Teaching Portfolio

I’ve created this website and portfolio (www.dxed.org/teaching-portfolio) as a part of a Master’s in Education program at Colorado State University – Global Campus (Hixson, 2015a). This writing is designed to share my experience using the system created for the course material, a book about 12 responsible ethical and practical techniques to incorporate into the teaching experience as a part of every day. The foregoing lesson plan was developed by using that system and designed for a course that I am offering on an ongoing basis at a center for people who deal with severe and persistent mental illness.

Social engagement is critical to the process of learning, and throughout my journey developing this course I began to incorporate communities of inquiry style learning that was based on my pre-existing skill set related to the establishment of positive rapport with individuals as a part of crisis intervention or case management which I have experience with in the field at The American Red Cross. I realized very early that listening skills and the set of interpersonal skills that facilitate a helping relationship are also the skills that can be most useful when acting in a teaching role as an educator. Throughout my adaptation of the 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching I incorporated facets of psychology and human motivation that best served to understand how to create a nurturing classroom environment.

This chalkboard map of the 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching is clickable on the website and will bring the reader to an online document which presents a learning framework and orientation based on the Touchstones. What follows is a completed lesson plan that presents formative assessment data from the students that helped to ensure that the learning standards created were on target and relevant to the student population and their learning needs. This page can also be reached from this link: http://www.dxed.org/12-touchstones-of-teaching


The most challenging part of this adaptation of the 12 Touchstones was the development of an assessment that was capable of measuring not just student knowledge of the course material but also the level of confidence that students present as their self-appraisal of skills related to the course standards. The result was not an assessment derived from multiple-choice or open-ended questions but instead something which more closely resembled a psychological instrument and assessment based on a Likert scale.

The quest for statistical validity in the measures of common-core and course-specific standards is ongoing, and I found throughout my journey that my background in psychology and criminal justice helped to verify the utility of in-class assessments. These assessments had to be re-invented in order to best fit the needs of educators from the perception of a clinician seeking statistical validity and measurable student outcomes. The assessment system created is administered often throughout the course and serves both to establish high expectations for the learner but also so that as a teacher I can adapt to the student population which may vary on a weekly basis. I have found that a great deal of cultural knowledge and knowledge from the science of psychology helped to better establish formative and summative assessments.

Lesson Plan: Employment Search Computer Skills

Stage 1 – Desired Results

Content Standard(s): (Module 2)

· The student will be able to effectively employ computer and internet resources to locate skill-appropriate positions that are available from employers, skillfully communicate with employers, and accurately understand the skills that are required for a given position.

Unpacked Standard(s): (Module 2)

· Utilize proper and safe computer practices when using the computer workstation

· List at least 3 proper computer and internet workstation policies

· Maintenance of online passwords and e-mail accounts

· Knowledge of available job search databases

· Boolean and keyword based internet search tasks

· Reading and evaluating relevant skills listed in a job posting

· Applying self-knowledge of appropriate skills to compare them with skills required from a job listing

· Preparing formal e-mail communications, tailored to individual employers

· Maintaining contact with prospective employers to follow through with the application process

· Time management and accountability for business appointments

· Time management and accountability for shift work employment

· Professional appearance and grooming

Essential Questions: (Module 2)

· How can you adequately use a computer to find a job that meets your needs, and establish whether you have the skills employers are asking for?

· What is the best way to understand if a potential employer is a good fit for skills that you already know?

· What is the best way to maintain professional communications with an employer in order to be hired?

· What kinds of skills do you already have that guide your employment seeking process?

· How can you best be prepared and ready to make time to meet with employers and if hired, to consistently manage work shifts?

· When it is time to meet with employers, what are the best ways to make a good impression to the interviewers?

Students will set their own personal goals by…. (Module 3)

· Self-evaluating confidence and desire to achieve

· Choosing learning goals from the rubric

· Differentiated guidance with instructor

Progress on students' personalized goals will be monitored by…(Module 5)

· Intra-group processing and one-to-one interaction with instructor

Rules and Procedures (Module 5)

· Follow established group interpersonal norms

· Maintain ethical conduct and academic integrity standards

· Manage interpersonal conflicts outside of academic grading

Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence Directly Aligned to Content Standard

Pre-Assessment, including analysis of the pre-assessment results. (Module 3)

A Likert-scale confidence assessment was given with the following questions, which are displayed in the charts below according to the question number. The lowest mean competencies were indicated in questions five and three respectively, this indicates that the course standard is on target in terms of teaching the most needed skill set (Appendix II).

  1. Feel Comfortable Using the Keyboard and Mouse
  2. Can Search for The Information I Need and Find it Fast
  3. Don’t Know a Lot About Job Searching and Searching for Information Online (Reverse Scored)
  4. Have an E-Mail Account
  5. Write Well-Written Formal E-Mail
  6. Can Find Job Postings Online
  7. Know What Skills A Job Posting Expects Me To Have
  8. Check My E-Mail Often, And Respond To Employers Who Write About Job Postings
  9. Feel Comfortable Logging In To The JCMH System
  10. Believe It’s Difficult To Log In And Check E-Mail (Reverse Scored)

Figure 1. Questions Listed By Question Number.

Figure 2. Question Results By Student, With Means.

Figure 3. Mean Scores By Question.

Performance Task(s) or Assignment Description(s): (Module 3)

· Mock E-Mail Writing and Exchange Role Play With Instructor

· Internet Resource Location Lab Exercise

· Job Search Lab Activity

· Ad-Hoc Post-Course Confidence Assessment Scale

Rubric: (Module 3)

Self or Peer Assessments (Module 5)

  • Course Completion Self-Evaluation E-Mail (Summative)
  • Daily Group Collaboration on E-Mail Writing Assignments (Formative)
  • Final Collaborative Group Course Evaluation Discussion (Summative)
  • Daily Practice E-Mail (Formative)

Formative Assessments, Summative Assessments, etc. (Module 3)

  • Pre-Course Likert Scale Skill Confidence Inventory (Formative)
  • Role-Play Email Activity (Formative)
  • Post-Course Likert Scale Skill Confidence Inventory (Summative)

Stage 3 – Learning Plan – Directly Aligned to Content Standard AND Assessments

Learning Activities: (Module 4)

  • Boolean information search activity through a choice of job listing indexes online, report results to class.
  • One-to-one guided internet search activity.
  • Group collaborative formal e-mail writing activity on the main screen via instructor’s terminal.
  • Asynchronous mock-employer e-mail role-play with guided writing assessment (homework).
  • Job listing Easter-egg hunt, find a specific pre-selected job posting using a oolean search.
  • Ten to fifteen minute one-to-one writing coach follow-up following group e-mail writing activity.
  • Ask a student to answer a question by using an online search such as, “What is a group of zebras called?”
  • Ask students about the relevance of job listings and resources located: “Is this information helpful to you? How?”

Stage 4 Feedback Strategies, including Timeliness (Module 5)

  • 10 Minute Group introduction time for processing group norms and course purpose (Coherence)
  • 20 Minute Daily group collaboration time for guided group E-mail (Concentration)
  • 10 Minute Group collaborative internet search activity “find information about…” (Curiosity)
  • 20 Minute Assigned daily time for one-to-one instructor advising (Connection)
  • Homework: Written daily asynchronous communication and feedback during e-mail role-play, checked against rubrics (Coaching)


While I had reasoned that skills and instruments developed for clinical practice in case management and crisis intervention contexts was useful for becoming a better teacher, I found a need to adhere to a set of personal ethics and practices that I had developed for teaching in general (Appendix I.). I reasoned that if clinical practice requires adherence to codes of ethics maintained by a governing body, that I ought to have a similar code of ethics for teaching.

Appendix I.

Fig 1. Ethics infographic created for AET-COM-520 (Hixson, 2014).

Appendix II.

Computer Job Search Skills Class Formative Pre-Assessment

Name: _Grade Key_First Pass Friday 4-24-15

This sheet is designed to help and create a computer skills class that teaches good computer skills by offering the right level of challenge to students. Answering these questions will help the instructor decide what the best level of challenge for the course will be. This sheet also tells the instructor that you would like to be in the computer skills course. The computer search skills class starts in May.

Please tell me whether you agree or disagree with the following statements:

When it comes to computer skills I…

1-Strongly Disagree 2-Disagree 3-Neutral 4-Agree 5-Strongly Agree

n=5 Population Mean: 40 = 80%

Fig. 2. Formative Pre-Assessment Handout (Hixson, 2015b).


Goodwin, B. & Hubbell, E. (2013). The 12 touchstones of good teaching: A checklist for staying

focused every day. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.

Hixson, S. (2014, September 29). Ethics infographic [Online chart created for COM-520].

School of Adult Education and Training, University of Phoenix.

Hixson, S. (2015a, May 31). Teaching Portfolio [Course deliverable for OTL-502-1]. Retrieved

May 31, 2015 from: http://www.dxed.org/teaching-portfolio

Hixson, S. (2015b, April 26). Critical thinking application III: Formative assessment and

feedback [Course deliverable for OTL-502-1]. School of Education,

Colorado State University Global Campus.