The Contents of the Teaching Dossier
At the University of Toronto, Divisional Guidelines on the assessment of teaching carry the weight of policy. Divisional Guidelines include a list of elements that must be included in the teaching dossier. This list is not definitive and will vary by discipline and from division to division. Please note that the list of items to be included in the teaching dossier is not necessarily ALL the information about teaching that a faculty member must submit to the review committee; some divisions request additional documents as well as the dossier.
The material in the Teaching Dossier should include, as appropriate:
- Candidate’s curriculum vitae *
- A statement of teaching philosophy
- Representative course outlines, bibliographies and assignments, description of internship programs, field experiences, and teaching assessment activities.
- New course proposals
- Digests of annual student course evaluations from students regarding teaching performance (as appropriate per divisional guidelines)
- Applications for instructional development grants or similar documents
- Documentation on efforts made (through both formal and informal means) to improve teaching skills or course design and a description of the outcomes
- Awards or nominations for awards for teaching excellence
- Documentation concerning innovations in teaching methods and contributions to
curricular development, including activities related to the administrative, organizational, and developmental aspects of education and the teaching process
- Examples of efforts to mentor colleagues in the development of teaching skills and in the area of pedagogical design
- Evidence of professional contributions in the general area of teaching, such as presentations at pedagogical conferences or publications on teaching
- Service to professional bodies or organizations through any method that can be described as instructional
- Community outreach and service through teaching functions
- Activities undertaken to enhance teaching and plans for developing teaching skills and/ or future contributions to teaching
The Provostial Guidelines for Developing Written Assessments of Effectiveness of Teaching in Promotion and Tenure Decisions (http://www.provost.utoronto.ca/policy/teach.htm) also state that each faculty member should maintain a Teaching Portfolio, or dossier, which should be updated annually and serve as a foundation for the documents that will be required for the interim review, probationary review, tenure or continuing status review, and promotion. It can also be used as a reference for academic administrators when evaluating faculty members for annual PTR (“promotion through the ranks”) awards. The general advice that should be given to all faculty, especially junior faculty, is to keep any document that reflects success, experimentation and innovation in teaching.
* In most cases this forms a separate document as part of the tenure/continuing status/promotion file: is not typically included in the teaching dossier.