Possible Contents and Organization of the Dossier
While the Provostial and some divisional guidelines include a list of items to include in a teaching dossier, an effective teaching dossier is not merely a filing system for materials related to teaching. The contents of a teaching dossier should be chosen and organized to provide a coherent and unified statement about who you are as a teacher and what it is like to be a student in your courses.
There is no single way to organize a teaching dossier that is particularly conventional or successful. Different teaching careers and approaches require different material and emphases. The following suggestions for content, therefore, are not intended to suggest a particular organization for your dossier or that each item must necessarily be included.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers includes a list of 49 possible items for inclusion in a teaching dossier (see: http://www.caut.ca/docs/default-source/professional-advice/teaching-dossier.pdf?sfvrsn=2). Most (but not all!) effective dossiers, however, include some combination of the following. These broader categories do not directly parallel the individual requirements of the Provostial guidelines, but would provide you with an opportunity to include all the information required in the guidelines. Details about developing each of these sections follows.
- A CV, which can help to contextualize teaching within your broader career. (In many cases, this will be provided elsewhere in a job application or tenure package, in which case it need not be duplicated in the teaching dossier unless this is specifically requested.)
- The narrative section of the dossier, which normally includes:
- A statement of teaching philosophy. This might include a discussion of specific successful teaching strategies, though these are often included as a separate statement. (See Section 6: Developing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy for strategies for developing a statement of teaching philosophy.)
- A detailed description of your teaching experience and responsibilities, including a list of courses taught and, where relevant, descriptions of:
- Your work in course development and course redesign;
- Curriculum development efforts; and
- Your approach to graduate supervision.
- Evidence of teaching effectiveness, including summaries and a narrative contextualization of student evaluations, peer evaluations, or teaching award details.
- Evidence of leadership in and professional contributions to teaching in your field
- Evidence of professional development, including plans for future pedagogical and professional development.
- Supplementary materials: representative and annotated teaching, course development, and assessment materials.
Teaching materials and other examples of teaching strategies or evidence of teaching effectiveness might be referenced or described in the narrative section, but the actual documents (e.g. example course syllabi) are usually most usefully included in an appendix. The following sections of this document will guide you through the process of collecting, developing, and organizing these materials for your dossier.
SAMPLE TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR A TEACHING DOSSIER
Statement of Teaching Philosophy
- List of courses taught
- List of graduate students supervised (as appropriate)
- Course development
- Curriculum development
- Approach to graduate supervision (as appropriate)
Evidence of teaching effectiveness
- Narrative contextualization of course evaluation data
- Summary of course evaluation data
- Teaching awards
- Additional evidence of teaching effectiveness
Leadership in and professional contributions to teaching
- Publications / presentations on teaching and learning
- Innovations in teaching and learning
- Outreach to the community / service to professional organizations/ associations
Professional development undertaken to enhance teaching