Example II: Full Teaching Dossier

Teaching Dossier (1996) of COLIN BAIRD, UWO Department of Chemistry

Teaching Responsibilities

Courses Taught in Last 7 Years

Environmental Science 300F/G "Environmental Problems"

1992-93     1 section, first term
1993-94     1 section, first term
1994-95     1 section, first and second terms
1995-96     2 sections, first term

Co-taught and co-coordinated the course (with C. Trick in 92-93, and M. Kane thereafter) using a combination of lectures, plus oral presentations by students based upon their individual major essays. No TAs used.

Environmental Science 350a/b "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Environmental Problems"

1993-94, 94-95, 95-96  1 section each year

Prepared and delivered the bulk of lectures, and coordinated guest lecturers. No TAs.

Chemistry 226a/b "Environmental Chemistry"

1990-91, 91-92, 92-93, 93-94  1 section each year

Prepared and delivered the lectures. No TAs.

Chemistry 026 "General and Environmental Chemistry"

1991-92, 92-93, 93-94 - 1 section per year; did only half the course in 93-94

Prepared and delivered lectures. Prepared tutorial materials including biweekly tests, and assisted in tutorials. TAs marked all the lab reports and tutorial tests, and demonstrated labs and assisted in teaching of the tutorials.

Chemistry 021 "Introduction to Chemistry"

1989-90, 90-91, 91-92  1 section each year

Co-taught course (with D. Hunter) by lectures. TAs used to mark some assignments.

Chemistry 484b "Quantum Chemistry III"

1989-90  1 section

Prepared and delivered lectures. No TAs used.

Course Outlines for last 2 years

See appendix

Students Supervised

Chem 490 Undergraduate Thesis: Michael English 1994-95

Supervised M.Sc. theses of R.M. West, K.F Taylor, and P. Markewitz, and Ph.D. thesis of R.F. Barr in 1970s and early 1980s

Academic Advising Duties

Main academic advisor for undergraduate Environmental Science students (about 80 in each year of program) for 1992-93, 93-94, 94-95, and 95-96.

Teaching Philosophy

As an instructor in undergraduate courses, I consider that I have two main roles: as an expert in the content of the subject at hand, and as a manager who devises appropriate materials, exercises and presentations for students.

To stay up-to-date in the content area, I read widely in periodicals that deal with discoveries and debates in the new field of environmental science. I synthesize some of the research findings into publishable articles, classroom handouts, and most recently into an undergraduate textbook. My main goal in choosing course content is to expose students to contemporary ideas and information on important environmental topics, especially those that can be presented in depth at the undergraduate level.

As classroom manager, my aim is to create materials and experiences so that my students have opportunities to learn at all levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, not just the (fact memorizing) lower ones. In this way, students have the opportunity to become independent learners and problem solvers in the environmental area.

In my activities in educational development, my aim has been to devise practical activities and materials that can assist interested UWO faculty and TAs to improve and diversify their instructional abilities. To this end, I review written and video materials from a variety of sources, and plan "how to teach better" workshops and mini-courses in collaboration with other faculty having interests and duties in this area.

Teaching Innovations

Novel Methods / Materials

In 1995, W.H. Freeman & Co. published the textbook "Environmental Chemistry" which I authored, and which was based upon the "Environmental Chemistry 226 Notes" that had been used as an in-house text for several years. A "Solutions Manual" I authored for the text was also published by Freeman in 1995.

The text materials for my component of the Environmental Science 300 and 350 half-courses are a combination of material copied (legally!) from the current scientific literature and textbooks with in-house materials I have written.

A novel aspect of the Environmental Science 300F/G course is the requirement that students each produce an individualized major essay based upon current research reported in the scientific literature, and then in small groups produce oral reports to the whole class highlighting their findings and summarizing them on a short class handout. (Concept co-developed with C. Trick).

In collaboration with D. Hunter (my co-instructor), an in-house text for the Chemistry 021 course was produced in the early '90s.

Development / Revision of Courses

Chemistry 021 - "Introduction to Chemistry" This new course, intended primarily for non-science students, was co-developed with D. Hunter in 1989. It is now given, in modified form, by other instructors both on campus and by correspondence.

Chemistry 226a/b "Environmental Chemistry" I initiated this course in the late '70s and developed most of the material for its present version; it is currently delivered to about 400 students annually by other instructors.

Environmental Science 300F/G "Environmental Problems" Co-developed the curriculum and instructional methodology in 1992 (with C. Trick) and 1993 (with M. Kane).

Environmental Science 350a/b "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Environmental Problems" Developed the curriculum in 1993 for the course and identified suitable guest lecturers (with the assistance of the Environmental Science Undergraduate Committee).

Chemistry 026 "General and Environmental Chemistry" Developed some new curriculum to combine with content of Chem 020 for this course, now defunct.

Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness

Classroom Teaching

Summary of Student Ratings

80-90 90-91 94-92 92-93 93-94 94-95 95-96 Avg
Chem 484b 4.9 4.9
Chem 021 4.4 4.7 4.6 4.57
Chem 226a/b 4.8 4.1 4.4 4.6 4.48
Chem 026 4.5 4.9 4.6 4.67
Env Sci 300F/G 4.4 4.4 4.7 4.7 4.55
Env Sci 350 a/b 4.1 4.7 4.5 4.33
Average 4.65 4.75 4.30 4.57 4.43 4.70 4.60 4.56
Prior Recognition

Teaching Awards

  1. OCUFA (Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations) Teaching Award - 1975
  2. Edward G. Pleva Teaching Award (UWO) - 1990
  3. 3M Teaching Award (national) - 1990

Professional Development

Workshops Attended (as participant)

Sept '91: Teaching Support Centre Perspectives workshop by Mary Dow, "Larger than Life: Adapting Your Personal Teaching Behaviours for Large Classrooms"

Sept '92: Teaching Support Centre Perspectives workshop by Pat Rogers, "You Can't Do That in My Class!"

Attended STLHE National Conferences 6 times in 1985-96 period

Educational Leadership

Director (previously coordinator) of the Teaching Support Centre 1985-89, 1994-present; developed "Course on Teaching at the University Level"

Faculty Development Workshops developed and presented (at Perspectives and/or TA DAy) on "Making Clear, Effective Explanations", "Using Personality and Learning Styles in Your Teaching", "Using 5-Minute Active Learning Exercises in Your Lectures" (with K.Edge), "Strategies that Promote Effective Tutorial Discussions", "Critical Incidents in the Life of a TA" (with M. Atkinson), "Teaching Behaviours which promote/hinder Effective Teaching" (with C. Iwasiw), "Large Classes: Maintaining Higher-Order Learning Objectives" (with M. Robinson), "Learning through Group Discussion: The Paideia Seminar", "Designing Courses to Include Student Presentations" (with S. Galsworthy), "Three Interesting Interactive Teaching Strategies" (with A.Gedalof and M. Robinson), "Teaching Dossiers: Content and Construction" (with H. Murray), "Effective Lecturing: Structuring Your Material"

Member, Chemistry Department Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (currently and many times in past)

Member, SCAAPP and SUAP (Senate committees on academic programs and courses - several times in 1985-95 period)

Member, Senate Committee on Teaching Awards (several times in '80 -'95 period)

Member, Teacher Education Advisory Committee (for Althouse - several times in '90-'96 period)

Research on Teaching/Curriculum Development

Papers Published on Curriculum Issues
  1. N.C.Baird, "Introducing Atmospheric Reactions - A Systematic Approach for Students", Journal of Chemical Education 72, 153-157 (1995)
  2. N.C.Baird, "Environmental Chemistry Update", Journal of Chemical Education 72, 684-685 (1995)
  3. N.C.Baird, "The Chemical Bond Revisited", Journal of Chemical Education 63, 660-664 (1986)
  4. N.C.Baird, "Energy Output of Fuels", Journal of Chemical Education 60, 356 (1983)