Portfolio Preparation

Description, Samples and Evaluation Rubrics

General Information

View webinar on Creation of a Mini-Portfolio that Reflects Academic Scholarship (12-12-08) (.wmv file)

This webinar was created by Dr. Nancy Searle of Baylor University and reflects the foundation of educational scholarship, the principles of portfolio development and the protocols for portfolio assessment in relationship to selection that are basic to all medical school faculty academies. The NAOME adaptations that have been made to reflect scholarship in osteopathic medical education are reflected in the following:

A)   The personal statement included in your application must include your responses to the following three questions:

1)  How has the osteopathic philosophy and practice of medicine influenced your aspirations as an educator (teacher, leader, creator of enduring materials or researcher)?

2)  How have you implemented these aspirations in your career?

3)  How have you helped to define the distinctiveness of osteopathic medical education?

B)  The reallocation of 10 points in the grading rubric to assess the reflection of osteopathic philosophy and practice and

C)  The inclusion of updated standard-setting examples to reflect osteopathic philosophy and practice.

A mini-portfolio appropriate for submission to NAOME is a structured, condensed, presentation of evidence of quality, quantity, and breadth of educational contributions specific to one chosen category. The standard-setting examples published on the web for each category illustrate the preferred format of the portfolio and define the overall amount of evidence needed to achieve acceptance into the Academy for the category.

Your goal is to organize evidence of your accomplishments in a chosen category—using one or more standard-setting examples as a model—so that you can convince the reviewers that you have at least as much evidence as the example(s). This will require that you extract information from your CV, your full educational portfolio, or other documentation of your educational accomplishments.

At the beginning of your submitted mini-portfolio, you will be asked to identify the standard-setting example(s) you used as a model and to briefly describe how the types of activities in the example(s) match or do not match your own experience.

By the deadline, submit your portfolio by uploading it to the Nomination Form (which will include your and your dean's contact information as well as an uploaded copy of your CV).

Order of Portfolio Requirements

Reviewers have limited time to review portfolios. Sequencing your portfolio as required helps them in the process and ensures that none of your evidence is missed.

The correct order is:

  1. Letter of Submission  (See sample) 
  2. Match to Standard-Setting Example
  3. Structured Summary
  4. Personal Statement
  5. Structured Abstract (for Educational Research and Enduring Educational Materials only)
  6. Table of Appendices
  7. Supporting documents arranged in Appendices
  8. CV
  9. Personal Reference Statement

Overall Mini-Portfolio Guidelines

Your mini-portfolio should include the items below.  Please note the entire application document (including letters, but NOT including the CV) is limited to 25 pages.

  1. A letter of submission
  2. A match to the standard-setting portfolio examples in which you determine which of the one or two prototypes in your selected category most resembles you -- what about the example is similar to you and what about the example is dissimilar to you (see the beginning of each template)
  3. A structured summary (not to exceed page limits for given category) of your accomplishments with evidence of their quality and breadth using the format illustrated by the standard-setting examples in your selected category (For Enduring Educational Materials and Educational Research, also include additional pages containing "structured abstracts" as per instructions.)
  4. A personal statement (not to exceed two pages) about your goals as an educational scholar, your personal preparation, your process for improvement, ongoing self-reflection and personal development related to the award category for which you are submitting a mini-portfolio
  5. For the categories of Educational Research and the Development of Enduring Educational Materials, only include structured abstracts in the form appropriate to each category.
  6. A table of appendices which lists everything in each of your appendices.
  7. Copies of available supporting documentation (not to exceed 25 pages). Label and organize these documents so that primary and secondary reviewers can easily identify and refer to them. Summarize learners' numeric ratings of your teaching into tables; do NOT include copies of individual evaluation forms. As desired, include short narrative descriptions of the documentation you include. Do not include actual copies of materials or "artifacts" (e.g., syllabi, video of lecture). We strongly recommend that you include a limited number of letters of support (One or two from learners, one or two from peers, and one or two from superiors.) Maximum allowed is six. A current copy of your Curriculum Vitae should be uploaded on your Nomination Form for reference purposes during the review process.
  8. When describing the quantity of your activities, use language consistent with the standard-setting example(s) you used as a model.

Dos and Don’ts of Preparing the Mini-Portfolio for NAOME Application 

I. Introduction

Below are listed common mistakes faculty members have made in preparing their mini-portfolios for the National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators. It is intended to help applicants avoid these mistakes in the future.  This should be considered a supplement to the guidelines and examples for each award category. If your application is not found to meet the standard, you will receive feedback to help you prepare for resubmission.

II. Common mistakes

A. Mistake: Evidence provided is better suited for a different category from the one in which it is submitted.

  • This happens most often when the portfolio is submitted in the educational leadership category, but provides mainly information about teaching.
  • Reviewers may use the published standards (examples) only for the category in which you submit your portfolio. Thus, evidence that does not fit the submitted category will simply have to be disregarded in the review process.

B. Mistake: While most evidence included in the mini-portfolio fits into the submission category, some evidence included does not and there is no explanation of why it is included.

  • In some instances, it may be advantageous to include evidence in one category that belongs in another (e.g., teaching information in a leadership portfolio). This should be done ONLY IF the mismatched evidence is a very minor portion AND it is explicitly linked to the primary category (e.g., evidence of teaching relates to teaching a course which you lead or direct).
  • Remember that evidence better suited for another category distracts the reviewers from focusing on the evidence matching the primary category. Inclusion of such evidence makes it harder to compare the portfolio to the published standard.

C. Mistake: Portfolio lacks information about actual outcomes of your educational contributions.

  • Your portfolio will be judged in categories of quality, quantity and breadth matching or exceeding the published standards. One of the strongest forms of quality is information about learning outcomes.
  • Because outcomes information may be difficult to obtain, it is not absolutely essential. It will, however, be highly regarded and positively received when included.

D. Mistake: Portfolio lacks information needed for reviewers to judge all criteria of scholarship.

  • The review panel will use the nationally recognized criteria of scholarship to judge the quality of your educational contributions (see review criteria). Your goal is to provide explicit evidence for each. Much of this evidence will be found within your personal statement (goals as an educator; personal preparation; sharing of methods and results with the educational community including lessons learned; ongoing self-critique; and inculcation of the osteopathic patient-centered philosophy into your professional work).

E. Mistake: Portfolio lacks evidence of peer review.

  • To verify one’s work in education and to gain insight into ways to continually improve, peer review is important. Your portfolio should contain evidence that you have solicited and used peer input. The review panel will look for evidence of mentoring and review in submitted portfolios. This is found in the examples used as standards. Solicited letters commenting on your general qualifications should be used with moderation (Maximum of six letters).

F.  Mistake: Order of the materials does not match the published examples.

Reviewers have limited time to review portfolios. Sequencing your portfolio as required helps them in the process and ensures that none of your evidence is missed. The correct order is:

  • Letter of Submission (See sample) 
  • Match to Standard-Setting Example
  • Structured Summary
  • Personal Statement
  • Structured Abstract (for Educational Research and Enduring Educational Materials only)
  • Table of Appendices
  • Supporting documents arranged in Appendices
  • CV
  • Signed Personal Reference Statement

III. Mistakes related to the personal statement

A. Mistake: The personal statement is a narrative summary of evidence, not a statement of goals, preparation and ongoing improvement/reflection.   

  • Evidence of quantity belongs in your structured summary. Your personal statement should include the information reviewers need to understand your educational philosophy, and judge your work, using the criteria of scholarship set forth in the review criteria.

B. Mistake: The personal statement is too long.

  • Remember that the maximum length of the personal statement is two pages. However, a one-page statement may receive more careful review. Limit your statement to the most important points.

IV. Mistakes related to the structured summary

A. Mistake: Too much jargon or reference to unfamiliar things.

  • Terms used in one school or institution may not translate to reviewers from another background.  If you use terminology that may be unfamiliar to some, such as names of awards, provide brief explanation so that the evidence is not undervalued by the reviewers.

B. Mistake: Some evidence of quantity in the CV is not clearly included in the structured summary.

  • The review panel will only review the primary mini-portfolio. The CV is supplemental but may not be taken into account in the reviewers’ consideration of the application.  The CV will be used for “auditing” of the structured summary only.

C. Mistake: The structured summary is not sufficiently condensed or organized.

  • Unlike a CV in which long lists of specific accomplishments are expected, the structured summary is a summary. You should group related items as much as possible and summarize the contents within each group with appropriate statistics / data. Use the published examples as guides.

D. Mistake: The portfolio lacks sufficient evidence of quantity.

  • As seen in the examples, faculty members need around five years of experience before even qualifying for these awards. While this is not an absolute, those with less than five years' experience will need to explicitly make the case that they have done an exceptional amount of work each year so as to roughly equate to the standard-setting examples.
  • Remember that, while a lifetime of evidence may be included in the mini-portfolio, page limits must be adhered to and only the most recent five years will be weighed heavily.

E. Mistake: Information regarding quantity is ambiguous.

  • The reviewer pool is diverse and includes basic scientists, clinical academicians, bedside teachers, administrators and educators. Some may not be familiar with the time demands of different educational endeavors. Thus, it is important to provide clear statistics or descriptive information so that reviewers may easily equate the amount of time and effort devoted to your activities. Wherever possible, follow the format used in the standard-setting examples and group individual events to be described as a whole. This will save pages in your portfolio and allow the reviewers to aggregate your activities into a cohesive picture.

V. Mistakes related to documentation (Appendices)

A. Mistake: Confidential information is not masked.

  • Learner evaluations that contain names / results on multiple faculty members should be masked to protect confidentiality. In most cases, individual rating forms should not be included but should be summarized into a table.

B. Mistake: Portfolio contains more information than necessary.

  • The purpose of documentation is to substantiate the assertions of quality and quantity you make in your personal statement and structured summary. You do not want the reviewers to have the impression that you are exaggerating your evidence. Documentation beyond what is listed in the standard is a waste of the reviewers’ time. You must adhere to the page limits and number of supporting documents. Not doing so may result in the un-reviewed return of your mini-portfolio.

C. Mistake: Letters of support don’t appear to have influenced self-reflection and/or improvement.

  • The ideal letter will provide feedback and insight which helps the applicant think about and improve their work. Letters written strictly for academic promotion are less helpful because they contain only summative information.
  • Faculty are encouraged to solicit input or formative feedback from peers on an ongoing basis and include these as evidence of feedback and its impact on the portfolio.

D. Mistake: Copies of learner evaluations are not summarized / synthesized.

  • To help reviewers form conclusions about the quality of your work, it is suggested that applicants create a table summarizing reports of student (or other) outcomes.
  • In addition to quantitative data, it is also appropriate to include representative qualitative data (comments from learners).

Mini-Portfolio Guidelines for Each Category of Educational Scholarship

Descriptions, templates, standard-setting portfolio examples as models, and evaluation rubrics for each of the four categories of educational scholarship are available at the links below: