Developing a Teaching Dossier
From Brock University Teaching Wiki
For both new and experienced faculty, developing a teaching dossier is essential to your professional development as an instructor in higher education. In addition to the practical aspect of maintaining a comprehensive account of your teaching career, a teaching dossier also allows you to reflect on your personal growth as a teacher and articulate a theory of practice.
 What is a teaching dossier?
A teaching dossier is an on-going collection of evidence about:
- teaching activities and their effectiveness (What do I do and how well do I do it?)
- faculty development (How am I developing as an instructor?)
- one’s theory of practice (Why do I do what I do?)
 Why have one?
- teaching award nominations
- leave fellowships
- teaching development grants
- merit competitions
- job applications/transfers
- tenure and promotion submissions
 What a dossier demonstrates:
- clear commitment to teaching
- accessibility to and rapport with students
- expertise in communicating the subject matter, appropriate use of techniques
- demonstrated innovation in teaching and willingness to take improvement risks
- objectivity and skill in handling tough teaching assignments/situations
(1) Evidence of teaching activities and their effectiveness can include:
- course outlines
- copies of assignments and tests
- records of graduate student supervision
- graduate student committees served on
- records of being an external examiner for theses and dissertations
- formative student evaluations
- responses to formative evaluations (what was changed)
- anecdotal student comments, letters, journals
- summative student evaluations
- commentary on summative student evaluations
- peer review or comment on course materials
- summaries of peer observations on teaching
- reviews from professional associations, employers, business
letters or comments from former students
- documentation of involvement in curriculum or program development
(2) Faculty development activities can include
- attending faculty development workshops
- participation in a peer consultation program
- attending or giving papers at a conference on teaching
- conducting action research on one’s teaching
- working normally with a colleague to implement innovative strategies
- introducing technological or other new ideas into a course
- serving on an instructional development committee
- applying for grants to introduce new ideas into a course or program
- serving on committees related to teaching
- subscribing to educational journals
- membership in associations such as STLHE (the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
(3) A statement of theory of practice can include responses to questions such as
- what are the goals of higher education?
- what are my goals as a teacher in higher education?
- what are my basic values and assumptions about teaching?
- how do I describe my role as an educator?
- how do I see the roles of students?
- what constraints and obstacles do I face as an educator?
- why do I do what I do?
The essay: Developing a Philosophy of Teaching Statement by Nancy Van Note Chism, Ohio State University provides a detailed look at preparing a statement of “theory of practice” or “philosophy of teaching” to be included in your teaching dossier.