This teaching portfolio is intended to achieve a comprehensive overview of my instructional approach, course design philosophy, and assessment methods. It can be a reflective tool for me to showcase my teaching strategies, experiences, and growth as an educator. By compiling various artifacts, such as sample lesson plan, activity, assignment, and syllabi, this portfolio captures evidence of how I implement different teaching strategies to enhance students’ engagement and experiences, as well as learning outcomes within my online course. I would typically continuously update my teaching portfolio each time after I teach. This approach exemplifies my commitment to assessing students’ learning in a holistic manner, taking into account their diverse learning styles and providing opportunities for active learning, problem-solving, and collaborative experiences. By regularly reviewing and refining this portfolio, I can adapt my teaching practices to ensure an inclusive and effective learning environment for all students.
Teaching Philosophy Statement
I grew up in China and completed both undergraduate and graduate studies in Canada, experiencing two distinct education systems with different teaching approaches. In China, teachers held the role of authority figures, delivering knowledge directly and focusing on information transmission and memorization. In contrast, teachers in Canada assumed the roles of facilitators and guides, empowering students to learn from one another and through hands-on experiences. Drawing from my experiences in both China and Canada, my teaching philosophy is deeply influenced by these diverse cultures and my passion for fostering a positive and inclusive learning environment. I firmly believe that learning is a dynamic and personalized process that acknowledges diverse learning styles and needs among students, resulting in an enriching educational experience.
As a teacher, my primary goal is to establish an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) learning environment to prepare students to be active and engaged within the learning environment. To achieve this, I intentionally implement EDI principles in various aspects of my teaching.
Regarding equity, I provide equal opportunities for learning and growth, ensuring that I accommodate students’ different learning styles and abilities. For example, in my Interpersonal Business Communication course (MGMT110), I offer multiple assessment options, such as written essays, presentations, or hands-on projects. This flexibility allows students to showcase their knowledge in a manner that aligns with their strengths and preferences transparently.
In valuing diversity, I enhance the learning experience by incorporating diverse perspectives, encouraging students to embrace their identities, and appreciating differences on a global scale. When selecting learning materials for MGMT110, I use materials and examples from various cultural, social, and historical backgrounds, ensuring that students see the relevance of the subject matter to different communities. Also, I include reading materials from diverse authors, covering topics relevant to various cultural and social groups, to establish personal connections with students from diverse backgrounds.
Promoting inclusion, I foster open dialogue and respectful communication, allowing students to share their thoughts, experiences, and concerns, and promoting mutual respect and understanding. When designing learning activities for MGMT110, I create dynamic and interactive experiences through active learning strategies, meaningful discussions, and collaborative activities such as group projects and peer reviews. These activities encourage active participation and idea-sharing, empowering students to engage fully with the subject matter.
My strength as an educator lies in building positive relationships with students, understanding their individual needs, and adapting my teaching methods accordingly. I maintain well-organized and student-centered courses, prioritizing clear learning objectives and constructive alignment among all course components.
As an educator, I am committed to continuous learning and growth. I actively seek professional development opportunities to enhance my teaching skills, explore innovative pedagogical approaches, and reflect on my practice to better serve my students.
In an online learning environment, whether synchronous or asynchronous, learning activities can offer opportunities for interaction that support active learning. These interactions include three types: learner-content, learner-instructor, and learner-learner. Learner-content and learner-instructor interactions are generally easier to facilitate in the online setting. Engaging with online resources, reading textbooks, articles, and materials constitutes learner-content interaction. Likewise, submitting assignments for instructor feedback and engaging in online discussion forums with instructors are examples of learner-instructor interaction.
However, learner-learner interaction in an online learning environment can be challenging, particularly without face-to-face interaction. Students may struggle to engage with their peers and establish meaningful connections. Despite these challenges, there are strategies available to foster learner-learner interaction in online learning environments: implementing group projects, creating discussion forums, and incorporating peer review assignments. These strategies encourage collaboration, shared learning, and community-building among students.
In this case, I intend to enhance students’ active learning experience by implementing the Discussion Technique in my synchronous and asynchronous courses, such as MGMT110 below. This technique promotes interactions between instructor-learner and learner -learner.
As a facilitator in online courses, my role is to guide and moderate discussions to ensure that students stay focused and productive. By providing specific prompts and open-ended questions, I can guide the conversation for the entire class, encourage brainstorming and help students deeper understand content. By dividing students into small groups, they can analyse the material, exchange ideas, and work together to solve problems, which creates a comfortable environment that promotes active participation and collaboration.
For online courses, discussions play an important role in encouraging students to express ideas, engage with diverse perspectives, and develop interpersonal skills. Discussions provide opportunities for students to learn from their peers in real-time and receive immediate feedback. By sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas, students deepen their understanding of the content. Moreover, it creates a sense of community in the virtual classroom, allowing students to connect with their peers, develop relationships, and feel a sense of belonging. This fosters a supportive and collaborative learning environment that enhances the overall learning experience.
Below is an example of my lesson plan integrating Discussion Technique to my online synchronous course to enhance student comprehension and engagement.
It’s hard and challenging of employing active learning in online asynchronous courses compared to face to face and online synchronous courses. In face-to-face and online synchronous courses, instructors have immediate access to students and can facilitate interactive activities, discussions, and group work in real-time. However, in online asynchronous courses, there is a time delay between student interactions and instructor feedback, which reduces dynamic nature of active learning and making it harder to foster real-time engagement and collaboration. In face-to-face and online synchronous courses, students can form connections, collaborate, and support each other more easily. In contrast, in online asynchronous courses, the lack of immediate interaction and limited opportunities for collaboration, which make it challenging to build a strong sense of community. In asynchronous courses, students must manage their time effectively, stay motivated, and take responsibility for their learning. This level of self-motivation and time management can be challenging for some students. Some students may struggle with self-regulation, leading to reduced participation and engagement in active learning activities. Online asynchronous courses rely on learning management system (LMS) and various digital tools to facilitate communication, content delivery, and assessments. These platforms may have limitations that restrict the types of active learning activities that can be implemented effectively. Technical issues or unfamiliarity with the tools can also pose challenges for both instructors and students in executing active learning strategies.
Based on the above issues I’ve faced, some active learning techniques that I’ve used to suggest instructors to incorporated into online asynchronous courses to improve students learning experiences. For example, providing timely and constructive feedback, recognizing students’ efforts, and acknowledging their contributions encourage active participation and improvement. This way can minimize the delay between students’ interactions and feedback in order to improve students. For instance, assigning group projects or peer review assignments allows students to work collaboratively using the Learning Management System (LMS). These activities not only enable students to read, evaluate, and provide constructive feedback on their peers’ work, but also provide opportunities for students to work together, share ideas, and solve problems as a team.
The active learning technique I’ve chosen for my course incorporates video guidance, individual reflections, and group discussions. MGMT110 Business Interpersonal Communication Course is a 12-week online synchronous course via Zoom on weekdays. Due to my personal issue, I’ve combined weeks 2 & 3 of sessions into 1 session, which is delivered asynchronously on the weekend. The asynchronous session incorporates video guidance, individual reflections, and group discussions. The course desired Learning Objectives:
• Identify personal experiences that relate to interpersonal mush
• Recognize the critical elements of interpersonal mush at a personal, team and organizational level.
• Assess the impact of interpersonal mush on collaboration in the workplace
To initiate personal or organizational change, this group discussion aims to understand the impact of the status quo. Students will get into small groups of 6 and enter assigned Zoom breakout rooms on the LMS Canvas. Following the guidance provided in the Canvas document (“Worksheet.docx”), students will closely coordinate with their group members to complete the activity within the designated time. They will work individually and then in their groups to gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of interpersonal mush based on their own experiences.
The provided worksheet outlines the exercise’s flow, suggests timing, and serves as a resource for capturing findings from individual and group work. Students are working first on their own to fill in the guidance worksheet to:
1. Identify a few examples of interpersonal mush from your experience
2. Start to consider
a. the types of impact (there is a list provided in the worksheet, and you can add your own) and,
b. which stakeholder group is most impacted (individuals, the team or workgroup, or the organization).
3. Choose your most compelling example to bring to the group discussion.
Then, as a group, students are working together to fill in the guidance worksheet: Each person in the group reports out the selected examples by describing the situation, how broke out the impact, and how severely these impacted different stakeholders. Then, the group will discuss differences and similarities, and select two where will dig deeper. The aim is to build a strong case for learning and internalizing skills that foster effective communication, reduce the contribution of interpersonal mush in the workplace, and set an example for others to follow.
The group discussion technique aligns with desired learning objectives.Through group discussion, students can share insights and perspectives on interpersonal mush, collectively identifying critical elements at the personal, team, and organizational levels. Group discussion allows students to explore various dimensions of the topic and gain a comprehensive understanding of its different aspects.
In addition, group discussion enables students to assess the impact of interpersonal mush on workplace collaboration. By analyzing, its effects on communication, teamwork, and organizational dynamics, students gain insight into the challenges and implications of interpersonal mush in collaborative settings. By sharing their observations and engaging in critical dialogue, students can develop a nuanced understanding of the challenges and implications of interpersonal mush in collaborative settings.
In online asynchronous courses, I will utilize online discussion as a follow-up activity. By posting guiding questions related to the course content, students can demonstrate increased retention and a deeper understanding of the material. Explaining concepts and engaging in discussions will solidify their knowledge and encourage critical thinking. Group discussions create a sense of community in the virtual classroom, allowing students to connect with their peers, develop relationships, and feel a sense of belonging. This fosters a supportive and collaborative learning environment that enhances the overall learning experience.
Assignment and Grading Criteria
The disciplinary identity has a significant influence on the approach to assignments, grading criteria, and syllabus. When designing these elements for a specific discipline, careful consideration is given to integrating diverse strategies that cater to learners’ individual needs. Emphasizing a range of instructional techniques, materials, and assessment methods is a priority to accommodate varying learning styles, interests, and abilities, which fosters an inclusive learning environment that enriches the overall educational journey of students.
Moreover, personal experiences and teaching philosophy can play crucial roles in shaping course and assignment design. Valuable insights from past learning experiences, positive encounters in certain courses, or professional development inspire the incorporation of effective strategies and tasks into course and assignment designs, benefit the students. Each teacher has a unique teaching philosophy that guides their instructional practices. In my case, I prefer utilizing constructivist approaches in my current and future course and assignment designs to promote active learning, making knowledge meaningful for students. Consequently, the assignments are thoughtfully crafted to encourage students to construct their own knowledge actively.
Below is an example of an assignment and grading criteria for my course MGMT110 Business Interpersonal Communication. The instructions for the assignments are clear and straightforward, aligning perfectly with the rubric, which allows students to follow both the assignment instructions and the rubric, providing them with a clear understanding of how their work will be evaluated. As a result, students can complete their homework with confidence, knowing exactly what is expected of them and how they will be assessed.
The discipline that I’m currently teaching, it is necessary to ensure coherence and alignment between the course outcomes and all the components of the course, such as learning materials, learning activities, and assignments. When designing assignments and syllabus, it is important to ensure that they all contribute cohesively to achieve the overall course level objectives/outcomes. The syllabus serves as a valuable tool to illustrate this alignment to students, providing them with a clear understanding of the course’s content and expectations. With a well-structured syllabus that showcases alignment, students can better prepare for the course and gain a clearer sense of what to anticipate during their learning experience.
Below is my modified syllabus for MGMT110: Interpersonal Business Communication MGMT110 Syllabus
In summary, my teaching portfolio serves as a reflective tool, showcasing my instructional approach, course design philosophy, and assessment methods. The portfolio includes sample lesson plans, activities, assignments, and syllabi, providing compelling evidence of the successful implementation of diverse teaching strategies within my online courses. These diverse teaching strategies cater to individual needs and learning styles of students, creating an engaging learning experience that helps students better understand the subject. As an instructional designer, teacher, and educator, I focus on fostering a positive, inclusive, and supportive environment. To achieve this, I implement Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) principles, ensuring all students have equal opportunities to succeed regardless of their backgrounds, identities, or abilities. My teaching portfolio demonstrates my dedication to creating an empowering learning environment. By following the principles of EDI, I aim to inspire and support my students, helping them achieve their academic goals and prepare for success in a diverse and interconnected world.