Teaching excellently

Assessment and valuation of teaching at McMaster


  • Rebecca Taylor McMaster University https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1984-1187
  • Amanda Kelly Ferguson McMaster University
  • Michel Grignon McMaster University
  • Alison Sills McMaster University




For decades, the notion of teaching excellence has had a place in both informal and formal discourses about the quality of teaching at McMaster University. But what does teaching excellently entail, exactly? How is this defined, measured, and rewarded? This chapter seeks to explore how teaching excellence is defined and evaluated at McMaster University, particularly in the context of the evaluation of faculty teaching. First, a review of several historical and contemporary examples of how teaching excellence has shown up in McMaster documents will be presented. Then, interviews conducted in 2021 with McMaster students, staff, faculty, and senior administrators about their current perceptions of teaching excellence and assessment of teaching excellence—which speak to change over time, current considerations, and future directions—will be presented. Finally, the implications surrounding the understanding and assessment of teaching excellence at McMaster will be explored.