Welcome to the fiftieth issue of The LTO Best Practices. Each month, the Learning & Teaching Office will be spotlighting a timely topic in education. This October, our topic is "Designing Your Dossier."
For more related tips, check out our page of resources on dossier design.
Many of the ideas from this issue of Best Practices are also available for download as a pdf.
Check out our page of Teaching Tips handouts for more downloadable documents on a variety of teaching topics.
Ryerson currently requires faculty to submit a teaching dossier as part of their tenure binder. In addition, the Chang School requires dossiers for job applications for teaching positions. Many internal and external awards also require a teaching dossier. Though they are needed for these jobs and commendations, many faculty do not understand how to create a dossier.
Teaching dossiers are intended to provide a description and record of a member's major teaching accomplishments and strengths in a manner that conveys the scope and quality of the faculty member's teaching. Dossiers vary widely between faculties; however there are a few basic guidelines that every dossier must meet.
If the dossier is being prepared for tenure review, the guidelines are set out in the RFA Collective Agreement (Article 5.8 C)
If the dossier is being prepared for a Chang School job application, please refer to the Chang School guidelines on dossier preparation.
LTO Associate and FEAS professor Gosha Zywno has provided us with these five tips for beginning to construct a teaching dossier:
Your teaching philosophy is the central document around which all the other items of your dossier are built. All the evidence presented in the dossier should support the claims made in your teaching philosophy.
Kaplan et al. (2008) have divided the content of a statement of teaching philosophy into five characteristics that can be measured with a rubric. A teaching philosophy should:
The LTO has collected teaching philosophies from winners of the Ryerson Faculty Teaching Awards to be used as examples when reviewing teaching philosophies. We have created a page to house them, where they are arranged by faculty.
Faculty members in the process of creating their teaching dossier may be interested in a new program currently being developed by the Learning & Teaching Office. In the Dossier Mentorship Program, faculty members who would like feedback on their dossier can submit it for evaluation by one of the LTO's trained assessors. These assessors will review the dossier and provide helpful feedback on how it can be improved. We will begin reviewing dossiers by the end of October. If you are interested in participating, please register at the Dossier Mentorship Program.
"The LTO Best Practices" is produced monthly by Michelle Schwartz, Research Associate at The Learning & Teaching Office of Ryerson University.
Do you have any thoughts, suggestions, or best practices that you would like to see appear in this newsletter? Please send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to including your contributions in our next issue!
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Photo credit: Wiliam Ligh at Apartment, The Library of Virginia