UniSA Teaching Awards

The University of South Australia's Teaching Awards recognise and reward excellence in university teaching.

These competitive awards are offered annually across four categories:

  • Yaitya Tirka (Aboriginal Learning) Award (previously named 'UniSA Indigenous Education Teaching Awards')
  • UniSA Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
  • UniSA Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Digital Learning
  • UniSA Awards for Teaching Excellence

Information Sheet 2021 UniSA Teaching Awards (PDF 133kb - opens in a new window)

The Yaitya Tirka (Aboriginal Learning*) Award (previously named ‘UniSA Indigenous Education 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 cculturally 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.

Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi logo

 

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

  • Application cover sheet: Yaitya Tirka (Aboriginal Learning) Award: application document (Word 378kb - opens in a new window).
  • 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.
  • Referee reports: Two referee reports of no more than one A4 page each, 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.

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.

 

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.

Categories

There are two categories of citation:

  • UniSA Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
  • UniSA Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Digital Learning

The UniSA Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning recognises 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 annually 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.

The UniSA Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Digital Learning recognises outstanding contributions to digital learning. Applications in this category will demonstrate the requirements of the Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning and must, in addition, strongly evidence (one or more of) the delivery of enriched and engaging curriculum; support for our students to become professionals in a digital age; expanding flexible learning arrangements; and/or developing our academic as leaders in the digital learning experience.

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
  • Winners of Citations can apply for subsequent Citations for different achievements in later years only if they can demonstrate significantly different achievements
  • 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” 
  • 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"

Selection Criteria

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

1. Approaches to teaching and/or 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:

  • 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, focusing 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 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

Evidencing your contribution

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

With a focus on the chosen criterion, 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.

In addition to the assessment criteria above, Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Digital Learning must strongly evidence one or more of the following to contextualise the contribution to digital learning:

  1. Delivering an engaging and digitally enhanced curriculum
  2. Supporting our students to become productive professionals in a digital age
  3. Expanding flexible learning arrangements
  4. Developing our academics as leaders in the digital learning experience
  5. Inspiring and supporting life-long learning

The 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.

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:

  • Application cover sheet: UniSA Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning: application document (Word 38kb - opens in a new window)
  • Written statement: 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.
  • Referee reports: Two referee reports 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.

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, focusing 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

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.

Categories

There are three categories of UniSA Awards for Teaching Excellence:

  • Unit based
  • Early career
  • Digital learning*

* Applications based on excellence in digital learning should speak strongly to one or more of the following, to contextualise the contribution to digital learning:

  • Delivering an engaging and digitally enriched curriculum
  • Supporting our students to become productive professionals in a digital age
  • Expanding our flexible learning arrangements
  • Developing our academics as leaders in the digital learning experience
  • Inspiring and supporting life-long learning.

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
  • Winners 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.

Selection criteria

Applicants for Awards for Teaching Excellence will be assessed on evidence they provide in relation to each of the following four criteria:

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

Evidencing your contribution

In addressing the four selection criteria, 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 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.

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.

The four selection criteria will be given equal consideration by the Grants and Awards Panel. 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:

  • Application cover sheet: UniSA Awards for Teaching Excellence: application document (Word 36kb - opens in a new window)

  • Written statement: 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.

  • Supporting teaching materials: 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 (with URL included)
    • Audio, video or other media files in commonly accessible formats (e.g. .WAV, .AIF, .MP3, .MID, .MPG, .MOV,. WMV, .RM)
    • The equivalent of 10 pages of printed materials in PDF (additional pages will be removed)
  • 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.

  • Referee reports:
    • Two referee reports 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, and 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.

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.

Selection panel

Applications will be assessed by the University's Grants and Awards Panel (GAP). For the assessment of the Yaitya Tirka (Aboriginal Learning) award, GAP will include the Pro Vice Chancellor: Aboriginal Leadership & Strategy (or nominee).

GAP will provide recommendations to the Provost and Chief Academic Officer who will determine the award recipients.

Recognition

Award recipients will be announced by the Provost and Chief Academic Officer. Recipients will receive a certificate to commemorate their award and will be supported through the Teaching Innovation Unit to develop their application into a submission for any relevant national awards offered through the Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT). The support can include mentoring by award winners.

Unsuccessful applicants will normally remain in the pool of applicants for a period of up to three years. During this time they can access support to further develop their evidence and materials for future rounds of the UniSA Teaching Awards.

Deadline for submission of all award materials

Applications for UniSA Citations, Teaching Excellence, and Yaitya Tirka (Aboriginal Learning) Awards, as per the guidelines outlined on the respective award information pages, must be lodged by 5:00 pm Friday 29 October 2021.

All submissions to be emailed as attachments to: teaching.awards.grants@unisa.edu.au

Resources

Contact

For further information and assistance contact your local Academic Developer  or Dr Ruth Fazakerley, Chair of the UniSA Grants and Awards Panel.