Teaching & Learning

Vice Chancellor's Awards for Teaching Excellence

Overview

The VC's Awards for Teaching Excellence celebrate UTAS's most outstanding teachers in their respective fields. Awards for Teaching Excellence give recognition to teachers acclaimed for the excellence of their teaching practice, who have demonstrated outstanding teaching outcomes and who have made a broad and deep contribution to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching at UTAS.

There are three award sub-categories for the VC's Award for Teaching Excellence:

Sub-category A – Team Teaching Excellence Award

Awards in sub-category A are presented for excellence in teaching programs or teaching teams, where there is evidence of exceptional levels of student satisfaction and learning outcomes across a particular program. The term program should be interpreted broadly to include a unit, course or school. It is expected that submissions will contain documentation regarding the approach followed in developing and maximising the quality of the program, as well as information specifying the ways in which the various contributors worked together as part of a team. Applicants should provide information relating to their particular teaching context, as well as documentary evidence from a range of sources to support the claims they make against the selection criteria. The submission must be supported by appropriate evidence of student satisfaction and impact on student learning. 

Sub-category B – Individual Teaching Excellence Award

Awards in sub-category B are presented to individuals who have demonstrated sustained excellence in teaching across the various programs in which they are involved. Applicants should provide information relating to their particular teaching context, as well as documentary evidence from a range of sources to support the claims they make against the selection criteria. The submission must be supported by appropriate evidence of student satisfaction and impact on student learning. 

Sub-category C – Individual Early Career Academic Teaching Excellence Award

Awards in sub-category C are presented for teaching excellence by academic staff, including sessional, casual and fractional appointments, who have no more than seven years experience teaching in a higher education setting. (This should be interpreted as seven cumulative years and includes all tutoring, part-time teaching, and teaching at other higher education institutions.) Applications should show evidence of teaching excellence across the various programs in which they are involved as well as a particular focus on the applicant's efforts to develop teaching expertise. Applicants should provide some information about their individual teaching context, as well as documentary evidence from a range of sources to support the claims they make against the selection criteria. The submission must be supported by appropriate evidence of student satisfaction and impact on student learning.  

Winners of VC's Teaching Excellence Awards will receive $10,000 under sub-category A (teaching teams) and $5,000 under sub-category B (individual academic staff members) and sub-category C (individual early career academic staff). A maximum of two Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Teaching Excellence will be offered each year..

Eligibility

  • All members of academic staff, including pro bono staff, are eligible to apply for a VC's Award for Teaching Excellence.
  • Winners of VC's Awards for Teaching Excellence are ineligible to reapply for the same award.  
  • Winners of VC's Awards for Teaching Excellence are eligible to apply for the Vice Chancellor's Medal for Sustained Commitment to Teaching Excellence five years following their Award for Teaching Excellence.  
  • Winners of VC's Awards for Teaching Excellence may immediately submit an application for a VC's award within a different category (e.g. Program Award) but must demonstrate significantly different achievements than those for which the initial award was received.  
  • Previously unsuccessful applicants in any category are immediately eligible to reapply.

Selection Criteria

Applicants for UTAS Teaching Excellence Awards are required to respond to each of the following four criteria. The text below each criterion is indicative of the ways in which the criteria might be demonstrated. Applicants should not feel limited by these illustrative examples. Each criterion will be given equal weighting. 

  1. Approaches to teaching and the support of learning that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn. This may include fostering student development by stimulating curiosity and independence in learning; participating in effective and empathetic guidance and advice for students; assisting students from equity and other demographic subgroups to participate and achieve success in their courses; encouraging student engagement through the enthusiasm shown for learning and teaching; inspiring and motivating students through effective communication, presentation and interpersonal skills; enabling others to enhance their approaches to learning and teaching; and developing and/or integrating assessment strategies to enhance student learning. 
  2. Development of curricula, resources or services that reflect a command of the field. This may include developing and presenting coherent and imaginative resources for student learning; implementing research-led approaches to learning and teaching; demonstrating up-to-date knowledge of the field of study in the design of the curriculum and the creation of resources for learning; communicating clear objectives and expectations for student learning; providing support to those involved in the development of curricula and resources; and contributing professional expertise to enhance curriculum or resources. 
  3. Evaluation practices that bring about improvements in teaching and learning. Evaluation comprises making judgements about the quality of programs and activities that are part of the academic, cultural and social experience of higher education. This may include showing advanced skills in evaluation and reflective practice; using a variety of evaluation strategies to bring about change; adapting evaluation methods to different contexts and diverse student needs and learning styles; contributing professional expertise to the field of evaluation in order to improve program design and delivery; and the dissemination and embedding of good practice identified through evaluation. 
  4. Innovation, leadership or scholarship that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or the student experience. This may include participating in and contributing to professional activities related to learning and teaching; innovations in service and support for students; coordination, management and leadership of courses and student learning; conducting and publishing research related to teaching; demonstrating leadership through activities that have broad influence on the profession; providing innovative learning and teaching for different contexts, including technology enhanced environments, for large and small class sizes and/or to meet the needs of a diverse student cohort; and influencing the overall academic, social and cultural experience of higher education.

In assessing applications, the sub-committee will consider the relative levels of achievement against each selection criteria, according to the academic level an applicant holds. Thus, from Academic Level A to Level E the sub-committee will expect increasing demonstrated levels of achievement, excellence and leadership in teaching. In addition, the sub-committee will consider:

  • the extent to which the claims for excellence are supported by formal and informal evaluation;
  • the extent of creativity, imagination or innovation, irrespective of whether the approach involves traditional learning environments or technology-based developments; and
  • the extent to which the application demonstrates evidence of sustained effectiveness over time

Nomination, Application and Selection Procedures


Excellence - Application Format

The VC's Award for Teaching Excellence application is comprised of:

  • Application cover sheet (Word 47.0KB)
  • Written statement (8  pages)
  • Curriculum vitae (3 pages with one additional page for each team member)
  • References (2 references of one page each)
  • Supporting materials (see information below)

Paper must be A4 and plain white. Margins must be at least 2cm with clear definition between paragraphs. Font must be a minimum of 11 point. Individual pages that do not meet the requirements, for instance by exceeding the pages limits, will be removed.

Written Statement

The core element of the application is a written statement in which applicants describe their contribution to teaching excellence at the institution. It is essential that applicants address each of the selection criteria, and provide a broad range of evidence in the written statement to support their claims in line with these criteria. The written statement is limited to eight (8) A4 pages in total and should include all information that might be referred to in the submission.

The written statement should be presented in order, under the following headings:

1)    Overview

Should summarise the applicant's teaching context, experience, methods, and research/teaching interests. This is also an area to include the applicant's teaching philosophy and beliefs, situating these within an integrated summary of the claims relating to the selection criteria.

2)    Selection criteria

A statement addressing each of the four criteria below in turn:

  1. Approaches to teaching and the support of learning that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn.
  2. Development of curricula, resources or services that reflect a command of the field.
  3. Evaluation practices that bring about improvements in teaching and learning.
  4. Innovation, leadership or scholarship that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or the student experience.

A broad range of evidence in support of the claims against these criteria must be provided. The views of students, collaborators and/or colleagues should be woven into this statement as appropriate, as they will be a key element in the assessment of applications.

3)    Summary statement

Outlining the ways in which the applicant's contribution has: influenced student learning, engagement and/or the overall student experience; been sustained over time; and been recognised by fellow staff, the institution, and/or the broader community.

Curriculum Vitae

The Curriculum Vitae should outline the applicant's educational qualifications, employment history, teaching positions held, teaching experience and list of relevant publications. The Curriculum Vitae is limited to (3) three A4 (minimum 11 point font) pages for applications from individuals. Teams may allow for one additional page per team member i.e., a team of three may have five pages (three + two). Pages in excess of this limit will be removed.

References

Two references of no more than one A4 page each must be provided by people who are able to comment on the applicant's outstanding contribution to teaching excellence against the nominated selection criterion/a. One of the referees MUST be from the Head of School, Faculty or Department, unless otherwise negotiated with the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Students & Education). If the application is from a team, the references should refer to the team.

Supporting Materials

Applicants must include additional materials supporting claims against the selection criteria. The relevance of the materials must be made clear in the written statement. Applicants can choose to submit two of the following support materials:

  • A three minute video (which could include footage of the nominee talking about their teaching, their teaching philosophy or interviews with students;
  • A website
  • 10 pages of teaching materials in one PDF file format

Applicants may choose to include additional materials supporting claims against the selection criteria, but these will not be circulated to the sub-committee prior to the meeting.  The sub-committee will be provided one copy of these materials at the assessment meeting.