Excellence in Teaching Awards Policy
The purpose of this policy is to recognise and encourage excellence in teaching at vocational and higher education levels in both English and LOTE and to acknowledge its central position in the community of Alphacrucis College (AC).
All students and faculty
AC is committed to excellence in learning and teaching across all courses of study. These awards aim to recognise and reward teaching staff who demonstrate creativity, innovation and excellence in teaching and scholarship. The awards reflect the Australian Awards for University Teaching that recognises quality teaching practices and outstanding contributions to student learning. Recipients, with the support of their institutions, further contribute to systemic change in learning and teaching through ongoing knowledge sharing and dissemination.
AC offers awards in four categories:
• Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning;
• Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning;
• Awards for Teaching Excellence;
• Career Achievement Award.
Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
Citations 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.
Citations are awarded to those who have made a significant contribution to the quality of student learning in a specific area of responsibility over a sustained period, whether they are academic staff, general staff, sessional staff or associates of AC.
Citations are awarded for a range of contributions to student learning, both direct and indirect.
Award for Programs that Enhance Learning
The Award for Programs 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. The programs and services that receive this award must have demonstrated their effectiveness through rigorous evaluation and student feedback.
This five criteria for Programs that Enhance Learning are:
• 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.
Awards for Teaching with Excellence
This Teaching with Excellence Award 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.
The College President will occasionally award a Career Achievement Award to one or more individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to learning and teaching in the College. This award is given to individuals whose career achievements in learning and teaching in Christian higher education have had a major influence and left an enduring legacy.
Individual nominations - faculty, sessional or permanent, who are currently on continuing or fixed-term appointments, or had at least two semester contracts at the College; and have completed a minimum of one (1) years’ service.
Team nominations - may include lecturing staff who hold a continuing or fixed-term appointment, or have had at least two semester contracts at the College. However, all team nominees are not required to have successfully completed a minimum of one (1) years’ service.
Responsible for implementation
Chair, Learning & Teaching Committee
Excellence in Teaching Awards Procedure
NOMINATION AND SELECTION PROCESS
The Learning and Teaching Committee annually administers the AC Excellence in Teaching Awards under the four categories:
• Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
• Award for Programs that Enhance Learning
• Award for Teaching Excellence
• Career Achievement Award
1. Student Nominations
Annually, students are invited to use the online form to nominate faculty for Citations for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, an Award for Programs that Enhance Learning, or an Award for Teaching Excellence. Nominees are given the opportunity to accept or refuse their nomination. The Career Achievement Award is given at the discretion of the President.
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.
The Learning and Teaching Committee inform the nominees that they have been nominated but they are not informed by whom. They are then given the opportunity to accept or reject their nomination.
2. Announcement of Accepted Nominations
The names of those nominated and accepted are announced and peer endorsement is invited. ‘Peers’ may include - supervisor, direct reports or colleagues. The endorsement may include:
• alignment with the AC Graduate Attributes;
• peer review of teaching, course materials, course content, assessment practices;
• scholarship of teaching, publications;
• learning and teaching strategies;
• leadership and management roles;
• uptake of idea.
3. Personal Endorsement
Accepted nominees are invited to submit supporting evidence, aligned with the AC Graduate attributes, which may include:
• teaching journal;
• summative reports;
• teaching philosophy;
• self reflections, analysis and evaluation;
• leadership roles;
4. Student Responses
Students evaluation of the nominee’s teaching and their learning is crucial. Nominees are required to achieve a response rate for student feedback of greater than 50%, with consideration given to online units/subjects. The Learning and Teaching Committee may collect documentary evidence from up to four subjects over two semesters that may include:
• student evaluations;
• student interviews, focus groups;
• informal class student feedback;
• formal surveys and questionnaires;
• unsolicited student feedback;
• student logs and journals;
• online feedback.
5. Student Learning
Indicators of student learning that attest to the success of the accepted nominee’s teaching/strategy. The Learning and Teaching Committee may collect documentary evidence from up to four subjects over two semesters from Registry that may include:
• students' self-reported knowledge/skills gained;
• rates of attrition, failure, progression to honours/postgraduate;
• grade distribution;
• evaluation of generic skills/outcomes/attributes;
• student work - assessment, thesis, projects;
• employer/workplace feedback approaches to study questionnaire, etc.
Annually, the Leaning and Teaching Committee appoint a subcommittee to assess the nominations and submissions for the AC Excellence in Teaching Awards. Representation from LOTE courses should be included on the subcommittee if required.
The Award for Programs that Enhance Learning and the Award for Teaching Excellence are valued at $1000 each (individual) and $2000 each (team). There is no monetary reward for the Citations for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.
The financial value of the awards are 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 Teaching Award occur in the annual Graduation Ceremony. Up to three (3) shortlisted nominees for each of the awards are informed of the outcome one (1) month prior to the Graduation Ceremony. The selection sub-committee places a copy of the award on the faculty’s personnel file. Any shortlisted nominees are recognised during the Graduation Dinner.
EXPECTATIONS OF AWARD RECIPIENTS
Award recipients are normally expected to make their teaching philosophies and/or practices more widely known throughout AC. For example, they may be invited to participate in seminars or presentations or write papers. This is managed by the Learning and Teaching Committee. They will also be encouraged to apply for an Australian Awards for University Teaching.