How to write a best practice paper or summary for a portfolio.

Over the last few months many of our teachers have prepared their portfolios for promotion.  As an observation from that experience I think there is one area where I think teachers need help - writing up good practice.  Below is a summary of what you need to know to explore your practice and share it with others.


By the end of this post you will be able to:

Knowledge: Understanding the terminology, concepts and principles behind good practice publications, papers and summaries.

Apply: Be able to write up your own good practice.

Value: Appreciate good practice publications are part of your teaching performance, research and portfolio.

People: Work with colleagues, peers, and students to gather feedback for you publication, paper or summary.

Learn: Access, evaluate and share knowledge, and skills related to good practice publication.

Integrate: Include your good practice in your practice portfolio.


Good practice publications are not new. Education journals, magazines and blogs are full of examples of teachers' good work. Ako Aotearoa funds teachers to write up their practice and share it in the wider teaching and learning community. From the Ako Aotearoa site you can access the ....

Good Practice Publication Grants e-book

This e-book hosts the completed Good Practice Publication Grants. It includes a range of different teaching and learning practices that have been shown to benefit learners in the tertiary sector.The goal of this scheme is to share and promote good practice, and encourage use among other practitioners.


There is a wide variety of teaching contexts and processes in this book, and it will explain the diverse nature of good practice. There is no one answer, and no one give approach.  The value of good practice publications lie in teachers and students experiences.


Writing a good practice paper

Writing up you work is a challenge, and some structure to help you frame your experience and your work is useful.  This simple table will help you to identify the important elements of your practice.


Best Practice

Create a nice catchy title.

Dept or Unit

What is the problem that this good practice is responding to?
Explain the programme, course, assessment, activity or teaching you are involved in.
Unique Features
What makes this aspect of your teaching unique and successful?  How do you know it is working? What is the value for learners? How are they achieving?
Where is this good practice placed in the context of the scholarship of teaching and learning?
What have your learnt from this experience, and what now remains to be further developed?


The value of good practice publications

Many conferences have good practice streams where you can present and share your work. Organisations such as Ako Aotearoa will fund and publish your work.  Some journals devote part of their current issue to a good practice article. At Unitec the annual teaching and learning symposium is a good place to share your practice.

Resources for you to explore

We suggest you find good practice/ best practice examples in your own discipline. We are including here some examples of good practice. This video from Colarado State University is an expansion of a good practice theme. The work will be supported with papers, evaluative data, reports and plenty of publications.



In this second publication Dave Hodges, Prue Cruickshank and I explain an example of  good practice in the Bachelor of Business programme

However, you good practice publication can be something much smaller.  Here is an example from my own practice portfolio.

Working with others

A key part of your good practice writing is the incorporation of data to support your claims of good practice.  You will need to gather information from students, colleagues, other teachers, moderators and monitors. You can do this is a range of different way and we have an extensive range of resources to support evaluation of teaching and learning.

Your practice portfolio

You will want to include your best practice summaries, publications and papers in your practice portfolio. Summaries make great blog posts in eportfolios. You can also add these contributions to a course or programme portfolio, providing additional data for external evaluation purposes.  To find out more about Practice Portfolios click our link


Over the last couple of weeks as I have supported staff in creating their promotion portfolios, I have heard wonderful teaching stories. The challenge is to turn those stories into good practice publications. Best of luck with you endeavours and as always we are happy to assist you





Views: 5085

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Teaching & Learning Community at Unitec to add comments!

Join Teaching & Learning Community at Unitec

Welcome! Feel free to read and add to our events and blog posts, invite new members, and use the material found in our Resources tab above.



Latest Activity


  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2017   Created by Edward Flagg.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service