I'm in literature and applying for a tenure-track position. One of my job applications is asking for "evidence of effective teaching methods" as one of the documents I am to submit.

Does anyone have any idea of what this should be?

Research to date has given me very little. My usual go-to sources for job application information and help have not had anything to address this sort of thing.

Sure, there are teaching philosophies and teaching statements, both of which I've written in the past.

Evidence of teaching ability, in my field at least, includes your teaching evaluations and letters, your teaching philosophy, and a few syllabi relevant to the job search at hand. But, there is no clear-cut answer to that one either. And it varies a lot, depending on who you ask.

As for my own pedagogical experience, I would imagine this could include some sample assignments? Perhaps a narrative of what innovative teaching methods I've used in the past, perhaps some student comments from evaluations that speak to methodology in particular?

But, I'm really guessing here, and I was hoping someone who has dealt with this particular item in job applications would have some idea of what this might be.

Thanks for the suggestions on how to clarify the question.

  • These kinds of requirements are typically written very broadly so that the search committee can use its judgement in determining who the best qualified candidates are. I would provide teaching evaluations, sample syllabi, and a statement of teaching philosophy. Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 18:38
  • So, in essence, no different from Evidence of Teaching Ability?
    – Pupahava
    Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 18:46
  • @Pupahava: The two seem synonymous to me (although I am an engineer and do not work in the humanities). Also, I've edited the title of the question to better reflect the content.
    – aeismail
    Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


From the perspective of someone who has been on a search committee this would normally mean your teaching evaluations -- either as a TA or as the instructor on record. Any teaching awards you might have won in this regard would also count

But we also recognize that not everyone has had TA/IOR experience. So it could also include:

  • Evidence of having taken teacher training / professionalization seminars
  • Sample syllabi and assignments
  • Student/faculty/participant feedback from guest lectures and guest talks

This question is deliberately broadly worded so as to not exclude people who haven't had to teach. You can include a cover sheet to this item category (i.e., when you upload your PDFs you include or prepend a cover sheet) that notes how you have interpreted this and let the committee know that you are willing to send more material if requested.

Why is this material requested? After the search committee makes its decision, your file goes to the Provost's office. The Provost will want to see "evidence of teaching effectiveness" as well as "evidence of research" as part of the portfolio. It's simpler for the committee if you can make this case for them ahead of time.

  • I'm also guessing that this is not for an R1 since we're not really that interested in good teaching <snark>. But when I was applying to SLACs, they were very interested in teaching effectiveness and evidence of such.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 19:25
  • That's right. Not an R1 school.
    – Pupahava
    Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 22:05
  • Here's a follow up question: This is a literature job. I have teaching experience in language instruction. Should I include those evaluations in this document?
    – Pupahava
    Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 22:08
  • Whatever strengthens your application.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 23:53

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