Awards for Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Supervision Policy

Fact box

  • Policy owner: Chair, Learning & Teaching Committee
  • Policy category: Academic: Learning and Teaching
  • Policy status: Approved
  • Approval body: Academic Board
  • Endorsement body: Learning & Teaching Committee
  • Last amended: 7th Feb. 2020

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to recognise and encourage excellence in teaching at vocational and higher education levels, as well as excellence in Higher Degree Research (HDR) supervision. This includes both English and Languages Other Than English (LOTE) delivery modes. These awards acknowledge the central position of teaching and research supervision in the community of Alphacrucis College (AC).

Scope

All students, HDR candidates and faculty

Policy

AC is committed to excellence in learning, teaching and HDR supervision across all courses of study. These awards aim to recognise and reward teaching and HDR supervision faculty who demonstrate creativity, innovation and excellence in these areas. The awards reflect the Australian Awards for University Teaching that recognises quality teaching practices and outstanding contributions to student learning. Recipients further contribute to systemic change in learning and teaching through ongoing knowledge sharing and dissemination.

CATEGORIES OF AWARDS

AC offers awards in six categories:

2. Awards for HDR Supervision Excellence

This HDR Supervision Excellence Award celebrates AC's most outstanding HDR principal supervisors. It gives recognition to principal supervisors and/or supervisory teams renowned for the excellence of their HDR supervision, who have outstanding skills in mentoring candidates, with positive outcomes regarding the original research produced by candidates and who have made a broad and deep contribution to enhancing the quality of the HDR courses.

3. Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning

Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning recognise and reward the diverse contributions made by individuals and teams to the quality of student learning at AC. They are awarded to those who have made a significant contribution to the quality of student learning, both direct and indirect, in a specific area of responsibility over a sustained period, whether they are academic staff, general staff, or sessional staff of AC.

4. Awards for Teaching with Excellence

The Award for Teaching with Excellence celebrates AC's most outstanding teachers. This award give recognition to teachers (individuals and teams) renowned for the excellence of their teaching, who have outstanding presentation skills and who have made a broad and deep contribution to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching.

Each year, one award may be given to a Vocational Education and Training (VET) trainer and two awards may be given to a Higher Education faculty member (one per Faculty).

5. Award for Initiatives that Enhance Learning and Teaching

The Award for Initiatives that Enhance Learning recognises learning and teaching support programs and services that make an outstanding contribution to the quality of student learning and the quality of the student experience of higher education. Recipients must have demonstrated their effectiveness through rigorous evaluation and student feedback.

The following categories are eligible for nomination:

  • widening participation;
  • educational partnerships and collaborations with other organisations;
  • innovation and flexibility in curricula, learning and teaching;
  • student experiences and services supporting learning, development and growth in higher education;
  • global citizenship and internationalisation.

It is expected that an eligible initiative for this award will primarily aim to achieve one or more of the above categories in its overarching objectives.

6. Career Achievement

The College President will occasionally award a Career Achievement Award to one or more individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to Learning, Teaching and Supervision in the College. This award is given to individuals whose career achievements in Learning, Teaching and Supervision in Christian education have had a major influence and left an enduring legacy.

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for one of AC’s Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Supervision Awards, nominees must satisfy all the following criteria:

  • permanent administrative staff, or either sessional or permanent faculty, or HDR supervisor on contract;
  • currently employed on a continuing or fixed-term appointment, or had at least two semester contracts at the College; and
  • have completed a minimum of one (1) years’ service to the College.

All team nominees must satisfy the criteria to receive one of the AC Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Supervision awards.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

Nominations are to be based on outstanding achievement/performance over a period of at least one year for the individual or team who meet the eligibility criteria.

Criteria for the HDR Supervision awards include:

  1. mentoring candidates to a timely completion;
  2. supporting the development of candidates’ research skills;
  3. encouraging innovation and engagement at AC, national and internationally;
  4. energy, passion and commitment to supervision, evident over time;
  5. timely and constructive feedback provided;
  6. continuing support to final publication of the research.

For the remaining award categories, the Nomination and Selection Sub-Committee will consider each nominee’s alignment to the AC Learning and Teaching Framework. The principles and practices that guide this framework are:

  • Engaged Learning: effective application of active and cooperative learning approaches, technology and other resources to facilitate and enhance learning;
  • Engaged Curriculum: design, development and review of relevant, innovative, aligned curricula at the subject/unit and course level;
  • Engaged Teaching: evidence-based teaching techniques and strategies that support a high level of quality engagement.

EXPECTATIONS OF AWARD RECIPIENTS

Award recipients are normally expected to disseminate their teaching or HDR supervision philosophies and/or practices. For example, they may be invited to participate in professional development seminars or presentations or produce high quality research publications. They may also be encouraged to apply for an Australian Awards for University Teaching if relevant.

Responsible for implementation

Chair, Learning & Teaching Committee

Key stakeholders

All faculty


Procedures

Excellence in Teaching Awards Procedure

NOMINATION AND SELECTION PROCEDURE

The Career Achievement Award is given at the discretion of the President. The following procedure applies to the nomination and selection of the remaining five categories of awards.

1. Student, HDR Candidate and Staff Nominations

Annually, the Learning and Teaching Committee will appoint an administrator to oversee the nomination procedure. The Administrator will call for invitations to nominate a staff or faculty member, or an HDR supervisor for one of the awards.

2. Accepting a Nomination

The Chair of Learning and Teaching Committee will inform the nominees that they have been nominated. Nominees for these awards are given the opportunity to accept or refuse their nomination. The names of those nominated and who have accepted their nomination are announced to the College, along with a call for peer endorsements.

Peer Endorsement

Peer endorsement are vital for sub-committee considerations. Eligible nominees are encouraged to provide a written peer endorsement of their nomination. ‘Peers’ may include upline manager, direct reports or colleagues. For the Awards for Initiatives that Enhance Learning and Teaching, peers may include a suitably qualified external person.

The peer endorsement is limited to one page and may include:

  • alignment with the AC Graduate Attributes;
  • peer review of teaching, course materials, course content, assessment practices;
  • scholarship of teaching, publications;
  • learning, teaching or supervision strategies;
  • leadership and management roles;
  • recognition;
  • uptake of idea.

Student and HDR Candidate Feedback and Learning

Student and HDR candidate evaluations of a nominee’s teaching or supervision is crucial to attest to the success of the nominee’s teaching or supervision strategies. The Administrator may collect documentary evidence from up to four subjects over four semesters, that may include:

  • student or candidate evaluations, interviews, focus groups;
  • informal or formal student feedback, including unsolicited student or candidate feedback;
  • student or candidate logs and journals;
  • online feedback;
  • students' or candidates’ self-reported knowledge/skills gained;
  • rates of attrition, failure, progression to honours/postgraduate;
  • grade distribution;
  • evaluation of generic skills/outcomes/attributes;
  • student or candidate work - assessments, theses, projects;
  • employer/workplace feedback approaches to study questionnaire, etc.

3. Appointment of Selection and Shortlisting Sub-Committee

Annually, Leaning and Teaching Committee appoint a Selection and Shortlisting Sub-Committee to assess the nominations and select the winner(s) and shortlisted nominees for each of the awards. The Sub-Committee membership should consist of a minimum of four members, and display equity, especially regarding gender and campus representation. Further, where appropriate, representation from LOTE courses should be included on the sub-committee and the HDR Program Director should be consulted regarding nominations for HDR supervision.

4. Award Selection and Shortlisting

In assessing the submissions against the criteria above, the Sub-Committee will give equal consideration to the evidence provided of evaluation, innovation, leadership, research and scholarship. In addition, the Sub-Committee is to assess diversity and equity factors.

AWARD VALUE

The Award for Programs that Enhance Learning, the Award for Teaching Excellence, and the Award for HDR Supervision Excellence are valued at $500 each (individual) and $1000 each (team). There is no monetary reward for the Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

The financial value of the awards is transferred to the relevant Faculty/Division Budget to be used in accordance with the wishes of the recipient(s) to enhance their professional development, research and/or work. If equipment is purchased with the award money, it may be used exclusively by the staff member or team for the duration of their employment but remains the property of AC. An award may not be taken as cash.

ANNOUNCEMENT AND PRESENTATIONS OF AWARDS

The formal announcement and presentation of the winners of an AC Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Supervision Awards occurs in the annual Graduation Ceremony or similar event. Up to three (3) shortlisted nominees for each of the awards are informed of the outcome. Any shortlisted nominees are recognised during the Graduation Ceremony or similar event.