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Teaching portfolios: their role in teaching and learning policy

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Teaching Portfolios are now common in higher education. They are used both developmentally and summatively in spite of the fact that many academics find them generically quite unfamiliar. This paper explores, primarily conceptually, the experience of one institution as to the ways in which portfolios have functioned in its processes and its practice. The paper introduces a small empirical sample of portfolios in an attempt to give concrete meaning to some of the points made. Ultimately, it questions whether portfolios can have a mixed developmental/summative mode of existence and still meet the purposes the institution intends. This raises the issue of the extent to which a summative mechanism can become an end in itself and can actively limit progressive potential. Les dossiers d'enseignement (teaching portfolios) font maintenant partie de la vie courante en enseignement superieur. Ils sont utilises dans une double optique de developpement et d'evaluation sommative en depit du fait que de nombreux universitaires les jugent generalement assez etranges. Cet article explore, d'un point de vue conceptuel, l'experience d'une institution en ce qui a trait a l'utilisation des dossiers d'enseignement dans le cadre de ses processus et de sa pratique. L'article presente un echantillon empirique limite de dossiers d'enseignement dans le but d'illustrer, de facon concrete, l'argument presente. Ultimement, l'article remet en question l'idee que les dossiers d'enseignement peuvent a la fois avoir une existence mixte de developpement/d'evaluation sommative et atteindre les objectifs vises par une institution. Ceci souleve la question de savoir dans quelle mesure un mecanisme sommatif peut devenir une fin en soi et ainsi limiter activement le potentiel progressif.
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Keywords: teaching evaluation; teaching improvement; teaching portfolios

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Griffith Institute for Higher Education, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD, Australia

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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