Teaching Awards 

Teaching awards recognise the many and diverse contributions that individuals and teams make to the creation of effective learning environments and to the quality of student learning.

The University of South Australia has a number of awards available to staff for recognition and promotion of excellence in teaching and learning. The Teaching and Innovation Unit (TIU) provides guidance and support for staff submitting applications and proposals. Key dates may be found here.

Most people start out the journey as a way of seeking recognition for the many hours and sacrifice they make to achieve quality teaching for their students. These awards require applicants to closely examine and reflect on their teaching in scholarly ways. 

There are three levels of Teaching Awards each with their own sub- categories.

Unstoppable Teaching Awards

These awards are managed through the Provost office and are awarded through Academic and Central Units. Information is available through the Provost’s office.

UniSA Awards for University Teaching (UAUT)

Are prestigious university-wide awards administered by TIU, with an allocation of $7,000 for up to 8 awardees. Information on these awards can be found on this page.

Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT)

A national-level award scheme with a higher order of attainment, with an allocation of $10,000 for up to 6 awardees.

These awards are run through Universities Australia but must go through an internal UniSA quality assurance process in order to be eligible to be submitted. The Teaching Innovation Unit manage this process and all submissions need endorsement by the Provost.

Note: Monetary recognition is funded by the Provost not the AAUT.  

Most people start with a UniSA Teaching Citation. In general conversation when someone says “I have a Teaching Award” it means they have a Citation.

Citations are awarded to staff (academic and professional) who have made a significant contribution to student learning in a specific area of responsibility, over a sustained period, typically something in the order of 2 years.

Please contact the TIU to discuss how you go about developing this award.

UniSA Unstoppable Awards (Teaching & Learning Stream)

 A new University-wide Unstoppable Awards scheme recognises and celebrates the remarkable accomplishments of our staff. This new scheme will encompass the existing Research and Enterprise Awards and the newly established Teaching and Learning Awards.  These awards are managed through the Provost office and are awarded through Academic and Central Units. Further information is available here.

UniSA Awards for University Teaching (UAUT)

UniSA Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning

UniSA Citations for Outstanding Contributions recognize and reward the many and diverse contributions that individuals and teams make to the creation of effective learning environments and to the quality of student learning.

Citations are awarded to academic and professional staff who have made a significant contribution to student learning in a specific area of responsibility, over a sustained period of 2.5 years or more. Each recipient (individual or team) receives $5,000.

Video interviews with recipients of UniSA and national Citations are available for professional development purposes.

Eligibility

  • Open to academic, professional and sessional staff
  • Both team and individual applications are encouraged
  • Teams may be of any size. However, applications may name no more than five members
  • Applicants, whether as a team or individuals, may not apply concurrently for a Citation and another UniSA Teaching Award
  • Early Career applications are usually characterised by evidence of a broadening contribution to teaching and learning that, as well as evidencing outstanding 'classroom teaching', also includes committee and/or panel and/or industry involvement, and/or recognition by peers and/or the institution or external organisations. Note that for UniSA teaching awards, the University follows the AAUT definition of 'early career', that is, “Nominees with no more than five years’ experience teaching in a higher education institution. The five years can be non-sequential and must be counted on a semester basis. This includes all tutoring and part-time teaching” 
  • Recipients of a Citation can apply for subsequent Citations for different achievements in later years, only if they can demonstrate significantly different achievements
  • Unsuccessful applicants for Citations can apply in later years

Applications 

Applicants must seek agreement from their Dean of Programs (or equivalent) to apply for a Citation. The Dean of Programs' signature on the application form indicates their endorsement.

Applications are made by an individual or as a team.

Applicants are required to identify their specific contribution (the ‘proposed citation’) and to select one of the four citation criteria for assessment, as appropriate for their particular contribution. Applications will be assessed on the evidence provided in relation to the selected criterion.

Potential areas of contribution

Citations are awarded for a wide range of contributions to student learning and provide an opportunity for distinctive values and priorities in learning and teaching to be recognised. Citations reflect the diversity of ways in which University staff and associates contribute to excellent learning and teaching in higher education.

Each citation describes the unique and distinctive contribution of the applicant(s) articulated in a concise statement (up to 25 words).

Listed below (for illustrative purposes only) are examples of possible citations:

  • "for an outstanding contribution to the leadership of a unit-wide transition program for first year students"
  • "for sustained commitment to personalised administrative support for undergraduate students that has enhanced the overall student experience"
  • "for the creation of innovative and imaginative resources that engage engineering students in current disciplinary issues and develop critical thinking skills"
  • "for specialist expertise in the design and implementation of practical classes leading to enhanced student engagement"
  • "for the provision of state-of-the-art programs in learning support for international students over a five year period"
  • "for a decade of exemplary supervision and support of postgraduate research students in the field of social work"
     "for institutional leadership in the design and implementation of a department-based program of peer feedback for academic staff to enhance teaching skills"
  • "for the strategic promotion of information literacy programs tailored to specific disciplines and the needs of specific student groups"
  • "for the rigorous planning and evaluation of innovative teaching resources for health studies that are culturally-appropriate and raise awareness of cultural diversity among students"

Categories

Applicants must select one of the following categories, as appropriate for their particular contribution. Applications will be assessed on the evidence provided in relation to the selected category:

1. Approaches to teaching and/or the support of learning that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn

Claims for contribution 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
  • developing and/or integrating assessment strategies to enhance student learning
  • provision of support services that improve the student experience and enable learning
  • evaluating the quality of programs and activities including consideration of past and current student feedback to support student learning

2. Development of curricula, resources or services that reflect a command of the field

Claims for contribution may include:

  • developing and presenting coherent and imaginative resources for 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
  • contributing professional expertise to enhance curriculum or resources
  • evaluating the quality of curriculum, resources or services

3. Effective assessment practices that bring about improvements in student learning, may have a focus on academic integrity or digital solutions, or any assessment strategies that bring about change

Claims for contribution may include:

  • showing advanced skills in assessment/alternative assessment practices
  • using a variety of assessment strategies to bring about change
  • adapting assessment methods to different contexts and diverse student needs and learning styles
  • contributing professional expertise to the field of assessment in order to improve program design and delivery
  • dissemination and embedding of good practice identified through assessment
  • evaluating the quality of the assessment practices

4. Innovation, leadership or scholarship that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or student experience 

Claims for contribution 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
  • influencing the overall academic, social and cultural experience of higher education
  • evaluating the feasibility of the innovation or the quality of leadership that enhances learning and teaching and/or influence student experience

Assessment criteria

The category chosen by applicants should be determined by the nature of their contribution to student learning.

With a focus on their chosen category, applicants are required to make a case that they have:

  1. Positively impacted on student learning, student engagement or the overall student experience for a period of no less than 2.5 years (two years for early career), not including time taken for development or trial of any activity.
  2. Gained recognition from colleagues, the institution, and/or the broader community;
  3. Shown creativity, imagination or innovation, irrespective of whether the approach involves involves traditional learning environments or technology-based developments; AND
  4. Drawn on the scholarly literature on teaching and learning to inform the development of initiatives, programs and/or practice.

Evidencing your contribution

This case should come out clearly in the 4-page written statement.

The case needs to be strongly supported by a diverse range of evidence. It is recommended that the qualitative and quantitative data are from an extensive range of formal and informal sources, including nominee’s self-reflection, student learning, student experience and evidence of institutional, peer and stakeholders’ interactions

Student voices, through examples and quotations, can convey a cogent account of their experiences.

Each criterion is weighted evenly.

In assessing the evidence supporting Early Career nominations, consideration will be given to the career stage of the nominee.

Essential documentation

The following items, in support of the application:

  1. Application cover sheet: UniSA Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning: application cover sheet (Word 45kb - opens in a new window)
  2. Written statement (4 pages): The core element of an application for a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning is a written statement in which applicants describe their contribution to student learning. It is vital that applicants specifically address one of the selection criteria, and provide evidence to support their claims against the specific criterion.
    The written statement is limited to four A4 pages in total (11 point type in Arial or Calibri, margins at a minimum of 2cm). Material in excess of this limit will not be considered by the Selection Panel. The use of a column (newspaper) format is unacceptable.
  3. Letters of reference (2): Two references of no more than one A4 page each are to be provided by people who are able to comment on the applicant's contribution to student learning against the nominated selection criterion. Each reference should be signed and on letterhead.
    One of the referees must be either the applicant's Dean of Programs (or equivalent) or Head of institute, administration or unit. If the nomination is from a team, the references should apply to the team.

Note that the written statement should have three components, presented under the following headings, in this order:

  1. The proposed citation (maximum of 25 words) describing the distinctive contribution of the applicant. Avoid jargon and include the discipline or field of work and the distinctive contribution of the nominee or team; the citation should inform the broadest possible audience about the work of the applicant.
  2. Summary of particular contribution and its specific context.
  3. A statement addressing one criterion from among the following:
    1. Approaches to teaching and/or 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. Effective assessment practices that bring about improvements in student learning, may focus on academic integrity or digital solutions, or any assessment strategies that bring about change
    4. Innovation, leadership or scholarship that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or student experience

How to apply

Upload the Essential Documentation above via this UniSA Citations Online Form.

UniSA Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning

The UniSA Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning recognize and reward teams of staff that make innovative and outstanding contributions to student learning and/or the quality of the student experience via programs and services. They are awarded to programs and services that have set high standards for learning and teaching activities at UniSA. 

For the purposes of this award, a program may be a program of study across a number of years (eg a coursework degree) or an initiative or service. See the available award categories below.

Each Award recipient (team) receives $5,000.

Eligibility

  • Applications are open to team nominations only for UniSA programs and services that enhance student learning in higher education.
  • Teams can be of any size. The team lead and majority of team members must be employed by UniSA. At least one member must have a teaching or teaching/research appointment (full-time or fractional; continuing or fixed-term contract).
  • Programs should be broader than one or two subjects, or a limited service that involves only a few students. For example, programs may involve a service or program provided at the institutional or Unit level, a program of study across number of years, or a service or program directed at particular groups of students.
  • Unsuccessful applicants for the Award for Programs that Enhance Learning can reapply in later years
  • Applicants, whether as a team or individuals, may not apply concurrently for this award and another UniSA Teaching Award (e.g. Citation).
  • Programs that have received a Program Award previously are ineligible for renomination in later years.
  • Past recipients (team members) of the Award for Programs that Enhance Learning can reapply for the Award in later years, only if they can demonstrate significantly different achievements.

Applications

  • Applicants must seek agreement from their Executive Dean (or equivalent) to apply for an Award for Programs that Enhance Learning.  The Dean of Programs (or equivalent) signature on the application form indicates their endorsement.
  • Applications are made by teams only.

Categories

Applicants for Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning must select one of the following program categories:

1. Student experience that supports diversity and inclusive practices

This category encompasses:

  • Services directly related to student learning for specific groups of students, that promote participation, information access, course advising, language support, counselling and/or disability support.
  • Learning engagement activities and learning and teaching services that support diversity and inclusive practices, such as those to sustain and retain students, encourage personal development and improvement of the quality of the first-year student experience

2. Collaborative educational partnerships in learning and teaching

This category encompasses:

  • Internal partnerships related to teaching quality and student learning, such as between schools/faculties and central services.
  • External partnerships between universities, and/or other organisations—such as schools, private higher education providers, registered training organisations, professional bodies, businesses, government and Not-For-Profit Organisations in collaborative approaches to learning and teaching

3. Curriculum transformation and innovative pedagogy

This category encompasses:

  • Curriculum design and approaches to learning and teaching that afford flexibility in time, place and/or mode of learning, such as micro credentials, stackable curriculum, flexible curriculum, online learning that enhances student learning outcomes.
  • Curriculum that encourages novel approaches to learning and teaching with aligned assessment that encourages or supports multi-disciplinary, research-based learning and teaching approaches, and utilise the potential of new and/or emerging technologies, remotely, synchronously or asynchronously.
  • Innovation in curriculum to be considered as a form of evidence.

4. Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programs that value and enhance student employability

This category encompasses:

  • Experiential learning to Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programs and other WIL related activities that focus on valuing and enhancing student’s employability.
  • It includes internship programs, work placement coursework, industry placement, industry consulting project and other learning and teaching programs.

Selection criteria

Applications for Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning will be assessed on evidence they provide in relation to each of the following four criteria, which will be given equal consideration by the assessors:

  1. Positively impacted on student learning, student engagement or the overall student experience for a period of no less than three years (two years for early career), not including time taken for development or trial of any activity.
  2. Gained recognition from colleagues, the institution, and/or the broader community.
  3. Shown creativity, imagination or innovation, irrespective of whether the approach involves traditional learning environments or technology-based developments
  4. Drawn on the scholarly literature on teaching and learning to inform the development of initiatives, programs and/or practice.

Evidencing your contribution

The case needs to be strongly supported by a diverse range of evidence. It is recommended that the qualitative and quantitative data are from an extensive range of formal and informal sources, including nominee’s self-reflection, student learning, student experience and evidence of institutional, peer and stakeholders’ interactions. Student voices, through examples and quotations, can convey a cogent account of their experiences.

The Grants and Awards Panel may contact applicants and/or referees for clarification or further information. 

Essential documentation

The following items must be submitted in support of the application:

  1. Application cover sheet: UniSA Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning: application cover sheet (Word 45kb - opens in a new window)

  2. Written statement (10 pages) The core element of an application for an Award for Programs that Enhance Learning is a written statement describing the programs activities and achievements, specifically addressing each of the four selection criteria and providing evidence to support claims. The written statement is limited to ten A4 pages in total (11 point type in Arial or Calibri, margins at a minimum of 2cm). Material in excess of this limit will not be considered by the Selection Panel. The use of a column (newspaper) format is unacceptable.

  3. Team statement of contribution (1 page): This is one A4 page that consists of the name of each team member, with an indication of their percentage contribution and an explanation of their role.  The font must be either 11 pt Arial or 11 pt Calibri.

  4. Supporting teaching materials (up to 2): Selection is based primarily on the written statement addressing the selection criteria. However, selected teaching materials supporting claims made against the selection criteria must be included.
    The relevance of any such material must be made clear in the written statement.
    Supporting teaching materials are limited to a maximum of two of:
    • Website (provide the URL)
    • Three minutes of audio, video or other media files in commonly accessible formats (e.g. .WAV, .AIF, .MP3, .MID, .MPG, .MOV,. WMV, .RM). This might include footage of the team in action, interviews with team or students). (Provide a URL.)
    • The equivalent of 10 pages of printed materials in PDF (additional pages will be removed)
  5. Letters of reference (2):
    • Two references of no more than one A4 page each, to be provided by those able to comment on the applicant's teaching performance against the selection criterion.
    • One of the referees must be either the applicant's Dean of Programs or Head of institute, administration or unit.
      Applicants are encouraged to provide a referee external to UniSA who can comment on the wider impact of the program.
    • The references should apply to the whole team.
    • References must be on letterhead and signed by the referee. Electronic signatures are acceptable.

Note that the written statement (no more than 10 pages total)  should have three components, presented in this order:

  1. Synopsis (150-200 words written in the third person) which includes a plain English description of the program and its contribution to student learning.
  2. Overview (generally 1 to 1.5 pages). The overview focuses on the specific character of the program or service and its context. It is recommended that the overview be no more than one page and include the applicant's educational philosophy and beliefs, a description of the teaching context and an integrated summary of the claims relating to the selection criteria. 
  3.  A statement addressing each selection criterion, in order.
  4. A Reference list. Any recognised reference style is acceptable.

The majority of the written statement should be devoted to addressing each of the four criteria in turn.

Applicants must provide evidence in support of their claims against these criteria.

How to apply

Upload the Essential Documentation above via this UniSA Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning Online Form.

Yaitya Tirka (Aboriginal Learning) Award

The Yaitya Tirka (Aboriginal Learning*) Award gives recognition to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal academic staff who have made a significant contribution towards the development of teaching methods and materials that give UniSA students the knowledge of Aboriginal cultures and Aboriginal knowledges that they require for culturally competent professional practice.

Each recipient (individual or team) receives $5,000.

* Permission to use Yaitya Tirka (Aboriginal Learning) as the name for the award was provided by Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi (KWK) on 30 Aug 2019. KWK is the leading group dedicated to Kaurna language revitalisation and maintenance.

Eligibility

  • The prize is open to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal academic staff with teaching or teaching/research appointments (full time or fractional; continuing or fixed-term appointments).
  • Teams of teaching staff can apply, however one member of the team must be identified to address the criteria.
  • Applicants, whether as a team or individuals, may not apply concurrently for other UniSA Awards or Citations.
  • Winners of the Yaitya Tirka (Aboriginal Learning) Award are eligible to apply again in later years, only if they can demonstrate significantly different achievements in later years.
  • Unsuccessful applicants for the Yaitya Tirka (Aboriginal Learning) Award are eligible to apply again in later years.

Applications

Applicants must seek agreement from their Executive Dean (or equivalent) to apply for this award. The Dean of Programs (or equivalent) signature on the application form indicates their endorsement.

Selection criteria

Applicants for Yaitya Tirka (Aboriginal Learning) Award will be assessed on the evidence they provide with regards to two of the following: criterion A and either criterion B or C.

Criterion A: The further development of teaching methods and materials that give students knowledge of the Aboriginal cultures and Aboriginal knowledges that they require for culturally competent professional practice.

Examples may include:

  • fostering student development by stimulating curiosity and independence in learning
  • contributing to the development of students' critical thinking skills, analytical skills and scholarly values
  • encouraging student engagement through the enthusiasm shown for learning and teaching
  • inspiring and motivating students through high-level communication, presentation and interpersonal skills
  • practice-based learning opportunities
  • developing and/or integrating assessment strategies to enhance student learning
  • 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

Criterion B: Scholarly activities that have influenced and enhanced learning and teaching of Aboriginal cultural competency at UniSA.

Examples may include:

  • showing advanced skills in evaluation and reflective practice
  • participating in and contributing to professional activities related to learning and teaching
  • coordination, management and leadership of courses and student learning
  • conducting and publishing research related to teaching Aboriginal cultural competency
  • demonstrating leadership through activities that have broad influence on the profession

Criterion C: High levels of student satisfaction or performance in courses with high levels of teaching methods and materials that give students knowledge of Aboriginal cultural competency required for professional practice.

Evidence may include:

  • outcomes of the Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs) and Course Evaluation Instruments (CEIs)
  • student retention
  • progression and achievement rates
  • relative benchmarking of performance

The criterion chosen by applicants should be determined by the nature of their contribution to student learning. The selection of award recipients will be based on the extent to which applicants show evidence that their contribution has:

  • influenced student learning, student engagement or the overall student experience
  • gained recognition from fellow staff, the University, and/or the broader community
  • been sustained for a period of no less than three years (two years for early career)

Essential documentation

The following items must be submitted in support of the application:

  1. Application cover sheet: Yaitya Tirka (Aboriginal Learning) Award: application cover sheet (Word 386kb - opens in a new window).
  2. Written statement: The core element of an application for an Yaitya Tirka (Aboriginal Learning) Award is a written statement in which the applicants describe their teaching activities and achievements, and specifically address two of the three selection criteria.
    The written statement is limited to eight A4 pages in total (11 point type in Arial or Calibri, margins at a minimum of 2cm). Material in excess of this limit will not be considered by the Selection Panel. The use of a column (newspaper) format is unacceptable.
  3. Letters of reference: Two references of no more than one A4 page each are to be provided by people who are able to comment on the applicant's contribution to student learning against the selection criterion. Each referee report should be signed and on a letterhead. One of the referees must be either the applicant's Dean of Programs (or equivalent), Head of institute, administration or unit. If the application is for a team, the references should apply to the team.

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

  • Overview
  • Selection criterion A: The further development of teaching methods and materials that give students knowledge of the Aboriginal cultures and Aboriginal knowledges that they require for culturally competent professional practice, AND either
  • Selection criterion B: Scholarly activities that have influenced and enhanced learning and teaching of Aboriginal cultural competency at UniSA, OR
  • Selection criterion C: High levels of student satisfaction or performance in courses with high levels of teaching methods and materials that give students knowledge of Aboriginal cultural competency required for professional practice.

How to apply

Upload the Essential Documentation above via this UniSA Yaitya Tirka Award Online Form .

UniSA Awards for Teaching Excellence

The UniSA Awards for Teaching Excellence recognize and reward educators 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 at the University of South Australia. Awardees demonstrate leadership through their sustained commitment to innovation, delivery of quality teaching and sustained dedication to improving the student experience and learning outcomes.

Each Award recipient (individual or team) receives $5,000.

Eligibility

  • Open to all staff with teaching or teaching/research appointments (full-time or fractional; continuing or fixed-term contract)
  • Where the application is for a Team, at least one member of the team must fulfil the criterion above
  • Teams may be of any size
  • Applicants, whether as a team or individuals, may not apply concurrently for the Awards for Teaching Excellence and another UniSA Teaching Award (e.g. Citation)
  • The Early Career category is open to staff with no more than five years of experience teaching in a higher education setting. The five years can be non-sequential and must be counted on a 'semester basis'. This includes all tutoring and part-time teaching
  • Recipients of the Award for Teaching Excellence can reapply for the Awards for Teaching Excellence in later years, only if they can demonstrate significantly different achievements in later years
  • Unsuccessful applicants for the Awards for Teaching Excellence can reapply in later years

Applications

  • Applicants must seek agreement from their Executive Dean (or equivalent) to apply for an Award for Teaching Excellence. The Dean of Programs (or equivalent) signature on the application form indicates their endorsement.
  • Applications are made by individual staff members or teams.

Categories

There are two categories of UniSA Awards for Teaching Excellence:

  • Unit based
  • Early career

Sub-categories

Under their chosen category, applicants for Awards for Teaching Excellence will be assessed on evidence they provide in relation to each of the following four sub-categories:

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
  • developing and/or integrating assessment strategies to enhance student learning
  • provision of support services that improve the student experience and enable learning
  • evaluating the quality of programs and activities including consideration of past and current student feedback to support 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
  • contributing professional expertise to enhance curriculum or resources
  • evaluating the quality of curriculum, resources or services

3. Effective assessment practices that bring about improvements in student learning, may have a focus on academic integrity or digital solutions or any assessment strategies that bring about change

This may include:

  • showing advanced skills in assessment/alternative assessment practices
  • using a variety of assessment strategies to bring about change
  • adapting assessment methods to different contexts and diverse student needs and learning styles
  • contributing professional expertise to the field of assessment in order to improve program design and delivery
  • dissemination and embedding of good practice identified through evaluation
  • evaluating the quality of the assessment practices

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
  • influencing the overall academic, social and cultural experience of higher education
  • evaluating the feasibility of the innovation or the quality of leadership that enhances learning and teaching and/or influence student experience

Assessment Criteria

For each category, applicants are required to address all the following criteria:

  1. Positively impacted on student learning, student engagement or the overall student experience for a period of no less than three years (two years for early career), not including time taken for development or trial of any activity.
  2. Gained recognition from colleagues, the institution, and/or the broader community.
  3. Shown creativity, imagination or innovation, irrespective of whether the approach involves traditional learning environments or technology-based developments
  4. Drawn on the scholarly literature on teaching and learning to inform the development of initiatives, programs and/or practice.

Evidencing your contribution

The four sub-categories will be given equal consideration by the Grants and Awards Panel.

In addressing the criteria, applicants are required to make a case that is strongly supported by a diverse range of evidence. It is recommended that the qualitative and quantitative data are from an extensive range of formal and informal sources, including nominee’s self-reflection, student learning, student experience and evidence of institutional, peer and stakeholders’ interactions.

Student voices, through examples and quotations, can convey a cogent account of their experiences.

Each criterion is weighted evenly.

The Grants and Awards Panel may contact applicants and/or referees for clarification or further information.

In assessing the evidence supporting Early Career nominations, consideration will be given to the career stage of the nominee.

Essential documentation

The following items must be submitted in support of the application:

  1. Application cover sheet: UniSA Awards for Teaching Excellence: application cover sheet (Word 45kb - opens in a new window)

  2. Written statement (8 pages) The core element of an application for an Award for Teaching Excellence is a written statement in which applicants describe their teaching activities and achievements, and specifically address each of the five selection criteria. The written statement is limited to eight A4 pages in total (11 point type in Arial or Calibri, margins at a minimum of 2cm). Material in excess of this limit will not be considered by the Selection Panel. The use of a column (newspaper) format is unacceptable.

  3. Supporting teaching materials (up to 2): Selection is based primarily on the written statement addressing the selection criteria. However, selected teaching materials supporting claims made against the selection criteria must be included.
    The relevance of any such material must be made clear in the written statement.
    Supporting teaching materials are limited to a maximum of two of:
    1. Website (provide the URL)
    2. Three minutes of audio, video or other media files in commonly accessible formats (e.g. .WAV, .AIF, .MP3, .MID, .MPG, .MOV,. WMV, .RM). This might include footage of the team in action, interviews with team or students). (Provide a URL.)
    3. The equivalent of 10 pages of printed materials in PDF (additional pages will be removed)
  1. Curriculum Vitae: The curriculum vitae should outline the applicant's educational qualifications, employment history, teaching positions held and teaching experience. The curriculum vitae should be no longer than three A4 pages for individual applications. Teams may allow for one additional page per team member, that is a team of three may have five pages (three plus two). Pages in excess of this limit will be removed. The font must be either 11 pt Arial or 11 pt Calibri.

  2. Letters of reference:
    • Two references of no more than one A4 page each, to be provided by those able to comment on the applicant's teaching performance against the selection criterion.
    • One of the referees must be either the applicant's Dean of Programs or Head of institute, administration or unit.
      Applicants are encouraged to provide a referee external to UniSA who can comment on the wider impact of the program.
    • If the application is from a team, the references should apply to the team.
    • Referee reports must be on letterhead and signed by the referee. Electronic signatures are acceptable.

Note that the written statement should have three components, presented in this order:

  1. Synopsis (150-200 words written in the third person) which must cover the applicant's teaching area or discipline, teaching experience, the particular focus of their teaching, teaching methods, and their research/teaching interests.
  2. Overview (generally 1 to 1.5 pages). The overview provides the opportunity for applicants to commence the written statement with a focus on the specific character of their teaching and achievements. It is recommended that the overview be no more than one page and include the applicant's educational philosophy and beliefs, a description of the teaching context and an integrated summary of the claims relating to the selection criteria. 
  3. A statement addressing each selection criterion:
    • Approaches to teaching and the support of learning that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn
    • Development of curricula, resources or services that reflect a command of the field
    • Effective assessment practices that bring about improvements in student learning, focusing on academic integrity or digital solutions, or any assessment strategies that bring about change
    • Innovation, leadership or scholarship that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or the student experience.

The majority of the written statement should be devoted to addressing each of the four criteria in turn.

Applicants must provide evidence in support of their claims against these criteria.

How to apply

Upload the Essential Documentation above via this UniSA Awards for Teaching Excellence Online Form .

Workshops

If you're thinking about applying for a UniSA Teaching Award, come along and see how others are approaching the task, drop in to ask a few questions from an Academic Developer, or just use this time to start writing! 

Register for a session here.

Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT)

Australian Awards for University Teaching (external)

The Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) are administered by Universities Australia.

There are a number of award types recognising outstanding contributions to student learning and teaching excellence:

  • Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
  • Awards for Teaching Excellence
  • Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning
  • Australian University Teacher of the Year (selected annually by AAUT from a recipient of an Award for Teaching Excellence in the current year)
  • Career Achievement Award (bestowed periodically at AAUT's discretion)

UniSA encourages and supports academic (including contract and sessional) staff, and professional staff who make a direct contribution to student learning to apply for these awards. Applicants may apply as individuals or teams. The University seeks to develop applicants through the UniSA Teaching Awards, and prospective AAUT applicants are encouraged to initially secure a competitive UniSA Teaching Award before proceeding to the national awards.

AAUT information and forms

Detailed information about the awards and application instructions are available from the AAUT website.

Developing written statements

Interested staff and/or teams are strongly advised to discuss their proposals with Dr David Birbeck: Academic Developer, well in advance of submission (e.g. 3-6 months). Staff are also encouraged to speak with their Dean of Programs or equivalent and their local Academic Developer.

Completed submissions must be emailed as MSWORD attachments to teaching.awards.grants@unisa.edu.au by the internal review deadline listed in the table above. Deadlines are not negotiable. Submissions undergo internal review by the University's Learning and Teaching Grants and Awards Panel. The panel provides feedback to authors on submitted materials as well as recommendations to the Provost and Chief Academic Officer.

Resources

Remember to start your preparation early!  Preparing a award materials is a scholarly activity which takes time and planning.

We encourage you to book an online consult with a TIU Academic Developer, who can:

  • provide you with examples of successful applications;
  • facilitate mentoring relationships with previous awardees and/or Academic Developers;
  • discuss the focus of your application and types of evidence required to support your claims (e.g. of student learning); and
  • provide feedback on your draft application.

This following resources have been produced for the national teaching awards. Although referring to the Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT), the advice remains highly relevant to applications for UniSA awards. 

 

Award Winners

2022

Dr Brian Dale, UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences

For excellence in advancing professional development and higher order learning through design and implementation of clinical placement with authentic research and development in Laboratory Medicine.

Vivien Chanana and Professor John Dawes, UniSA Business

For sustained teaching excellence, specifically in developing employment-ready student skills, via the Marketing Clinic - a unique third-year course in which students provide informed marketing advice for businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

Dr Connie Caruso, UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences

For excellence in teaching Histology and Pathophysiology using innovative ultra hi-resolution images and virtual microscopy, motivating and inspiring students to deliver enhanced learning outcomes.

Dr Helen Banwell, Dr Ryan Causby & Mr Brendan Nettle, UniSA Allied Health and Human Performance

For innovative use of 3D printed foot models and resources to enhance undergraduate podiatry students’ scalpel skill training and foot ulcer management.

2022 SANTPEN Award Ceremony Images

2021

Mrs Sandhya Maranna, UniSA Allied Health & Human Performance

For assessment practices that foster the development of clinical skills in medical sonography students studying online courses related to women’s health.

Dr Lisa O'Keeffe, UniSA Education Futures

For a digitally innovative approach that engages future mathematics teachers in a cycle of reflective practice which enhances their development as effective teachers.

Ms Tanya Weiler, UniSA Education Futures

For sustained leadership of the UniSA Aboriginal Pathway Program, enhancing university participation and success of Aboriginal students by studying ‘as a community, in the community’.

2020

Mrs Tamra Ulpen, UniSA Education Futures 
For leadership in enhancing support to meet the academic language and literacy learning needs of non-English Speaking Background (NESB) students at UniSA College’s enabling programs.

2020

Professor Tracey Bretag - UniSA Business School (granted posthumously)
Tracey believed passionately in Academic Integrity. She was a leader in her field and throughout her career she worked tirelessly to raise awareness of this issue. Tracey’s work identified the extent of contract cheating and informed national laws to combat this practice. For most of her academic career, Tracey taught at the UniSA Business School where she received a number of awards for her teaching. Sadly she passed away in October. She’s remembered as a true guiding light for our academic community - Professor Deborah Terry AO, Universities Australia Chair.

2023

Dr Paul Corcoran, Senior Lecturer, UniSA STEM

For providing an exemplary pastoral approach to personalizing 1st Year students’ transition into UniSA’s Bachelor of Environmental Science (LBVT)/ Bachelor for Geospatial Science (LBSP)

First Peoples' Health Course Development Team: Dr Aidan Cornelius-Bell, TIU, Mr Michael Watkins (ALH), Ms Brittany Marsh (UniSA Online), Ms Kirsty Summers (TIU)

For the creation of transformative, decolonised, strengths-based and woven Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health curriculum throughout an online course.

Dr Chelsea Cutting, UniSA Education Futures

For utilising video as a mechanism for providing formative feedback via Responsive Micro -Teaching to enhance external Pre-Service Teachers’ learning experiences and confidence in mathematics education.

Pharmacy Practitioner in Residence Team (CHS) Jimit Gandhi, Clinical Health Sciences and Haley Vu, UniSA Allied Health and Human Performance

For utilising video as a mechanism for providing formative feedback via Responsive Micro -Teaching to enhance external Pre-Service Teachers’ learning experiences and confidence in mathematics education.

Conservative Management of Pelvic Organ Prolapse teaching and coordination team (ALH) : Dr Sophie Lefmann, Dr Patricia Neumann, Dr. Rebekah Das, Dr. Jane Chalmers, Ms. Alison Bell

Pioneering the innovative tertiary-level training of postgraduate physiotherapy students in conservative management of pelvic organ prolapse pessary care.

Dr Paula Rowe, UniSA Online

For sustained leadership in ‘care-full’ teaching approaches that enable students in equity groups to build confidence and enhance learning outcomes in online human service courses.

2022

Dr Min Pham, Lecturer, UniSA Education Futures

For supporting the professional development of peer leaders to effectively enhance the learning experience of culturally and linguistically diverse students at UniSA College

Dr Hana Hadinejad, Lecturer, UniSA Business

For innovative games in a postgraduate business course for non-business learners that foster active and authentic learning which led to enhanced engagement and satisfaction.

Laboratory Medicine team: Dr Sheree Bailey; Associate Professor Larisa Bobrovskaya; Dr Connie Caruso; Associate Professor Maurizio Costabile; Dr Layla Mahdi,  UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences

For a collegiate approach to Laboratory Medicine education through innovative and effective assessment practices representative of the real world and valued by the student

2021

Dr Brian Dale, Senior Lecturer in Haematology, UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences

For excellence in the design and implementation of research and development in Laboratory Medicine to enhance student learning and professional development in clinical placement.

Dr Sally Lewis, Program Director: Master of Communication (DMCO), UniSA Creative

For leadership of interdisciplinary curriculum development that fosters the work readiness of Communication students

Marketing Clinic team: Vivien Chanana [team leader], Program Director: Marketing & Professor John Dawes, Professor of Marketing, UniSA Business

For sustained commitment to enhancing student learning through experience in Marketing Clinic - a unique third-year course with Work Integrated Learning (WIL) elements.

2020

Ms Tanya Weiler (FHEA) - Program Director: Regional and Aboriginal Pathway Program, UniSA Education Futures

For sustained leadership of the UniSA Aboriginal Pathway Program, enhancing participation and success of Aboriginal students by studying 'as a community, in the community. 

 

2023

Ms Jayne Boase and Professor Delene Weber, UniSA STEM

Igniting Transformational Change through Experiential Learning and Reflection – Fuelling Student Understanding of Aboriginal ways of Knowing, Being and Doing

 

2017

Mrs Anna Rogers - School of Education

For providing preservice student teachers with exemplary teaching and learning experiences in mathematics that help prepare them for successful careers in education.

 

2021

Dr Ysabella Van Sebille,  Program Facilitator, UniSA Online

For building engagement, connectedness and motivation in an online course through enriched course design and enhancing teacher presence.

2020

Mrs Sandhya Maranna (FHEA, AFHERDSA), Lecturer, UniSA Allied Health & Human Performance

For the creation of engaging, digital assessments to support sonography students’ learning using problem-based learning.

 

Ms Bec Medhurst, Online Course Facilitator, University of South Australia Online

For the development and teaching of authentic online courses that prepare students for complex and challenging professional roles in the criminal justice industry.

 

Dr Connie Caruso, Program Director: Laboratory Medicine, UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences

For the creation of an innovative, engaging and interactive virtual microscope that has enriched the experience of histology and pathology students.

 

VERT for Anatomy (Dr Nicola Massy-Westropp, Ms Eileen Giles, Dr Harsha Wechalekar, Dr Arjun Burlakoti, Mrs Rachaelle Dantu) UniSA Allied Health & Human Performance

For enabling identification and understanding of anatomical structures through developing and refining a digital resource and by increasing assessment complexity.

 

What's on: key dates

The critical dates page provides a snapshot of the professional development options offered by UniSA's Teaching and Innovation Unit, including symposiums, workshop dates, a summary of UniSA and external teaching awards and grants opportunities and their submission deadlines.

 

Find out more

 

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