Building a Portfolio

Create a compelling representation of your teaching!

Why build a teaching portfolio?

Building an teaching portfolio is the capstone assignment for the TDP Advanced Track – and generally a very good way to prepare for the job market, whether or not you’re in the TDP. Assembling a portfolio helps you to realize just how much you’ve accomplished working with students, and prepares you to better articulate your value as an instructor. As a recent portfolio completer noted, “My strongest emotion was pride at how far I’d come” (his full testimonial is here).

This page offers resources that can help you build a great teaching portfolio, including:

  • General guidance for designing a teaching portfolio (whether or not you’re in the TDP)
  • Sample teaching portfolios produced by completers of the TDP Advanced Track, for inspiration
  • Support available to folks building a portfolio on the Advanced Track of the TDP

On-demand modules: Intro to the Teaching Portfolio

CTL has created set of modules that can help you plan and begin a teaching portfolio. This guidance is for all Columbia University graduate students, whether or not you’re in the TDP.

Portfolio course screenshot

Click to access guidance for organizing and assembling materials for a teaching portfolio.

Module 1: What is a teaching portfolio? 
Background on the teaching portfolio and an overview of typical structures.

Module 2: Brainstorming and creating the first draft
Strategies for deciding what to include and how to curate your teaching materials into a cohesive whole.

Module 3: Revising and next steps 
Approaches to refining your teaching portfolio, getting feedback on your documents, and preparing other materials for the job market.

Sample teaching portfolios

Wondering what a teaching portfolio might look like? Some who have completed the Advanced Track have graciously allowed us to share theirs here, in order to help demonstrate a range of approaches – click on one to explore!

Sample portfolio

Nicole Mandel

Sample portfolio

Milica Iličić
(Slavic Languages)

Sample teaching portfolio

Tim Randolph
(Computer Science)

Sample portfolio

James Callahan

Sample portfolio

Janine Birnbaum
(Earth and Environmental Sciences)

Sample portfolio

Mike He
(Environmental Health Sciences)

Sample teaching portfolio

Mary Catherine Stoumbos

Sample portfolio

Jessie Oehrlein
(Applied Physics and Applied Math)

Sample portfolio

Caroline Marris

Building a portfolio in the TDP

To complete the Advanced Track of the TDP, you build an e-portfolio in two stages. And CTL is here to help you all along the way!

1.  Assemble your portfolio materials

Here is a list of core elements for the TDP e-portfolio. Develop and collect these elements, and upload them to the TDP CourseWorks site as instructed at that link. Need help? Guidance for assembling a teaching portfolio is here.

2. Design and publish your e-portfolio

To demonstrate your attainment of Advanced Track objectives, we ask you to present the above portfolio elements in an engaging e-portfolio. CTL has developed two resources that can help you with this step.

  • TDP e-portfolio decision tree, which will help you consider which materials to include, how to incorporate images into your portfolio, which platform to use, and how much time to allot.
  • An e-portfolio guidance site containing detailed instructions, templates, and samples that you can draw on when building your own site. This guidance will be particularly useful if you are building your portfolio on the platform supported by CTL (see below) or another WordPress site.

You may build your TDP portfolio on whichever platform you choose:

  • CTL-supported platform:  Once you switch onto the Advanced Track, you can request your own portfolio website, supported by CTL and Columbia University Libraries’ Digital Scholarship office. This site is hosted for free while you are at Columbia and for six months after you graduate. After then, you can choose to purchase hosting for a moderate monthly fee, export the site and host it elsewhere, or delete it. You can choose whether to make the site publicly accessible or password-protected. You can customize the URL for your portfolio; otherwise its default URL will be
  • Another platform: If you prefer, you may use a different platform and hosting arrangement in order to complete a digital teaching portfolio. As long as your site includes core elements for the TDP digital portfolio, it will meet Advanced Track requirements.

Intro to the Teaching Portfolio

Whether or not you’re building one for the TDP, here’s detailed guidance from CTL for creating a compelling teaching portfolio.

Request a Portfolio

If you’re on the Advanced Track of the TDP, email us to request set-up of your customizable portfolio.

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