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Lesson 4: Teaching/Learning/Service Methodologies

What are teaching/learning/service methodologies?

If your philosophy is a description of what you believe about teaching/learning/service, your methodologies section is a description of how you enact these beliefs. In this section of your narrative, you will be addressing specifics of your teaching and/or academic support, such as your teaching/service goals, construction of your syllabus, presentation strategies, how you interact with students or others, classroom atmosphere, etc. This section provides an in-depth look at your teaching/service in action and it should help others "see" you in your learning environment.

Are there any guidelines for developing this section?

As with the previous two sections, there is no "required" format for the narrative. Faculty generally arrange their methods section in terms of:

  • teaching or service issue (i.e., "Classroom Atmosphere" or "Course Design").
  • delivery mode (i.e., "Teaching Online Classes" or "Teaching Face-to-Face Classes").
  • topics taught or teaching goals (i.e., "Teaching Research Methods" or "Teaching Critical Thinking").

While there is not a specific format to follow, consider the following guidelines. In this section, build upon what you say in your philosophy section by illustrating how you put your philosophy into action. For example, if you state in your philosophy that you believe students learn best when they are engaged in the material, then you need to describe how you actually engage students in the material. If you believe students learn best from one another, describe how you integrate cooperative leaning into your classes. This section is usually a bit longer than the philosophy section (i.e., three to five pages) and more often than not, contains references to items in the appendix.

Questions to help you think about your methodologies

Sample Portfolio Methodologies

How is this section related to my appendix?

In your methodologies section, you illustrate what you do in the classroom or learning/service environment. You describe things such as the classroom atmosphere, course design, learning/service activities, or assessment. In your appendix section, you include specific examples of these and/or evidence that they are effective. Your appendix contains items which illustrate and support statements you make in your narrative. For example, if you discuss in your methods section how you use cooperative learning, include an example of a group learning activity in you appendix. Likewise, if you talk about how you try to get students to apply the material, in your appendix include an example of an application activity. Perhaps you would include a student paper that asks them to apply the concepts to a current event. If you have a grading rubric for this assignment, this may be included as well.

Lessons: Index, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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