Centre for Teaching and Learning
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Criteria for Reward, Recognition and Promotion of Teaching

THE STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2020


1. INTRODUCTION

In the report of the Task Team for the Promotion and Recognition of Teaching, which was adopted by Senate in June 2015, it is recommended that teaching excellence be recognised at institutional level. The suggested vehicle for such recognition of teaching excellence is “a number of dedicated internal institutional awards that specifically acknowledge teaching achievements, with the HELTASA awards as an important point of reference". In response to this recommendation, a system of institutional awards for teaching excellence was introduced in 2017.

 

1.1 Good and excellent teaching

In line with the SU Teaching and Learning Policy (2018:5), good teaching is the expected norm at the University: “Good teaching is expected of all academics at any stage of their careers." 'Good teaching' “is teaching that:

Ø   facilitates effective, active learning, i.e. learning that leads to high student success[1] rates and achieving outcomes (of modules and programmes) at a high standard;

      and, at the same time,

Ø   requires an affordable level of resources (such as staff time, student time and physical infrastructure), also taking the requirements of research and community interaction into account."

      (Recommendations of the Task Team for the Promotion and Recognition of Teaching, 2015:4)

 

'Good teaching' is synonymous with reflective practice (please refer to Section 3):

Reflective practitioners think deliberately and critically about their teaching practice, and systematically review and document their professional growth.

(Teaching and Learning Policy, 2018:4)

 

Where good teaching is acknowledged across all systems of the University, excellent teaching is recognised, rewarded and promoted (Teaching and Learning Policy, 2018:5). The definition of teaching excellence in the criteria for the HELTASA National Excellence in Teaching and Learning Awards (2018:1) was accepted and adapted as a guideline for this document:

 

An excellent teacher is aware of their context (beyond the immediate environment) and reflects on the ways in which their discipline, institution, own history and students' lived experiences affect teaching and learning. An excellent teacher is a reflective practitioner who has grown more effective over a number of years in relation to increasing knowledge of teaching and learning, experience in teaching and the facilitation of learning, and systematic observations of what happens in the classroom (including how outside factors affect students) with a view to improving student engagement and learning outcomes. An excellent teacher demonstrates a willingness to experiment in their teaching with new means at their disposal and integrates innovative practices into their teaching. An excellent teacher has a clearly articulated teaching philosophy, informed by educational theory, and appropriate for a university teaching context. Teaching experience can include both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. 'Teaching' can be interpreted broadly to include curriculum design and delivery, the latter in class, online or through materials development.

 

The SU awards for teaching excellence are therefore an opportunity to recognise, reward and promote excellent teaching at the University.


1.2 Points of departure

The points of departure for the awards include the following:

  • A call for nominations for the institutional awards for teaching excellence is circulated annually to the Stellenbosch University (SU) academic community during the first quarter or early in the second quarter, with a view to presenting the awards by the end of the academic year.
  • The number of awards per faculty are approximately scaled by the number of fulltime-equivalent permanent and temporary teaching staff (including staff of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences who are remunerated from the provincial budget). Accordingly, the number of nominees each faculty may select for this award is as follows:
    • Military Science, Theology, Law and Education:  one nominee each
    • AgriSciences, Engineering and Science:  two nominees each
    • Medicine & Health Sciences, Arts & Social Sciences and Economic & Management Sciences:  four nominees each.
  • The awards are offered in two categories, namely Developing Teacher and Distinguished Teacher. (More details about the two categories are available under Section 3.)
  • In both the Developing Teacher and Distinguished Teacher categories, teaching excellence is judged primarily by a teaching portfolio. (More details about the teaching portfolio are available under Section 5.)
  • Applicants in both the Developing Teacher and Distinguished Teacher categories are invited to an interview with the institutional selection panel. (More details about the interview are available under Section 4.)
  • Applicants for a Distinguished Teacher award do a short presentation for the institutional selection panel. (More details about the presentation are available under Section 4.)
  • Applicants for a Distinguished Teacher award include an account of a peer observation of at least one contact session in their portfolio. (Please refer to 5.3.2 a).)
  • The criteria for evaluating teaching excellence are aligned with the criteria for the HELTASA National Excellence in Teaching and Learning Awards.
  • The selection process in faculties should be concluded by the end of the third quarter of the academic year.
  • An institutional announcement about the successful applicants is made during the fourth quarter and celebrated at a ceremony at the end of that quarter.
  • The amount of the awards may be adjusted from time to time, subject to the availability of funds, but has been stipulated as R25 000 per award.
  • The awards are paid into successful applicants' salary accounts. Tax is deducted as a matter of course.

 

2.     AIMS OF THE AWARDS

The aims of the awards are:

  • to show support at an institutional level for excellence in teaching and learning in higher education;
  • to generate a cadre of academics who are able to provide inspiration and leadership in teaching and learning in their disciplines and across the institution;
  • to generate debate and public awareness about what constitutes teaching excellence for the world rather than in the world[2];
  • to advance the scholarship[3] of teaching and learning;
  • to stimulate the growth of professional teachers, and
  • to generate appreciation of the value of lessons learnt as opposed to only valuing successes.

 

3.     ELIGIBILITY

 

All teaching staff – permanent as well as contract appointments – are eligible for the Teaching Excellence awards.

Only individual applications are accepted.

According to the Teaching and Learning Policy (2018:4), “[t]he teaching role progresses from reflective practitioners to scholarly teachers, who then become teaching scholars and, ultimately, leaderly teaching scholars." Reflective practice is regarded as synonymous with 'good teaching' (please see the definition under Section 1) and is the norm at SU. “Reflective practitioners" are therefore acknowledged across the University as good teachers, but are not yet eligible for an award for 'excellent teaching' (please see the definition under Section 1).

 

The Developing Teacher award is open to teaching academics who are “scholarly teachers":

 

Reflective practitioners think deliberately and critically about their teaching practice, and systematically review and document their professional growth. Scholarly teachers additionally draw on educational literature to reflect on their teaching practice and professional growth, and move beyond personal reflection to observation and peer review of their teaching.

(Teaching and Learning Policy, 2018:4-5)

 

The Developing Teacher award may be received once only.

 

The Distinguished Teacher award is open to teaching academics who are “teaching scholars" or “leaderly teaching scholars":

 

Teaching scholars research their teaching practice and document their professional growth with a view to publishing their findings publicly and contributing to the body of teaching and learning knowledge. Leaderly teaching scholars contribute to the body of teaching and learning knowledge through publication, and provide leadership in the field of teaching practice institutionally, nationally and internationally.

(Teaching and Learning Policy, 2018:5)

 

The Distinguished Teacher award may be received once every five years.

 

An individual should self-identify the award they wish to apply for and must indicate it on the cover sheet of the application. (A template for the cover sheet will be provided.) However, the faculty or institutional selection panel may move an application to a different category, in other words, an application could be moved from the level of Developing Teacher to that of Distinguished Teacher, or the other way round. If the institutional selection panel evaluates an applicant's portfolio as 'promising' rather than 'evolving' or 'commendable' (please see Section 6), compared to other portfolios on the same level, the application may be referred back to the relevant faculty for further development of the portfolio.

 

4.     APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS

  • The office of the Vice-Rector (Learning and Teaching) sends out the call for applications during the first quarter or early in the second quarter of the academic year to the Deans and Vice-Deans (Learning and Teaching) (or equivalent) of each faculty. The call outlines the aims of the awards and the processes whereby they are awarded.
  • The Deans and Vice-Deans (Learning and Teaching) (or equivalent) of each faculty are requested to circulate the call to all academic staff (permanent and contract appointments).
  • Each faculty identifies possible nominees and organises its own internal processes to select applicants. (Academics may also nominate themselves.) The faculty selection panels should include the CTL advisor in the faculty. It is recommended that the faculties' submission date should be 24 August 2020.
  • Faculties must indicate on the cover sheet, which will be provided, whether their nominees are applying for the Developing Teacher or Distinguished Teacher award. (Please refer to Section 3 and 5 for guidelines on the two categories of the awards.)
  • In accordance with the Teaching and Learning Policy (2018:5), the teaching portfolio is used as the primary vehicle by which teaching excellence is judged. Support for portfolio development is available from the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) advisors in the faculties upon request.
  • The nominee(s) selected by each faculty prepare(s) a portfolio with due attention to the evaluation criteria for teaching excellence in this document. (Please see Section 5 and 6.) The applicants are encouraged to seek critical advice and feedback from the CTL or other colleagues.
  • Faculty selection panels need to provide their nominees with feedback on their portfolios and allow them enough time to revise their portfolios before the institutional submission date of 30 September 2020.
  • ​An institutional selection panel comprising colleagues from the Division for Learning and Teaching Enhancement as well as all Vice-Deans (Learning and Teaching) is appointed and chaired by the Vice-Rector (Learning and Teaching) or their designate. This panel evaluates the teaching excellence of applicants in the following ways:
    • A comparative review of teaching portfolios on the levels of Developing Teacher and Distinguished Teacher respectively, according to the rubrics provided in Section 6. Each portfolio is reviewed by two panel members, after which the full panel discusses the reviews at the institutional selection meeting.
    • An interview of 10 minutes with every applicant during the institutional selection meeting. The panel poses questions on aspects of the applicant's portfolio that require clarification.
    • A presentation of 10 minutes by every applicant in the category Distinguished Teacher during the institutional selection meeting. The purpose of the presentation is not to convey information that is lacking in the portfolio. Applicants should use the presentation to highlight one or two aspects of their portfolio that they regard as especially important. They could also use the presentation to offer information that goes above and beyond their portfolio, for example to express their passion for teaching and the reasons for it. These applicants do their presentation before their interview. They therefore spend 20 minutes with the institutional selection panel.
  • All applicants receive written feedback on their portfolios from the institutional selection panel.
  • Successful applicants are informed of their selection in the fourth quarter and receive their awards at a ceremony at the end of that quarter.
  • Successful Distinguished Teacher applicants may be encouraged to apply for the HELTASA National Excellence in Teaching and Learning Awards the following year. Applicants showing potential to become HELTASA nominees will be supported to develop their portfolios further.

 

5.   TEACHING PORTFOLIO: FORMAT; GUIDELINES FOR REFLECTIVE NARRATIVE; GUIDELINES FOR EVIDENCE

In accordance with the Teaching and Learning Policy (2018:5), the teaching portfolio is used as the primary vehicle by which teaching excellence is judged.  

Applicants are required to submit a teaching portfolio, consisting of a reflective narrative and supporting evidence (please see 5.1). As the portfolio is a living document, it should include reflection on the past, present and future of the applicant's teaching in higher education. The portfolio should therefore include the applicant's journey of teaching and professional growth, current teaching and professional growth, and goals for teaching and professional growth.

A comprehensive portfolio resource is available on the CTL website at http://www0.sun.ac.za/ctlresources/teaching-portfolio/. The CTL faculty advisors could assist with the compiling of portfolios by means of individual consultations or workshops. Academics with experience of compiling a teaching portfolio may be requested to co-facilitate portfolio development workshops.

 

5.1  Format

Portfolios may be submitted in pdf format or in an electronic format of the applicant's choice. For electronic portfolios, the stipulations regarding the sequence of components, number of pages and cover sheet may be adapted, with the proviso that all elements listed for inclusion in the pdf format should be included in the electronic version. 

Assistance with the developing of online portfolios may be obtained from the blended learning coordinator or equivalent professional support staff in faculties. The portfolio resource on the CTL website could also be consulted at http://www0.sun.ac.za/ctlresources/teaching-portfolio/.

  • Portfolios must be accompanied by a completed cover sheet with the signature of the dean of the faculty. (A template for the cover sheet will accompany this document in the call for applications.)
  • The cover sheet should be followed by a photograph of the applicant and a brief curriculum vitae (two pages). The curriculum vitae should emphasise the applicant's teaching and professional growth in higher education.
  • ​The portfolio itself should consist of two parts:
    • A reflective narrative about the teaching practice of the applicant (what they do, how, and especially, why). (Please refer to 5.2 for more details.)  The narrative can be in a pdf, digital or multimedia format (such as a digital story). If the narrative is in a pdf format, the number of pages should be maximally 20 and minimally 10. If the narrative is in a digital or multimedia format, it should take a reader maximally 50 minutes to navigate (including time to listen to or watch any audio or video clips) while paying close attention to all details. All claims made in the narrative need to be substantiated with evidence.
    • The evidence can be in the form of brief examples included in the reflective narrative and/or by reference/hyperlink to appendices. (Please refer to 5.3 for more details.) Appendices in a written, pdf format should be maximally 30 pages. If the appendices are in a digital or multimedia format, it should take a reader maximally 30 minutes to review while paying close attention to all details. If the appendices include both pdf and multimedia content (audio or video clips), it should take no longer than 30 minutes to review all the content.
  • If the narrative and/or appendices exceed the maximum length, the faculty and institutional selection panels will not consider any content after the above-mentioned limit of each section.
  • Portfolios in a pdf format should use a font size of 11 and line spacing of 1.5.
  • Multimedia clips with sound content should be clearly audible.
  • Incomplete applications will not be eligible for an award. However, the faculty and institutional selection panels will provide feedback to nominees who submitted incomplete applications.
  • As the institutional selection panel represents a wide range of disciplines, applicants need to articulate what makes their teaching excellent in ways that will be generally accessible.

 

5.2  Guidelines for Reflective Narrative

The core of the representation of teaching excellence in applications for these awards is formed by reflectivity, criticality and (teaching) practice.

The reflective narrative should describe how the applicant teaches and why they do it in that way. The focus of the narrative is therefore on a critical reflection on all aspects of the applicant's teaching practice. The core of this reflection is the applicant's teaching philosophy statement. If the applicant is not familiar with the concept or practice of critical reflection and/or has not drafted a teaching philosophy statement before, assistance could be sought from the CTL advisor in their faculty.

The reflective narrative should also demonstrate the professional growth of the applicant, especially with regard to their scholarship of teaching and learning.[4] The narrative should therefore not include successes or achievements only, but also – especially – challenges, mistakes and lessons learnt. In addition, the narrative should mention how the applicant intends to further their professional growth, both in their teaching practice and their scholarship of teaching and learning.

The narrative should draw on educational literature (please refer to the requirements for the two award categories in Section 3 and the evaluation criteria in Section 6). Assistance will also be available from the CTL advisors in faculties and from the online CTL portfolio resource (http://www0.sun.ac.za/ctlresources/teaching-portfolio/).

In their narrative, applicants should reflect critically on the following four elements:

 

5.2.1  Context

For the purposes of this document, 'context' refers to what it means to teach in higher education at this time on the African continent, in South Africa, and at SU, for example, teaching in a transformative, socially just manner in one's discipline or programme. 'Context' also includes the effects of COVID-19 on academics' teaching and students' learning, such as the move to online teaching and learning. Applicants should reflect on the challenges as well as the opportunities of both their contexts and their students'. 

To aid their reflection, applicants could ask themselves questions such as the following:

Where does your teaching take place? What are the macro, meso and micro issues that you need to take into account in your teaching? How do your curriculum decisions and teaching approaches reflect the geographical, historical and social context of your classroom? In what ways does your context enable or constrain how you teach and assess? How do you integrate pertinent local and topical issues into your curriculum? What are the institutional, student body, professional, national and international contextual issues that affect your teaching and learning context? How does your curriculum address concerns affecting the planet? What changes have you made to the curriculum to ensure it addresses your context? How does your teaching promote a consciousness/awareness of the global context?

 

5.2.2  Students

To aid their reflection, applicants could ask themselves questions such as the following:

Who are your students? How do you ensure through your teaching that all students feel included and are engaged actively in their own learning? How do you get to know what your students bring with them to your classroom? How do you teach in ways that encourage students to participate in knowledge production processes? How do you address the challenge of student underpreparedness in your curriculum? How does your curriculum structure provide sufficient support for students? How do you develop your students' capacities and prepare them to be the critical citizens of the future? How do your curriculum and teaching strategies enrich students with exceptional abilities? How do you adapt your teaching in response to your students' feedback? How do you interpret your student success data in the context of your curriculum and teaching strategies?

 

 

5.2.3  Knowledge

To aid their reflection, applicants could ask themselves questions such as the following:

What is your discipline / profession and what are its key features? What aspects of the course or programme do your students struggle with and how have you addressed this through your teaching approach? How do you make the practices of the discipline and/or profession accessible to all through your teaching and assessment approaches? In what ways does your teaching allow students to have access to the discipline? What do you do to make sure your students can contribute to knowledge production and not just to knowledge consumption? How do you ensure that you maintain disciplinary depth? How does being an active scholar affect your teaching? How do your contributions to your discipline improve your teaching?

 

5.2.4  Growth

To aid their reflection, applicants could ask themselves questions such as the following:

What innovative approaches enhance your teaching? How have you used technology to improve your students' experience and enable them to better understand core concepts? How do you use alternative teaching and learning techniques to improve student engagement? How do you critically evaluate your own teaching? How do you actively solicit peer evaluation and critique to enhance your teaching? How do you think you have developed into an excellent teacher over time? How have you contributed to curriculum development? How does your approach to assessment enhance learning? How has your scholarship contributed to institutional development (and beyond)?

The sets of questions above should help applicants to brainstorm the kinds of issues they might like to reflect on critically. While applicants need to show engagement with all four elements, the questions are provided just to stimulate ideas – applicants are not expected to answer every question. Furthermore, applicants are not expected to rate highly with regard to all four elements, but need to address as many aspects of these elements as possible. This should be done clearly and concisely.

Further guidelines for the content of the narrative are provided in the guidelines for evidence outlined below.

 

5.3   Guidelines for Evidence

Claims made in the reflective narrative should be substantiated by evidence, selected according to the evaluation criteria (please refer to Section 6). The evidence could be in the form of brief examples in the narrative itself and concise appendices in which longer examples and other substantiating information are included. Appendices should only include evidence pertinent to particular statements or claims in the narrative. Evidence should therefore be judiciously selected and all appendices must be directly referred to or hyperlinked in the narrative.

The evidence should demonstrate in which ways the applicant's teaching is excellent rather than good and how the applicant has developed from good to excellent.[5] 

The CTL advisors in faculties could provide assistance with the selection of evidence and compiling of the appendices.

 

5.3.1  Developing Teacher

For the Developing Teacher category, evidence of excellent teaching should include the applicant's teaching practice, professional growth, and engagement with the scholarship of teaching and learning, as detailed below:

a) Information about the applicant and their teaching context (please refer to 5.2):

 

  • The applicant's position in the institution; part-/full-time, permanent/contract; discipline and module(s); size of classes
  • The applicant's teaching context, e.g. Stellenbosch/other campus; areas of key challenge; enabling factors; outside/social factors that affect teaching and students (such as COVID-19)
  • How the applicant has met the needs of the diverse student body with regard to both face-to-face and online teaching and learning (applicants choose the three most significant ways and explain why they were selected)
  • The adjustment of curricula and teaching materials to the South African and COVID-19 contexts
  • How the applicant sets high but realistic expectations for students and fosters critical thinking
  • How the applicant encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning
  • Peer feedback from colleagues
  • Student feedback (formal or informal)
  • Student success data (please refer to footnote 1)
  • Artefacts such as module frameworks, brief extracts from study guides, examples of innovative assessments, online materials (websites, blogs, etc.), multimedia (videos, digital stories, etc.), photographs
  • Successes achieved as well as – especially – lessons learnt.

 

b) Information about the applicant's involvement with the scholarship of teaching and learning that contributes to teaching and learning beyond the classroom, and includes – but is not restricted to – the following:

 

  • Papers presented on teaching and learning by the applicant at conferences, if available (applicants select the abstract of the paper/presentation they regard as their best and explain the selection)
  • Articles or other publications on teaching and learning authored by the applicant, if available (applicants select the abstract of the article/publication they regard as their best and explain the selection)
  • Membership of professional associations (teaching and learning or disciplinary associations)
  • Internal/external moderation by the applicant of exams and dissertations/theses, if applicable
  • Contributions by the applicant to university and national/international committees (applicants provide the names of the committees and evidence of their contributions)
  • A list of formal and informal continuing professional learning opportunities in teaching and learning that the applicant has utilised, and an indication of the impact of these opportunities on the applicant's teaching
  • A list of students or staff whom the applicant has mentored or supervised (or is mentoring or supervising) in teaching and learning, if applicable
  • A list of awards the applicant has received for teaching and learning, if applicable
  • How the applicant has applied/extended their knowledge and experience of teaching and learning in higher education to their department, faculty, the university, and in the broader learning environment.

 

5.3.2  Distinguished Teacher

For the Distinguished Teacher category, evidence of excellent teaching should include the applicant's teaching practice, professional growth, engagement with the scholarship of teaching and learning, and leadership in their faculty, at the institution and beyond, as detailed below:

 

a) Information about the applicant and their teaching context (please refer to 5.2):

 

  • The applicant's position in the institution; part-/full-time, permanent/contract; discipline and module(s); size of classes
  • The applicant's teaching context, e.g. Stellenbosch/other campus; areas of key challenge; enabling factors; outside/social factors that affect teaching and students (including COVID-19)
  • How the applicant has met the needs of the diverse student body with regard to both face-to-face and online teaching and learning (applicants choose the five most significant ways and explain why they were selected)
  • The adjustment of curricula and teaching materials to the South African and COVID-19 contexts
  • How the applicant sets high but realistic expectations for students and fosters critical thinking
  • How the applicant encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning
  • Peer feedback from colleagues, including an account of an observation of at least one contact session
  • Student feedback (formal or informal)
  • Student success data (please refer to footnote 1)
  • Artefacts such as module frameworks, brief extracts from study guides, multimedia (videos, digital stories, etc.), online materials (websites, blogs, etc.), innovative student assessment, photographs
  • Successes achieved as well as – especially – lessons learnt.

 

b) Information about the applicant's involvement with the scholarship of teaching and learning that has a broader impact within their faculty, the university and beyond, and includes – but is not restricted to – the following:

 

  • Papers presented on teaching and learning by the applicant at conferences (applicants select the abstracts of the three papers/presentations they regard as their best and explain the selection)
  • Articles or other publications on teaching and learning authored by the applicant (applicants select the abstracts of the three articles/publications they regard as their best and explain the selection)
  • Membership of professional associations (teaching and learning or disciplinary associations) to which the applicant is a significant contributor, based on evidence of conference attendance, papers presented, review activities, and membership of special interest groups or of the executive
  • Internal/external moderation by the applicant of exams and dissertations/theses
  • Contributions by the applicant to university and national/international committees (applicants provide the names of the committees and evidence of their contribution and impact)
  • A list of formal and informal continuing professional learning opportunities in teaching and learning that the applicant has utilised and an indication of the impact of these opportunities on the applicant's teaching
  • A list of students or staff whom the applicant has mentored or supervised (or is mentoring or supervising) in teaching and learning
  • A list of awards the applicant has received for teaching and learning, if applicable
  • A list of teaching and learning journals the applicant has reviewed articles for, if applicable
  • How the applicant has applied/extended their knowledge and experience of teaching and learning in higher education to their department, faculty, the university, and in the broader learning environment
  • How the applicant has provided and is providing leadership in teaching: in their faculty, institutionally, and beyond.

 

6.   EVALUATION CRITERIA

6.1 The following rubrics will be used by the faculty and institutional selection panels to evaluate teaching excellence in the two categories of the awards:

6.1.1 Developing Teacher

 

Contextual AwarenessCritical ReflectionStudent EngagementInnovative PracticeScholarship of Teaching and LearningCoherencePresentation
Demonstrates knowledge of social and individual contexts (of both academics and students, and including COVID-19) within which T&L happen and the impact on T&L. Aware of students' needs. Teaching methods and assessments are relevant to both f-t-f and virtual T&L contexts. Teaching methods take students' needs into account.Thinks deliberately and systematically about and documents teaching practice, contexts, students, knowledge, and own growth over time. Reviews the challenges and opportunities of the COVID-19 T&L context, for both academics and students. Engages with peer and student feedback on teaching. Integrates and applies some relevant educational literature, especially in the teaching philosophy statement.Draws students into teaching and engages them actively in their own learning, face-to-face and online. Demon-strates impact of student engagement on their learning.Uses creative and relevant teaching strategies to enhance student learning, face-to-face and online. Comments on impact on student learning and own growth.Draws on educational literature to underpin teaching philosophy and teaching strategies. Attends professional learning opportunities and shows impact on teaching. Contributes to T&L beyond the classroom.Narrative flows logically. All elements of narrative linked to teaching philosophy statement. Appendices provide evidence for all claims in narrative. Appendices cross-referenced /hyper-linked in narrative.

1. Pdf:

a) Length:

Narrative: 10-20 pp.

Appendices: 30 pp. max.

b) Font size: 11

c) Line spacing: 1.5

d) Organisation: only brief evidence and examples in narrative; detailed evidence in appendices.

2. Digital/multi-media:

a) Length:

Narrative: 50 minutes max.

Appendices: 30 minutes max.

b) User-friendly regarding viewing of content and  navigation

c) Multimedia clips with sound content clearly audible

d) Organisation: only brief evidence and examples in narrative; detailed evidence in appendices.

Commendable or Evolving portfolio (see 6.2):

 

6.1.2 Distinguished Teacher

 

Contextual AwarenessCritical ReflectionStudent EngagementInnovative PracticeScholarship of Teaching and LearningLeadershipCoherencePresentation
Highly developed critical awareness of social and individual contexts (of both academics and students, and including COVID-19) within which T&L happen and the impact on T&L. Insight into students' needs. Teaching methods and assessments are contextually nuanced and relevant to both f-t-f and virtual contexts. Teaching methods respond to students' needs.Interrogates teaching practice, contexts, students, knowledge, and own growth over time. Shows insight into the challenges and opportunities of the COVID-19 T&L context, for both academics and students. In-depth engagement with peer and student feedback on teaching. Highly developed understanding and application of relevant educational literature in the teaching philosophy statement and teaching practice. Consistently and effectively draws students into teaching. Engages students actively and creatively in their own learning, face-to-face and online. Clearly demonstrates impact on students' learning.  Uses original, creative and relevant teaching strategies to enhance student learning, face-to-face and online. The impact on student learning should be clear. Insight into resultant own knowledge growth.Draws extensively on relevant educational literature to underpin teaching philosophy and teaching strategies.  Researches own teaching and publishes findings. Contributes consistently to extending the body of knowledge of T&L. Participates in professional learning opportunities and shows impact on teaching.Provides leadership in T&L institu-tionally, nationally and interna-tionally.Strong and consistent logical flow. All elements of narrative relate directly to teaching philosophy statement. Appendices provide relevant, robust and diverse evidence for all claims in narrative. Appendices consistently cross-referenced / hyper-linked in narrative. 

1. Pdf:

a) Length:

Narrative: 10-20 pp.

Appendices: 30 pp. max.

b) Font size: 11

c) Line spacing: 1.5

d) Organisation: only brief evidence and examples in narrative; detailed evidence in appendices.

2. Digital/multi-media:

a) Length:

Narrative: 50 minutes max.

Appendices: 30 minutes max.

b) User-friendly regarding viewing of content and  navigation

c) Multimedia clips with sound content clearly audible

d) Organisation: only brief evidence and examples in narrative; detailed evidence in appendices.

Commendable portfolio (see 6.2):

 

6.2 The following descriptions of portfolios can be used as an additional guideline for compiling or evaluating applications (please note that an application for a Developing Teacher award could be either 'commendable' or 'evolving', but for a Distinguished Teacher award it should be 'commendable' only):

 

6.2.1 Commendable Portfolio

The portfolio makes a convincing case for excellence in that the academic has reflected on multiple aspects of their context, including their students, institution, discipline/programme, and the effects of COVID-19. The portfolio clearly describes the teaching and learning practice and explains why the applicant adopts that particular approach (in the teaching philosophy statement). The applicant's teaching practice is underpinned by extensive evidence of the scholarship of teaching and learning. Teaching methods used are contextually nuanced and aligned to the teaching philosophy statement. Robust and diverse evidence is provided for the claims in the narrative. The academic is constantly looking for ways of improving and can reflect on their growth over time and in response to changing contexts or new understandings. The academic has had a positive institutional, national or international impact on teaching and learning in higher education. The portfolio demonstrates excellence in teaching that can serve as inspiration or can deepen understandings of this crucial aspect of higher education.

 

6.2.2 Evolving Portfolio

The portfolio makes a case for excellence in that the academic has reflected on aspects of their context, including their students, institution, discipline/programme, and the effects of COVID-19. The portfolio describes the teaching and learning practice and explains why the applicant adopts that particular approach (in the teaching philosophy statement). The applicant's teaching is underpinned by some evidence of the scholarship of teaching and learning. Teaching methods used are adapted to context and aligned to the teaching philosophy statement. Evidence is provided for the claims in the narrative. The academic looks for ways of improving and can reflect on their own growth over time. The academic has had a positive impact on teaching and learning in higher education beyond their classroom. The portfolio demonstrates excellence in teaching that can promote better practice and encourage others.

 

6.2.3 Promising Portfolio​

The portfolio begins to construct a case for excellence in that the academic has reflected on aspects of their context. The portfolio describes the teaching and learning practice and provides an explanation of why the applicant adopts that particular approach (in the teaching philosophy statement). There are one or two references to the scholarship of teaching and learning. Teaching methods used are adapted to context but perhaps not well aligned to the teaching philosophy statement (or vice versa). While evidence is provided for some of the claims in the narrative, other claims are not substantiated. The academic looks for ways of improving. The academic has had a positive impact on teaching and learning. The portfolio demonstrates the development of excellence in teaching.

 

Promising portfolios are not yet ready for nomination and should not be submitted. If the institutional selection panel should relegate a portfolio from 'evolving' or 'commendable' to 'promising', the application may be referred back to the relevant faculty for further development of the portfolio.

 

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[1] “Student success has been defined as: 'not only whether students have earned a degree, but also whether graduates are in fact achieving the level of preparation—in terms of knowledge, capabilities, and personal qualities—that will enable them to both thrive and contribute in a fast-changing economy and in turbulent, highly demanding global, societal and often personal contexts'. (Kuh (2008) cited in Framework for Institutional Quality Enhancement in the Second Period of Quality Assurance, January 2013)." (Recommendations of the Task Team for the Promotion and Recognition of Teaching, 2015:4)

[2] SU has re-envisioned itself from “being the best in the world" to “being the best for the world, with the emphasis on context and responsiveness. This contextualised and responsive approach to excellence resonates with the view that teaching and learning is a process with both social and individual dimensions. These dimensions are relational, but the social context is more complex and nuanced, and potentially has a more profound effect on teaching and learning than any individual characteristics of students or academics." (Teaching and Learning Policy, 2018:2).   

[3] In the Teaching and Learning Policy (2018:3) 'scholarship' is defined as “linking practice to theory, and theory to practice, encapsulated by the dimensions of discovery, integration, application and teaching". (Boyer, E.L. 1990. Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. Special report. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: 5-25.)

[4] Please bear in mind the requirements of the two awards, detailed in Section 3.

[5] Excellent and good teaching are defined in Section 1.



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