Developing your own Teaching Portfolio


Example - Teaching Methods


The key questions to be answered are:

1. What teaching methods do I use?
2. Why do I use these? How are they consistent with my teaching aims and philosophy?

An example of a possible portfolio entry follows.


Teaching Methods

In my Year 1 teaching I use lectures, supplemented by case-study problems which students address in small groups in tutorial sessions. As indicated in my statement about my teaching aims and philosophy, I want students to understand core material and be able to apply it in practical settings. I would also like them to take responsibility for their own learning and not rely on me to spoon-feed them. I would prefer to have all small group teaching, but as the class size is 120 this is not possible.

In my lectures I always do the following.

(a) Give students a single hand-out summary of the lecture, covering the key points, before I start. (An example is attached).

(b) Provide relevant examples, which I up-date each year.

(c) Give students a 5-minute break in the middle of the lecture, during which time I encourage them to talk together and try to clear up any difficultuies they may have. I then take questions from students.

Students report on their SFQ feedback forms that they really appreciate these actions. (See Feedback Section).

For tutorials I hand out a short case-study the week before, and ask students to read it, and think about two questions that are posed at the end. To get over the fact that not all students do this, I allow 5 minutes "reading time" at the start of each tutorial. Students then spend ten minutes discussing the questions in small groups. I get reports back from the small groups, and we spend the rest of the session in open discussion. I always take five minutes at the end to summarise the main points.

In my Year 3 teaching I mainly use a seminar-based approach. I spend the first two weeks in giving an overview of the whole subject. I have produced a ten-page summary which covers the main concepts, and also directs students to key reading material (Copy attached). I then allocate groups of students to research particular practical problems. In each two hour session we will have three presentations from groups of two or three students. These last for about 15 minutes each, followed by general discussion.

To prepare students for all this I have prepared a detailed sheet of instructions about what they are expected to do in preparing for and presenting the seminars. A copy of this is attached.