Training Workshop on Developing Teaching Portfolios and Teaching Files
The Teaching and Learning Unit within the College of Law and Management Studies (CLMS) hosted an online training workshop on teaching portfolio and teaching file development to academics of all ranks within the College on 3 November 2022.
The workshop was facilitated by the College Dean of Teaching and Learning, Professor Msizi Mkhize accompanied by the College Teaching and Learning Committee, and aimed to guide academics on the structure, design and construction of a Teaching Portfolio which is used for evaluating teaching in academic promotions, recognising excellence and fulfilling the University Education Induction Programme (UEIP) requirements in order to support their personal and professional growth.
Speaking on the requirements for compiling this portfolio for evaluation, Mkhize said, ‘You need to have evidence of work done as an appendix and when we evaluate these portfolios, there are core areas and elective categories that apply to all candidates that we look at. We cannot evaluate if there is no evidence in the core areas of the approach to education, methods used for teaching and postgraduate supervision, methods of assessing students’ work and performance as well as peer evaluating of students’ and candidates’ teaching.’
Continuing with his presentation, Mkhize said teaching as a Key Performance Area (KPA) in the Performance Management System (PMS) for academic staff is evaluated not only by an evidence-based Teaching Portfolio but the Teaching File is also intended to promote greater consistency in the evaluation of teaching as a KPA across the University. It primarily evaluates teaching related to the coursework module.
‘The Teaching File is merely a tool to assess if all the teaching and learning activities have been undertaken and consequently carried out adequately. The evaluation for this file also has specific core criteria and electives where candidates are allowed to choose two,’ explained Mkhize.
When assessing this file, Mkhize said expectations differ as per academic level and shall be considered in both contracting and evaluation of each criterion, with higher expectations at the higher rank levels.
‘The Teaching File is aligned with the Teaching Portfolio as required for academic promotions, and thereby supports academics in their application for promotions. All academics must make sure to update their files each year,’ he said.
The workshop training was well received by academics who were unsure how to improve or get started with their portfolios. Getting feedback from one of the attendees, a lecturer from the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance (SAEF), Ms Janet Bruce-Brand said, ‘At the end of the day, the student is the client and we need to make sure that students find our teaching clear and easy to understand. Thank you for this session today as I had no idea how to put a teaching portfolio and file together.’
Words: Samukelisiwe Cele