President’s Medal for Innovation in Undergraduate Teaching

USC President’s Medal for Innovation in Undergraduate Teaching

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To our friends and colleagues in academia,

The USC and the students that it represents have always valued innovation in the classroom, and greatly admired those course instructors who embrace new and dynamic ways to teach and learn. My team and I are pleased to announce the creation of a new teaching award to recognize those innovative individuals: the USC President’s Medal for Innovation in Undergraduate Teaching. It is our hope that recognizing the outstanding diversity in pedagogical approaches will encourage and stimulate growth in experiential, work-integrated, community service, group, and technologically enhanced learning at Western University.

Best wishes, and thank you for your hard work!

Sophie Helpard
USC President

Purpose
The USC President’s Medal for Innovation in Undergraduate Teaching (PMI) is designed to encourage and reward innovative practices in teaching and learning at Western University. Non-traditional pedagogies have been empirically proven to positively correlate to improved learning outcomes, student retention of knowledge, and classroom engagement. The PMI seeks to acknowledge individuals who strive to incorporate such pedagogical practices into their teaching.

 

Eligibility and Criteria
The PMI is open to all undergraduate course instructors currently teaching at Western University irrespective of faculty, program, discipline, or term of appointment. The PMI seeks to recognize individual achievement amongst professors; therefore, teams of instructors and teaching assistants will not be considered.

Applications will be accepted from individuals with a record of innovation in areas including, but not limited to: pedagogical approaches, teaching methods, course design, curriculum development, assessment methods, and tools or technologies that enhance learning and student engagement.

Award Details
The PMI will be bestowed upon one (1) individual, who will receive the Medal along with a $1000 stipend.

Application Package
Packages are strictly limited to fifteen (15) numbered pages in 12-point font. Title pages are not necessary. However, applicants will include a table of contents that shall not be included in the total page count. Packages from eligible applicants shall contain:

  1. A completed PMI application form (which must include details about current position, the course in which the innovation is taking place, contact information, and a brief candidate biography). This form is completed directly on the USC website, and will automatically be included in the package once submitted online. This form is completed HERE.
  2. Nomination letter from the applicant’s department/division chair, associate dean, or dean. The nomination letter should speak to the quality of the nominee’s work in the area of pedagogical diversity, the value that the innovative practice has for the department, division or faculty, and/or the impact that the nominee’s work has had on the work of other community members.
  3. Nomination letter from a student enrolled in the course in question (letters from past students will be accepted as long as they were enrolled in the same course within the previous academic year). The nomination letter should speak to the quality of the experience undertaken in the nominee’s course, the impact that the practice had on the nominator’s learning, engagement with course material, or knowledge retention, and/or the ways in which the nominee’s practices positively impacted the student experience for course participants.
  4. A description of the applicant’s innovative approaches (max. 1000 words)
  5. Some evidence supporting the impact and effectiveness of the innovation(s). Evidence could include testimonials from learners (whether qualitative or quantitative), research data or analysis, student rating of instruction, and other forms of documentation.
  6. Optional: if there are pages available, the applicant may include other letters of endorsements or testimonials from colleagues, students, and/or community members.

Applications may be submitted by any of the following: a student, professor, department/division chair, or the nominee themselves.

Timeline and Adjudication
Prior to adjudication, nominations will be vetted for completeness by the USC’s Teaching Quality and Awards Coordinator. The adjudication committee is chaired by the University Students’ Council President and consists of:
• Sophie Helpard, USC President
• Alex Benac, USC Vice-President Internal
• Flora Jung, USC Teaching Quality and Awards Coordinator
• Members of the USC’s council
• Stephanie Hayne Beatty, Associate Director of Experiential Learning, Student Success Centre (resource, non-voting)
• Debra Dawson, Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre (resource, non-voting)

Nominations will open on January 4th, 2016. The deadline to receive applications is Wednesday, February 17th. Applications will then be reviewed by the selection committee and determined via consensus. The award recipient will be notified no later than Wednesday, March 9th. The recipient will be honoured at the Teaching Awards Ceremony, hosted in conjunction with Alumni Western, during mid-to-late March.

Please submit all application packages via the online form HERE. If you have any questions, please contact USC Teaching Quality and Awards Coordinator at teachingquality@westernusc.ca.

A PDF copy of this document is available here.