June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.525.1 - 11.525.7
Electronic Course Portfolios for Peer-Evaluation of Teaching
An increasingly common requirement for promotion and tenure at Colleges and Universities is some type of peer-evaluation of teaching.1-4 This paper will discuss efforts by an interdisciplinary group of university faculty to develop a mechanism for authentic, efficient peer- evaluation and assessment through shareable, electronic “course portfolios”. The course portfolio is a more manageable amount of effort in comparison with a full teaching portfolio as described in the literature.5,6 The system we have explored is easily compatible with the increasing use of course delivery software such as WebCT and Desire2Learn in that electronic resources can easily be transferred into the portfolio as artifacts of teaching.
“Shares” or “views” of the portfolio can be individually tailored for different purposes such as external or internal evaluation of teaching, sharing teaching innovations with colleagues, or documenting historical development of a course. The portfolio provides a more substantial documentation of teaching than can be obtained in a small number of direct classroom observations.
Based largely on Hutchings, The Course Portfolio,7 we have created a template using the Open Source Portfolio (OSP) 1.5 that documents not only the mechanics and logistics of an individual course but also reflections on teaching methods and philosophy. Our template is a web-based interface that prompts the instructor to offer descriptions, explanations, artifacts, and reflections in each of 6 categories: Course Description, Vision, Design, Interaction, Outcomes, and Analysis. Straightforward prompts with descriptions and sample answers guide the user through a short reflection exercise such that the finished portfolio incorporates and exemplifies the instructor’s philosophy. A concurrent effort is aimed at developing a rubric for evaluation to guide assessment by viewers of the portfolio.
Features of the Course Portfolio
The structure we have developed for the course portfolio resulted from a few simple design objectives: 1) Ease of use – because not every person being evaluated for their teaching enters into the process with enthusiasm. Our team used the model of the popular TurboTax software in which the user is guided through an unfamiliar and perhaps undesirable task by simple prompts with examples and short, clear instructions; 2) Coax out reflection – to properly evaluate the act of teaching it is important to understand the teachers intent. Asking them to answer the question: “Why do you do things the way you do?” gets to that intent and prods them to put it in words.
In detail, each category is comprised of several elements. Each element has a description and sample answer that prompts the user to enter their own answer along with artifacts of their teaching that support and document their answer. Table 1 shows the CPort template with all the elements and descriptions.
Kalish, A., & Tomasko, D., & Masty, J., & Acker, S., & Rudmann, S., & Forbush, J. (2006, June), Electronic Course Portfolios For Peer Evaluation Of Teaching Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1305
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