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Teaching Awards Procedures

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) These procedures provide the eligibility requirements, selection criteria, award prizes and conditions for the University's teaching awards.

(2) The procedures should be read in conjunction with the Teaching Awards Policy and the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards Policy.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) Refer to the Teaching Awards Policy and the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Eligibility for Awards

(5) Staff who have worked at the University for a minimum of one year are eligible to apply for an individual award, or as a leader of a team application.

(6) Staff who do not satisfy the selection criteria for team awards, but whose contribution to the award initiative is to be acknowledged, may be included as members of a team application.

(7) An award winner is not eligible to apply (as an individual or team leader) for the same award the following year, however recipients of highly commended awards may reapply the next year.

(8) The Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching Award is awarded to one recipient of a Western Sydney University Teaching Excellence Award who has an exceptional record of advancing student learning, educational leadership and scholarly contribution to learning and teaching.

Part B - Selection Criteria

(9) The selection criteria for the Western Sydney University Teaching Excellence Award and the Western Sydney University Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning are identical to those specified by the Australian Government's Office for Learning and Teaching Teaching Awards.

Western Sydney University Teaching Excellence Award

(10) Applicants for the Western Sydney University Teaching Excellence Award must address the following four criteria for assessment:

  1. Approaches to teaching and 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. Evaluation practices that bring about improvements in teaching and learning.
  4. Innovation, leadership or scholarship that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or the student experience.

(11) In assessing applications, the Awards Panel will take into account:

  1. the extent to which the claims for excellence are supported by formal and informal evaluation;
  2. the extent of creativity, imagination or innovation, irrespective of whether the approach involves traditional learning environments or technology-based developments;
  3. information contained in student data or institutional student surveys, references, and selected teaching materials submitted by the applicant.

Western Sydney University Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning

(12) Applicants for the Western Sydney University Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning are invited to select one of the following criteria for assessment, as appropriate for their particular contribution:

  1. Approaches to teaching and the support of learning that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn. This may include:
    1. fostering student development by stimulating curiosity and independence in learning;
    2. 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;
    3. encouraging student engagement through the enthusiasm shown for learning and teaching; inspiring and motivating students through effective communication, presentation and interpersonal skills;
    4. enabling others to enhance their approaches to learning and teaching; and
    5. developing and/or integrating assessment strategies to enhance student learning.
  2. Development of curricula, resources or services that reflect a command of the field. This may include:
    1. developing and presenting coherent and imaginative resources for student learning; implementing research-led approaches to learning and teaching;
    2. 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;
    3. providing support to those involved in the development of curricula and resources; and
    4. contributing professional expertise to enhance curriculum or resources.
  3. Evaluation practices that bring about improvements in teaching and learning. Evaluation comprises making judgements about the quality of programs and activities that are part of the academic, cultural and social experience of higher education. This may include:
    1. showing advanced skills in evaluation and reflective practice; using a variety of evaluation strategies to bring about change;
    2. adapting evaluation methods to different contexts and diverse student needs and learning styles;
    3. contributing professional expertise to the field of evaluation in order to improve program design and delivery; and
    4. the dissemination and embedding of good practice identified through evaluation.
  4. Innovation, leadership or scholarship that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or the student experience. This may include:
    1. participating in and contributing to professional activities related to learning and teaching; innovations in service and support for students;
    2. coordination, management and leadership of courses and student learning; conducting and publishing research related to teaching;
    3. 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; and
    4. influencing the overall academic, social and cultural experience of higher education.

(13) The Awards Panel will consider each application on the extent to which it shows evidence that the applicant's contribution has:

  1. influenced student learning, student engagement or the overall student experience
  2. gained recognition from fellow staff, the institution, and/or the broader community
  3. been sustained for a period of no less than three years (two years for Early Career applications).

(14) In assessing evidence that supports Early Career applications, the panel will consider the applicant's career stage.

Part C - Applications

(15) The Vice-Chancellor and President will call for applications each year.

(16) Applicants may apply for a Western Sydney University Teaching Excellence Award or a Western Sydney University Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning but not for both awards in the same year.

(17) Applicants are to:

  1. complete the approved application form;
  2. obtain the relevant Dean/Executive Director/Director/Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Vice-President/Pro Vice-Chancellor/Unit Head's signed endorsement to the application,
  3. gather and assemble all parts of the submission; and
  4. lodge a hard-copy of the original plus seven hard-copies of the submission with the Manager, HR Support Services, Office of Human Resources, by the closing date. Applicants may lodge submissions electronically via email by the due date and subsequently forward the original, including signatures, and copies in hard copy.

(18) Applicants are encouraged to begin preparing the submission as early as possible, and seek feedback from colleagues and/or staff in support units of the University. The Awards and Grants Development Officer in the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic can also provide advice and assistance to staff in preparing applications.

(19) Applicants should address their achievements over the previous one to three year period, although submissions may include brief background material from longer than three years ago to contextualise these achievements.

(20) Applicants for a Western Sydney University Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning must prepare a concise (maximum 25 words) citation which describes the applicant's distinctive contribution. Each citation is unique and reflects the diversity of ways in which the applicant contributes to excellent learning and teaching.

(21) Applicants for a Western Sydney University Teaching Excellence Award must submit two of the following supporting materials:

  1. a three minute video (which could include footage of the applicant talking about their program, their teaching philosophy or interviews with students);
  2. website (URL); and/or
  3. 10 pages of printed teaching material in PDF format.

(22) The Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic may make enquiries in relation to the facts in a submission.

(23) Previous award winners who apply for another award must demonstrate progression since the time of the award.

(24) The relevant Dean, Executive Director, Director, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vice-President, Pro Vice-Chancellor or Unit Head must approve the expenditure plan of award winners against award budgets in accordance with relevant policies/procedures.

Part D - Award Prizes

(25) Awards may be made each year:

  1. for each award category - to an individual and/or a team as winner; and/or
  2. for Western Sydney University Teaching Excellence Award and Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching awards - highly commended to an individual and/or a team,
however an award might not be given in each category or at both levels each year.

(26) Award recipients will receive:

  1. a framed certificate;
  2. a trophy for the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching award (team or individual).

(27) The prizes for each category of award are provided in Table 1:

Table 1: Award Prizes

Award Maximum Number of Awards in Each Category Maximum Amount for Each Individual Award Maximum Amount for Each Team Award
Western Sydney University Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning 8 $2,000 $3,000 team of 2 or $4,000 team of 3 or more
Western Sydney University Teaching Excellence Award 4 $3,000 $5,000 team of 2 or $7,000 team of 3 or more
Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching 1 $4,000 $6,000 teams of 2 or $8,000 team of 3 or more

Part E - Awards Panel

(28) The Awards Panel will:

  1. assess applications against the specified selection criteria for the Western Sydney University Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning and Western Sydney University Teaching Excellence Award and make recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor and President or their nominee; and
  2. recommend one Western Sydney University Teaching Excellence Award winner for the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching award.

(29) The Awards Panel is chaired by an external member nominated by the Vice-Chancellor and President and comprises academic and professional staff.

(30) Where panel members are unavailable, the Vice-Chancellor and President or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic will approve substitute members.

Part F - Funding and Expenditure

(31) The Vice-Chancellor and President will determine the total allocation of funds for the award categories each year.

(32) Award recipients may elect to take their funds as follows:

  1. for individual winners - as cash (paid through payroll) after tax;
  2. for a team - as cash paid to individuals (through payroll) after tax;
  3. donations to a registered charity or contributions to superannuation.

(33) Award recipients may spend award funds on either the further development of the initiative(s) for which the award has been conferred, or the professional development of the award recipient(s).

(34) Examples of reasonable expenditure of an award include:

  1. Further professional development of individuals, for example:
    1. costs (for example travel, accommodation, registration fees) associated with attendance at a conference or other professional gathering;
    2. costs of attending training and development programs (for example residential organisational development and leadership programs);
    3. costs of attending external workshops or seminars not usually conducted by units within the University and which are relevant to the needs of the University;
    4. contributions towards the purchase of equipment, including texts and electronic equipment useful to the completion of their professional studies;
    5. costs associated with visits to industrial, professional or educational establishments.
  2. Further development of project initiatives acknowledged by the award, for example:
    1. minor equipment or other materials related to project initiative(s);
    2. employing casual staff to undertake specific project development work.

(35) Recipients should spend award funds within one calendar year of receiving the funds. Where there is reasonable justification, recipients may request an extension for a specified period in writing to the Manager, HR Support Services, who will seek the approval of the Vice-President, People and Advancement.

(36) Equipment or other materials purchased from award funds remain the property of the University.

Part G - Disseminating Outcomes

(37) The University will present recipients with their awards at the annual Western Sydney University Awards ceremony, and will broadly disseminate announcements of the recipients.

(38) Award recipients will be invited to prepare a written account about their achievements and innovations and/or make presentations at suitable occasions and forums.

Part H - Administration of the Awards Scheme

(39) The Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic administers the University's teaching awards scheme in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources and the Vice-Chancellor and President Excellence Awards scheme.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(40) Nil.