Leader: John Zubizarreta has worked individually and with renowned colleagues in mentoring faculty, deans, provosts, and presidents worldwide in developing teaching, professional, and administrative portfolios. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on using portfolios for improvement and assessment of teaching and academic leadership. He is author of The Learning Portfolio: Reflective Practice for Improving Student Learning. He is President of the National Collegiate Honors Council, a former Carnegie Foundation/C.A.S.E. Professor for South Carolina, and Director of Honors and Faculty Development at Columbia College. Mentors: Dr. Chris Burkett, Asst. Prof. of Education, Asst. Dir. of M.Ed. Program in Divergent Learning Dr. Mary Steppling, Professor of Speech-Language Pathology & Division Chair