The Nomination Dossier

Important:

1. The dossier must not exceed 35 pages.

  • Cover pages, divider pages, the nomination brief, and the appendix are not included in this count.
  • As nominees must demonstrate excellence in the three categories of: educational leadership; teaching excellence; and educational innovation, it is expected that page length will be approximately equal between these sections.
  • The Adjudication Committee will consider online links. However, each hyperlink will count for 2 pages in the nomination package. Nomination packages exceeding 35 pages will not be sent to reviewers.
  • Dossier sections are considered mandatory for a complete nomination unless otherwise indicated below.  

2. Use a standard 12-point font with one-inch margins.

3. Each page must be numbered.

4. The file must be a searchable PDF. Do not scan the documents.

5. Opinions about a candidate’s excellence are most credible if expressed by others. Clearly identify the authors or preparers of each of the dossier’s following subdivisions: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.7, 8.8, 10, 11.

Contents of the Nomination Dossier

1.0 Cover Page and Table of Contents

Not mandatory, but certainly appreciated.

2.0 Nomination Brief

Note: All of section 2 is the mandatory online form and does not count for the 35 page maximum.

2.1 Nominee’s Contact information

Please include all requested contact information. Someone from the Fellowship program, the media, your home institution, or even international colleagues may want to reach you urgently. Please include several phone numbers where we can contact you. And please do not hesitate to add extra email addresses and social media accounts. Please note: successful nominees will be contacted ONLY by phone, so give a number where you are likely to pick up. We will not make the initial contact by email.

2.2 Nominator’s Contact Information

Please include all requested contact information.

2.3 Nominee’s Education and Relevant Learning Experience

2.4 Employment History

2.5 Other Contact Information

Please include all requested contact information in each of these subsections.

2.5.1 Public Relations Office

2.5.2 Communications Officer

2.5.3 Other relevant media and institutions

Please provide contact information for the nominee’s department head and dean, the local and campus news media, and the development offices and alumni associations. When new Fellows are identified publicly, institutions, sponsors, media, 3M Canada, and STLHE officers will want to reach any number of people at the home institution. They may be looking for local or institutional contacts, interesting stories, or opinions on current issues in higher education.

2.6 Terms of Acceptance

Fellows are expected to attend both the STLHE annual conference and the 3M Fellows Summit. The 3M NTF program covers the full costs for the Summit; it is expected that the Fellows’ home institutions will support travel to the STLHE Conference. Participants in the 3M Fellows Summit may not be accompanied by spouses, partners, dependents, or pets. New Fellows are also expected to work collaboratively with their cohort on their project and to present the results of the project at the following year’s conference. Please see Deadlines, Submission Requirements and Timelines for specific dates.

  • At the STLHE conference, representatives from 3M Canada and STLHE will invite and welcome new Fellows into the Society and the Fellowship. Fellows will also meet recipients from STLHE’s other award programs.
  • At the Summit, in an inspiring natural setting, the 10 new Fellows gradually become a cohesive unit – a cohort – during several days of engaging, intimate conversations about teaching, students, academia, and scholarship. Fellows will also begin designing their collaborative group project. Projects will be presented to the STLHE community at the next STLHE conference.
  • As new Fellows are expected to attend the Summit, participate in the Cohort research project and attend the conference, if you know you cannot attend the Summit, please delay your nomination for another year. The intrinsic values of the Fellowship are rooted in these events. Please acknowledge that, if selected, you agree to attend both events and to participate in your cohort research project. A digital signature and date are required.
  • Fellows will also have the opportunity to engage and collaborate with 3M Canada on projects related to post-secondary education in Canada.

3.0 Letters of Nomination

3.1 Nominator’s Letter

Good nominations begin with a comprehensive letter carefully encapsulating the whole dossier – similar to an Executive Summary. The letter tells the reviewers what to look for and where to find it. The nomination letter will be written by someone working closely with the nominee and who is familiar with the entire dossier. Bringing forward the reader’s first impressions of the nominee, the nomination letter is one of the most important documents in a successful dossier. The most compelling letter will evoke a vivid, three-dimensional sense of the nominee.

3.2 Post-Secondary Institution Administration Letter of Endorsement (If different from 3.1)

An authentic letter of endorsement from a senior administrator (e.g. the Provost, Vice-President Academic, Vice-President Teaching & Learning, or Dean of the nominee’s faculty) should show the extent to which the institution values the nominee. An authentic letter says something meaningful about the nominee; it communicates a sense of how the institution benefits from the nominee’s distinctive contributions.

4.0 Philosophy of Educational Leadership

This must be signed and dated.

The nominee writes the Philosophy of Educational Leadership, giving a personal account of leadership. A helpful resource for crafting this statement can be found here. Please limit the Educational Leadership Statement to maximum two pages.

As the Committee’s first opportunity to hear the nominee’s own voice, the reflective Philosophy of Educational Leadership is a crucial part of the nomination. An effective philosophy statement is personal and genuine. It distinguishes the nominee’s approaches to educational leadership. It provides a conceptual framework that explains the values, principles, and goals that underpin the nominee’s decisions and actions. It helps readers connect with the evidence provided elsewhere in the dossier.

The Philosophy of Educational Leadership should not be the same as the Teaching Philosophy Statement (6.0). Include evidence for Educational leadership in the next section of the dossier (5.0), not in the philosophy statement.

Past leadership statements have introduced teachers who changed institutional cultures with the persistent force of their ideas and passion. They persuade departments to revise their courses and programs, and the new courses and programs appear effervescent, even to an outsider. They create and offer professional development to colleagues in their home organizations and across the country because they want to share fresh ideas. They may present and publish on teaching and learning. They mentor colleagues who become better teachers.

5.0 Evidence of Educational Leadership

In this section, please include factual evidence to support the narrative in section 4.0. Highlight specific projects, recognition, assessments of impact, and other supporting documentation here. It is important to provide evidence of educational leadership at the Institutional or national higher education leadership demonstrating lived commitment to improving higher education and society. A long list of workshops presented or a list of committees the individual has served on will not be as convincing as summarized evidence to support the key points presented in the Leadership Statement. Please note that the committee is looking for the impact over time the nominee’s leadership has had on higher education in particular: clear evidence of this impact is essential. Nominees are encouraged to document the impact of their educational leadership at the departmental, faculty, institutional, national, or disciplinary level.

Also, please keep in mind the significance of the nominee’s role. At its most persuasive, educational leadership goes beyond the nominee’s assigned duties, transcending the confines of the home institution and even the discipline or program. It makes a difference through deep and significant change. Serving on committees and attending teaching workshops will provide only modest support for a case. But creating campus or national initiatives or inspiring changes internationally can be persuasive. Explain why something is important, why and how it makes a difference, and what the nominee did to make that difference.

An individual nominated for this fellowship will, in part, have provided leadership among faculty colleagues in developing structures and processes and in pursuing activities that help create an institutional environment which fosters and supports teaching excellence. What constitutes educational leadership will vary from institution to institution but regardless of what evidence you provide please be sure to indicate the impact your work has had on others. For example, the nominee might have

  • participated in organizing the institution’s continuing efforts to improve the quality of instruction it offers to its learners,
  • assisted colleagues, either formally or informally, in efforts to improve their teaching, for example through mentorship or peer consultation,
  • provided guidance to new faculty members and other colleagues,
  • organized or participated actively in workshops, symposia, or conferences on college or university instruction,
  • contributed to the scholarship of teaching and learning
  • been involved in collaborative efforts to develop innovative methods of teaching,
  • been actively involved in curriculum development or program renewal,
  • developed curricula or learning programs (such as co-op learning, service learning, or internships) that benefit the entire campus,
  • implemented institutional change as a result of leader’s efforts
  • Had a measurable amount of impact on mentors
  • participated in knowledge translation
  • measured change under individual’s leadership
  • measured staff/student turnover
  • contributed actively to institutional committees whose work has created or influenced institutional policies related to teaching, learning, or assessment,
  • written or substantially contributed to the development of institutional policies to enhance teaching or learning, such as teaching evaluation, academic advising, academic integrity, etc., or
  • served in leadership roles on regional, national, or international organizations dedicated to teaching
  • helped improve learning outcomes or access to education for under-represented groups such as First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples, Indigenous peoples of North America, racialized persons, persons with disabilities, and those who identify as women and/or 2SLGBTQI.

Focus in this section on leadership in improving teaching and learning beyond the nominee’s own classroom. This is not the place for descriptions of excellence in teaching or working with students, nor for academic leadership in projects or committees focused on issues other than teaching and learning.

Teaching excellence, educational leadership and educational innovation are typically aligned. Nonetheless, evidence for educational leadership must be distinct from evidence for teaching excellence and evidence of innovation. 

6.0 Teaching Philosophy Statement

This must be signed and dated.

The reflective Teaching Philosophy Statement, like the Philosophy of Educational Leadership, is a crucial part of the nomination. An effective philosophy statement is personal and genuine. It distinguishes the nominee’s approaches to learning and teaching. It provides a conceptual framework that explains the values, principles, and goals that underpin the nominee’s teaching decisions and actions. It helps readers connect with the evidence provided elsewhere in the dossier.

There are many examples and guides to preparing a Teaching Philosophy Statement, such as this one. Please limit the Teaching Philosophy Statement to maximum two pages.

Claims made in the philosophy statement should be substantiated in other parts of the dossier.

7.0 Statement of Teaching Responsibilities

This is an important section to set the context for your work as a teacher. Explain briefly your normal teaching responsibilities: for example, you might tell us the normal teaching assignment in your unit and for your type of contract, relevant details about the student profile in your classes, whether your courses are required or elective, or anything that is unique to your context. If you have an administrative position, clarify the course release (if any) that goes with that responsibility. Include a statement of the normal number of courses taught by faculty in the candidate’s department.

Since your readers will probably not be from your discipline, give any context that will help them understand how much, what, and when you teach.

8.0 Teaching Excellence

8.1 Brief Statement of How the Nominee’s Post-secondary Institution Recognizes Teaching Excellence

Begin with a paragraph listing all teaching awards for which the nominee is eligible. Please note that if your institution does not have any teaching awards the nominee will not be at a disadvantage. Include brief information about the awards, their criteria, and their selection processes.

8.2 Teaching Awards Received

List the nominee’s teaching awards. Other useful information includes the number of faculty members eligible for the award and the number of such awards granted in any given year. Please note that receiving a previous teaching award is not a requirement for receiving this award. 

8.3 Effective Teaching Strategies

This must be signed and dated.

The nominee writes this section. It is often presented as a narrative. Two or three samples of effective strategies can be clear windows into the nominee’s teaching. Please focus on those things that are extraordinary, not just good practice. The nominee should tell a story of what was done, provide the rationale behind the strategies, offer evidence for their effectiveness, and describe the learning outcomes. The story might describe an original assignment, a series of lab experiments, exceptional fieldwork, innovative lecturing, and so on. This section should help the Committee understand how the nominee’s teaching philosophy is enacted.

8.4 Evidence for Teaching Excellence

Evidence for teaching excellence should come from several sources such as, student evaluations of teaching, peer review of teaching, course development efforts, or course materials. Many teachers demonstrate excellence and commitment in unconventional, unprecedented, radical, unheralded, or novel ways. For instance, pre-post learning tests to demonstrate knowledge gains, producing scholarship, demonstrated use of evidence-based approaches to pedagogy or success in student learning outcomes. It is up to the nominee to decide what evidence to put forward in this section. Some suggestions are provided in the rest of this section.

Student evaluation of teaching

Student evaluations of teaching is one piece of evidence that can be used. If the nominee chooses to do so, please include data from the last five years. A typed list of all student comments from two or three classes (prepared at arm’s length from the nominee) is to be included in the appendix.

Provide a table showing course titles, course level, dates, class sizes, number of completed evaluations, mean ratings for the global question for each course and other pertinent information, covering courses taught within the past five years. Note: this table should be compiled by year.

Because of the huge diversity in the ways Canadian post-secondary institutions conduct teaching evaluations, the Adjudication Committee members are very appreciative of anything you can do to help them interpret your nominee’s formal student ratings. Here are some suggestions:

  • Explain how student ratings are normally conducted.
  • Exclude uninterpreted raw data.
  • Identify the person(s) who summarized the data and how the summary was prepared: this person cannot be the nominee.
  • Usually, dossiers should not rely entirely on feedback from classes with fewer than ten students because such small samples tend to be less reliable and persuasive than data from larger classes. That said, the Adjudication Committee recognizes that small class sizes are the norm in some disciplines, such as clinical teaching, art, music, or drama. If such feedback predominates in the dossier, please explain how the numerical data and comments were collected and how they are significant.
  • Help your nominee by accounting for irregularities in the data (low ratings that result from significant changes to a course, gaps in ratings that are due to a leave of absence or special assignment or reduced teaching responsibilities, change in the rating form, etc.).
  • In the absence of a global question (one that asks students to express an overall judgment about the instructor as a teacher), you might calculate a mean if possible for all available questions. Please explain what you are substituting for the global question and why.
  • If student evaluations are included in the dossier, we ask that complete sets of comments from two or three classes be included in the dossier, but please put them in the appendix.

Peer review of teaching

The Adjudication Committee appreciates peer reviews of the nominee’s teaching. The value of such evidence increases with details and specifics—anecdotes, examples, descriptions, stories, and observations. If peer review of teaching is used as part of the evidence for teaching excellence, it is important the reviewer take a scholarly approach to the peer review. For instance, they will have used multiple sources of data to perform the review such as feedback from students, review of course materials, websites etc. and an in-depth discussion with the instructor on how their syllabi, including assessment methods, help them meet student learning outcomes. This would be in addition to visiting several of the instructor’s classes. For more information on effective peer review please view this resource

Course Development Efforts

Please provide evidence for excellence in the design of no more than three newly-developed courses. Describe the rationale for and process used to develop and refine the course. If the course is successful because of design innovation, explain what is unique and effective, giving evidence. Are students learning something different because of the design? How do we know?

Examples of Course Materials

Please do not simply copy course outlines and major assignments into the dossier without interpretation. If you are convinced that certain course materials will clarify or burnish claims of teaching excellence, excerpt noteworthy elements and explain why they are significant.

The explanation is crucial because the Committee needs to connect the materials with other messages in the dossier. Do the materials illuminate some part of the nominee’s attitudes and orientation? Some aspect of the teaching philosophy? A novel or important teaching method appearing earlier in the dossier? Please be explicit in your explanations.

9.0 Educational Innovation

Evidence for educational innovation may occur in the classroom, the post-secondary institution or beyond. In this section it is important to highlight how the nominees’ innovation goes beyond their own classroom.  When describing innovative practices, please tell us why you believe they are innovative, perhaps addressing what theme in innovation you were trying to address. Current themes for innovation include for example, students-as partners, student and university well-being, decolonization, remote learning, work integrated learning and open educational resources.

In providing evidence, you may wish to annotate those practices to explain why you consider them innovative. Please include unique examples of educational innovation that have not been used in other sections of the dossier. For instance, evidence for a unique teaching strategy could be presented under teaching excellence but in this section, we would want to see evidence of the impact of that strategy on others. Similarly, evidence for educational leadership might include the production of the scholarship of teaching and learning. In this section we would like to hear what has been the impact of that scholarship. Have others, for instance, changed their pedagogical practices as a result of your scholarship. Evidence for educational innovation may include but is not limited to:

  • Adoption of innovation by others
  • Development of initiatives or innovations that have had a significant impact on higher education (at their institution or beyond)
  • Data showing impact (performance measures, institutional change, baseline data for comparison purposes, learning impact, outcome evaluations)
  • Innovative work around effective implementation of instructional design principles for effective teaching and learning experiences and evidence for your success
  • Creative work around designing educational development activities for faculty and others and evidence of impact
  • Development of educational resources that have been used by others
  • External recognition
  • Resulting course delivery tools
  • Resultant scholarship
  • Learner feedback

10.0 Letters of Support

The best letters are specific and authentic. These are signed and dated letters from colleagues or former students.

To avoid redundancy, each letter should address a separate facet or two of the nominee’s teaching, leadership and innovation. The focus in the letters should be on the impact the nominee has had on the individual, group, institution or discipline. Elements might include commentary on student engagement, support for student learning, professional value of the courses, effective teaching strategies, curriculum design, campus-wide impact, teaching reinforced by research, peer mentoring, and so on. Examples are stronger than adjectives.

DO NOT INCLUDE LETTERS FROM CURRENT STUDENTS.

Please do not ask for letters from current students. They are vulnerable by definition, even if they express a strong, unprompted desire to play an active role in supporting the nomination.

10.1 From Former Students

Note: No more than 3 may be included.

10.2 From Others

Note: No more than 3 may be included.

11.0 Press Release

Write a 250-word press release  to describe what is special about the nominee’s achievements and show memorably and persuasively how and where they made a difference. It should summarize the nominee’s dossier persuasively. Try to identify the truly unique impact the individual has had on their post-secondary institution and beyond. Bring out the voice of the nominee or their impact on students in a way that differentiates them from other excellent instructors.

The press releases must make sense to a general audience outside the institution and to other excellent instructors. It may include short quotes directly from the rest of the dossier, such as a strong comment from one of the letters.

The press release will be used in promotional materials announcing the new 3M Fellows, including but not limited to STLHE and 3M website content, the annual Macleans announcement, media releases and other applications as needed to promote the Fellowship.

Please look at examples of previous Fellowship recipients on the STLHE web site to determine what this section should contain.

12.0 Appendix

This section is optional.

The Appendix is an optional section of the dossier and may only include a copy of the student evaluation of teaching instrument and student comments from two or more classes. No other information will be read.  If student evaluations are included in the dossier, include a blank copy of the student rating form, or at least a clear statement of the global question(s), together with the possible responses.

Also, if student evaluations are included in the dossier, unedited student comments from two classes must be included here. A brief analysis of student comments by someone other than the nominee should accompany this section. Please explain how the comments were prepared. You might consider highlighting what the comments say about the nominee’s teaching. Please include the number of comments and the total number of students in the class. These comments are not included in the page count.

Do not include other material in the appendix: it will not be read.