Teaching Merit Certificates (TMC) are aimed at a range of levels, from new and sessional staff (making valuable contributions to student learning), to more experienced staff (who are going above and beyond what is expected of them in their role). A maximum of three TMCs may be awarded to any individual staff member or team.
All nominated academic and professional staff are eligible to apply for a TMC.
Individual and team applications are invited in each category. There are two categories: Teaching Merit Certificate; and Teaching Merit Certificate – Student Support and Engagement.
Any individual staff member or team can be awarded a maximum of three TMCs.
Nominated applicants must submit the correct TMC application form and Statement of Support:
- First TMC application form (you have not applied before or have not been successful before)
- Second or third TMC application form (you have been awarded one or two TMCs since 2012)
- Student Support and Engagement TMC application form (non-teaching role)
- Statement of Support template
Applications for second and third TMCs must include a Professional Learning Plan (see below), and be submitted along with a copy of any previously successful applications.
Assessment of Applications
Applications are assessed by two assessors from different Colleges or Schools. Assessments are then moderated across the institution by the Awards and Grants Working Group. Each application is given equal consideration.
In assessing applications, the Working Group will take into account:
- the links made between the particular teaching context described in the application, and the evidence provided with which to justify the claim/s of excellence made in relation to the focus area;
- the extent to which the applicant provides measurable evidence of success/excellent practice in relation to the focus area;
- the information provided by in the applicant's Statement of Support as well as the information contained in any eVALUate surveys provided.
For second and third TMCs only:
- the extent to which the applicant provides measurable evidence of progression from previous TMCs; and
- provided Professional Learning Plan will contribute to the applicant's teaching practice.
Winners of a TMC are encouraged to continue to collect evidence of their good teaching practice and professional learning, in order to progress along the Teaching Awards Pathway.
Developing a Professional Learning Plan
When submitting an application for a second or third Teaching Merit Certificate, applicants must provide a 12-month professional learning plan which outlines the activities they will engage in to develop their practice. The types of activities documented in this plan are chosen by the applicant depending on personal (and sometimes strategic) professional goals and might include:
- Attending TILT or external professional learning workshops in the areas of learning and teaching;
- Engaging a peer reviewer to review their teaching practice;
- Working with a mentor;
- Attending or presenting at a conference related to learning and teaching;
- Submitting a paper for peer review and publication in a learning and teaching journal;
- Participating as part of a learning and teaching focused Community of Practice;
- Leading or participating in a Teaching Development Grant (internal or external to UTAS); and/or
- Enrolling in a unit or units from the Graduate Certificate in University Learning and Teaching.
The professional learning plan must include details of the specific activities the applicants will engage in, the proposed outcomes of this engagement and the ways this engagement will contribute to the enhancement of the applicant's teaching practice. It should also indicate how evidence of this learning will be documented over the 12-month period. The assessment of subsequent Teaching Merit Certificate and other UTAS Teaching Award applications will consider the extent to which the activities and outcomes outlined in these professional learning plans were achieved.
The professional learning plan should be no more than 1 page and should be included as an attachment to your application.
A suggested model for presentation of your professional learning plan is offered below. You could document your plan (in a table or as a list of dot points) that covers the following headings:
- Activity (the name of the activity you are undertaking);
- Details (the details of this activity);
- Contribution (the contribution you think undertaking this activity will make to your learning and teaching understandings/practice);
- Outcomes (what the impact or outcomes might be from undertaking the activity); and
- Documentation (how you might collect documentation to evidence the activity).
Another way in which you might think about your professional learning plan would be to closely articulate it with the UTAS Academic Performance Expectations. This would mean you documenting a plan that describes activities, outcomes and evidence under the following three 'domains':
- Domain 1: Excellence in student learning and teaching practice
- Domain 2: Excellence in contemporary curriculum design and engagement
- Domain 3: Excellence in the scholarship of learning and teaching.
Approaching your professional learning plan in this way might assist academic staff who wish to be strategic in achieving markers of performance involved in institutional performance management initiatives. You could describe activities under one or all of the domain areas, depending on your particular professional context or goals.
Remember to choose achievable activities that offer you plenty of scope to develop your practice in a way that also align with your personal career goals. This might encompass activities that offer a clear pathway to building evidence for national awards programs, for example, or towards building capacity to apply for teaching fellowships (internal and external to UTAS). For assistance in identifying relevant professional learning activities that might help to progress you along the UTAS Awards Pathway, please contact TILT at firstname.lastname@example.org.