Lesson 1: Organize and identify your purpose
What does a teaching dossier look like?
Teaching dossiers come in many formats and lengths - there is no one size fits all! They are individual teaching narratives of curated documents and evidence, compiled for a specific purpose by a specific person.
The easiest way to discover what a teaching dossier looks like is to look at example dossiers, ideally those intended for the same purpose that you chose above. For example, if you are applying for a tenure-track academic position, you would not be expected to produce a dossier developed for tenure and/or promotion. Look at enough examples to get a sense of what a dossier looks like, but not too many to get overwhelmed.
To get a sense of the different forms of dossiers, review two or three examples – caution – don’t let this overwhelm your process. Keep it in perspective that you are at the beginning stage of developing your dossier – and consider your purpose.
You may also find this example table of contents helpful as you begin to development your dossier. Remember to adapt the components of the dossier to your own needs by amending, reordering, or even omitting, sections and the order in which they appear.
Example Dossier Table of Contents
Example dossier components
Adapted from page 24 of the Teaching Dossiers and Philosophies Guide.
Summary of courses or sessions taught, supervisory roles, practicums and clinical teaching experiences. Format in sub-categories as necessary.
One to two page reflective summary of your beliefs (why you teach the way you do) and brief examples of how these have been put into practice.
An overview of your teaching strategies and summary of sample courses.
Professional learning and development activities related to your teaching and learning.
Description of engagement in teaching and learning research, including a list of projects and outcomes (e.g. project reports, results, conference presentations, publications).
Overview of engagement in teaching and learning committees, working groups, task forces, curriculum committees, etc.
Overview of formative feedback, student comments and summative course evaluation ratings.
Artefacts that support your contributions and philosophy.
Peer reviews and feedback regarding your impact and effectiveness.
A description of nominations, awards, and recognition for your contributions to teaching and student learning.
Short and long-term goals related to teaching and student learning to provide evidence of continuous improvement.
Completed documentation to support statements of accomplishment included throughout the dossier as indicated above.
Watch the following video, What is a Teaching Dossier?
Kenny, N., Berenson, C., Jeffs, C., Nowell, L., & Grant, K. (2018). Teaching Philosophies and Teaching Dossiers Guide. Calgary, AB: Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. https://taylorinstitute.ucalgary.ca/resources/teaching-philosophies-and-teaching-dossiers-guide
Knapper, C., & Wright, A. (2001). Using portfolios to document good teaching: Premises, purposes, practices. New Directions for Teaching & Learning, 88, https://doi.org/10.1002/tl.34
Seldin, P., Miller, J. & Seldin, C. (2010). The teaching portfolio: A practical guide to improved performance and promotion/tenure decisions, (4th ed.). Jossey-Bass.
- Discover the role and purpose of the teaching dossier
- Identify the structure of the teaching dossier by exploring different types of dossier
- Recognize the importance of reflection woven throughout your dossier