One of the activities for this week for the You Show is to think about and implement an organizational structure for your site. As this site will serve as a kind of professional portfolio for my work at the university, the structure I’m thinking about is tailored to that. Specifically, it’s tailored to criteria that are used to determine decisions about merit (a top-up to salary that one might get some years if one’s work stands out in that year) and promotion.
I’m in a teaching position at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and the areas in which we need to excel for merit and promotion are teaching, educational leadership, and service. Thus, here is the structure I’m considering:
- statement of teaching philosophy
- course materials
- assigned material: readings, videos, podcasts, etc.
- assignments given to students (out of class)
- activities students do in-class
- scholarly teaching: how research on teaching and learning affects how I design and deliver courses
- professional development courses/workshops taken
- student evaluation results
- reflections on what has gone well, what needs improvement, what I’d like to try in the future, etc.
- Research into teaching and learning that I’m engaging in (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning)
- Activities related to open education, how I have a leadership position in relation to that in the university and beyond
- curriculum development–how I’ve contributed to changes in curriculum for the departments I’m in
- teaching and learning workshops facilitated at the university and beyond
- department, faculty, university, discipline, community
The one thing that might not be clear to others is “educational leadership”–just what does this mean? The short answer is that many people at UBC are still in the process of figuring that out. To achieve merit, tenure and promotion in the teaching stream, one has to stand out as an educational leader in some way, and you have to show that you have influence beyond the institution itself. From what I understand so far, I think the things I’ve listed above under “educational leadership” would count. I need to look further into whether there are other things I’m doing that might count as well.
One thing that I’m a little unsure about is the suggestion for how to implement this structure on the site. The You Show organizers suggest that we don’t use pages for the structure, but rather categories and tags for posts. I’m unsure only because I’ve not organized previous word press sites this way; I’ve used pages to set up the basic structure, and subpages beneath those pages. But I’m going to try it the other way because hey, I don’t have a good reason, really, for using pages rather than posts, and Brian and Alan suggest that using categories and tags for posts is more flexible. So I’ll give it a go.