Teaching Dossiers

A Teaching Dossier is a document intended to facilitate the presentation of a faculty member’s teaching achievements and major strengths for self-assessment and interpretation by others. 

Rene Day, Faculty of Nursing; Paul Robberecht, Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Studies; and Bente Roed, University Awards Office


Activity: Creating a Teaching Dossier

Learning outcomes

  1. Identify the purpose and major components of a teaching dossier.
  2. Compare and contrast teaching philosophy statements to determine how you would like to approach your teaching philosophy.
  3. Create an outline for a teaching dossier.
  4. Compare and contrast sample dossiers to determine what you would like to include in your dossier.

Icebreaker: Why dossiers?

In groups, discuss why you want to create a teaching dossier.  What is its purpose?

Activity 1: Teaching Philosophy Statement

The cornerstone of your teaching dossier is your teaching philosophy statement.  It reveals your perspective of teaching and learning.  In other words, it reveals your values and beliefs about teaching and learning.  

  1. In small groups, review the examples of teaching philosophies on your table. After skimming several philosophies, each group will choose one to analyze. Answer the following questions. From the perspective of the individual writing the teaching philosophy:
    • What is the purpose of higher education?
    • What is the role of the university instructor?
    • What is the role of the university student?
  2. Discuss the following questions in small groups:
    • Did you find a response for all 3 questions?
    • What did you find particularly effective, confusing, surprising?
    • What aspects resonated with your own beliefs and values?

Some people find it helpful to read and consider other philosophies before creating their own. As you can see, philosophies are as individual as we are; however, we do suggest that you focus on the questions in #1 as a guide for your own.

Activity 2: Other Components of a Teaching Dossier

Once you have developed your teaching philosophy statement, you should be able to extract several teaching goals from the statement.  For example, one of your goals might be to encourage students to become independent critical thinkers.  If this is the case, what evidence can you provide that this is happening in your course? That is, what types of instructional strategies, assessment methods, or other teaching techniques do you use to support that goal?

  1. Think about one of your teaching goals. What evidence can you provide that you are achieving this? Share your thoughts with one other person at your table.

Activity 3: Blank Dossier Guide

  1. Look over the various categories of the Teaching Dossier Form. This form will provide you with a framework and a way to organize your supplementary material for the dossier. For more details on each category, see the document "Teaching Dossier: A Guide." What questions do you have about creating your own dossier?
  2. When you have time view the sample teaching dossiers.

Teaching Philosophy Examples

Portfolio Examples


  • Tisdell, E. J. & Taylor, E. W. (2000). Adult education philosophy informs practice. Adult Learning, 11(2), 6-10
  • Teaching Dossier Guide (PDF)
  • "Recasting The Teaching Portfolio", from the December 1997 edition of The Teaching Professor
  • The Teaching Portfolio