University guidelines for teaching portfolios – University of Copenhagen

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University guidelines for teaching portfolios when appointing academic staff at the University of Copenhagen

1. Purpose

The guidelines for teaching portfolios when appointing academic staff at the University of Copenhagen are intended to ensure the systematic documentation and assessment of the applicant's teaching qualifications. The guidelines are based on section 6 in the Ministerial Order no. 284 of 25 April 2008 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities, which states that "The university is empowered to lay down general rules for documentation of the applicants' qualifications and for the scope of the material that applicants are allowed to submit for assessment."

2. Categories of positions

Teaching portfolios are to be submitted when applying for positions at the associate professor and professor levels, cf. the circular regarding the Job Structure for Academic Staff at the Universities and the Annex to Job Structure. However, the teaching portfolio is only to be used in connection with positions involving teaching.

3. Use of teaching portfolios in the teaching and learning in higher education training

The guidelines are to be seen in connection with the Guidelines for the University of Copenhagen teaching and learning in higher education programme. These guidelines specify how assistant professors are to receive teaching and practical training in the development and ongoing use of a teaching portfolio. The development of a teaching portfolio is an obligatory and integrated aspect of the assistant professor teacher training. The work with teaching portfolios in the assistant professor teacher training can form the basis for the development of a portfolio for use in applications to positions at the associate professor and professor levels.

4. The content of a teaching portfolio

Teaching qualifications are to be documented through the use of a teaching portfolio, including a description of teaching experience and reflections concerning one's own teaching work, including the objectives and methods. The relevant attachments are to be enclosed with the description. The choice of documentation is adapted to the application for the specific position.

The teaching portfolio can include the following areas:

a. Teaching experience
The type of teaching form is specified, e.g. lectures, group teaching, exercises, supervision, examination, grading, distance education, Internet-based teaching and evaluations. The language which the teaching is carried out in is to be specified. The education level (Bachelor, Master, PhD) that the activity is aimed at is to be speci-fied together with the duration. Teaching experience from other types of educational institutions can also be included.

b. Development of teaching materials
Type of material and target group is specified, including the extent of one's own contribution.

c. Teaching competencies
References regarding teaching skills from superiors and colleagues. Evaluations and possible teaching awards.

d. Formal pedagogical training
Completed teacher training and teaching courses. Written assessment from assistant professor teacher training. Participation in conferences about teacher training (degree of active participation is stated). Documentation in the form of course certificates, references etc are to be enclosed.

e. Administration and management of education
Experience with the planning, development and management of study programmes. Participation in committees, commissions etc regarding education.

f. Pedagogical development and research
Development of new courses and forms of teaching and examination or other development work. Didactic and pedagogical research. Contributions to conferences, scientific articles about pedagogical subjects. Collegial supervision, experience as mentor and other competency development. Participation in evaluation work at the faculty or university level in national or international contexts.

g. Reflection on one's own pedagogical activities
The applicant's reflections regarding their own teaching work, the objectives that this work has had, the methods and how it has been carried out. In this reflection, the applicant is to analyse and account for the motives for their teaching activities in relation to their pedagogical understanding and what the students are learning.

This reflection can be structured in such a manner that it displays the development in the teacher's work or illustrates a particular theme which the applicant has developed in their teaching. This reflection is to be supported with examples from the applicant's teaching or other teaching activity.

In connection with points a, b, c, f and g, attachments can be included in the form of teaching plans, evaluations, one's own teaching materials, examination assignments or written examples of supervision work.

Total extent
The suggested extent of the total documentation: a five-page brief and ten pages of attachments. The faculty is free to make other specifications.

If the job advertisement is in English, the documentation is to be delivered in English, though the attachments can be submitted in Danish. If no requirements are made regarding an English application, the documentation and attachments can be submitted in Danish. The faculties are free to specify the use of other languages.

5. University requirements regarding the assessment of teaching qualifications

The university requirements do not prevent the employment of scientific personnel with limited teaching experience. In such special cases, a competency development plan is developed for the employee's pedagogical qualifications.

General principles in the assessment of teaching qualifications:

a. The appointment committee submits an assessment of the teaching qualifications of the respective applicants.
b. The assessment made by the appointment committee is to include a detailed and specific description of the applicant's teaching qualifications on the background of the submitted materials.
c. Assessment is made in accordance with the weight placed on the specific areas in the job advertisement.

Criteria for the assessment of teaching qualifications:

a. The extent, breadth and documented quality of the applicants' teaching experience and other experience within the pedagogical area. ‘Breadth' refers to subject, institution, target group/level, teaching form and teaching language. With respect to documented quality, the assessment is to place emphasis on documentation in the form of submitted examples of teaching materials and evaluations.
b. The integration of teaching practices and pedagogical understanding, i.e. the applicant's demonstrated competencies as the basis for their own pedagogical understanding - focusing on the students' learning - to analyse their own teaching, make reflected decisions about its further development and carry out changes to their own teaching practice.

6. Employment interview

The faculties ensure that the applicants' pedagogical qualifications are included in the employment interview and that the relevant head of studies or another person relevant in a teaching context participates in the interviews.

7. Information provided to the applicant by the faculty

Together with the advertisement for the position, the faculties announce these guidelines including the faculty rules for the length and language of the application. This information is to be accessible for internal and external applicants alike, as well as foreign applicants. It must be clear where and from whom further information can be acquired and whether or not the material can be submitted electronically.

The faculties provide a description of what the appointment committee is to do if the applicant fails to provide a teaching portfolio, including whether or not they can request additional information.

8. Commencement

The guidelines come into effect for applications and assessments regarding positions announced as of January 1, 2011.