Provost's Award for Teaching Excellence
The Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes TMU educators or groups of educators with outstanding teaching records, and who have made contributions to advancing teaching and learning at TMU. Nominations should focus on i) innovation in teaching, ii) inclusive teaching, or iii) experiential teaching. Up to three awards will be given out annually.
Individual recipients receive a certificate of recognition and a one-time monetary award of $2,000 (subject to applicable deductions). Group recipients receive individual certificates and a total one-time monetary award of $2,000 (subject to applicable deductions) to be shared equally among members.
Who can be nominated?
- Any pre-tenure (tenure stream) faculty member of the Toronto Metropolitan Faculty Association is eligible to be nominated for the Provost's Award for Teaching Excellence.
- No individual can be nominated for more than one university-wide teaching award in any given year. The University Teaching Awards Selection Committee (UTASC) tasked with selecting award recipients may choose to reassign a nomination to a different category, based on the best fit with the evidence, if a nominee agrees to it.
- The nomination is valid only for the year in which it is made.
- An unsuccessful nomination may be reconsidered the following year provided the nomination package has been updated to reflect any new contributions and/or achievements.
- Any individual can receive the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence only once.
- By agreeing to be nominated, the nominee commits to cooperation with the nomination facilitator in providing supporting evidence. The nominee will also commit, if selected as the recipient, to:
- attending the annual Toronto Met Awards Gala,
- sharing their teaching philosophy with fellow instructors by making it available for posting on the Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching website, and
- giving a presentation at the TMU Learning & Teaching Conference in May of the same year.
Any member of the TMU Community (faculty, student or staff) can nominate someone for the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
Nominations should be tailored to address the criteria from one of the following three streams:
Award Criteria for Innovation in Teaching
Contributions to advancing teaching and learning at TMU with a particular focus on innovation in teaching can be demonstrated by the following:
- Curricular innovation, curricular/course design and redesign initiatives;
- Development and creation of innovative teaching materials or textbooks;
- Innovative teaching with technology;
- Collaborative initiatives at the university level to improve quality of teaching and learning at TMU through educational innovation;
- Sharing and dissemination of innovative teaching strategies;
- Other innovative educational initiatives.
Award Criteria for Inclusive Teaching
Contributions to advancing teaching and learning at TMU with a particular focus on inclusive teaching can be demonstrated by the following:
- Curricular redesign initiatives that stress inclusive learning;
- Community or workplace inclusive learning initiatives;
- International or field-based inclusive learning initiatives;
- Classroom and/or specialized inclusive learning;
- Collaborative initiatives at the university level focusing on inclusive learning;
- Sharing and dissemination of teaching strategies that incorporate inclusive values including Indigenous ways of knowing;
- Other inclusive teaching initiatives.
Award Criteria for Experiential Teaching
Contributions to advancing teaching and learning at TMU with a particular focus on experiential teaching can be demonstrated by the following:
- New or revitalized initiatives that engage students in experiential learning;
- Community or workplace experiential learning initiatives;
- International experiential learning initiatives;
- Classroom and/or specialized experiential learning;
- Collaborative initiatives at the university level focusing on experiential learning;
- Sharing and dissemination of teaching strategies;
- Other experiential teaching initiatives.
Evidence in support of the criteria may include, but is not limited to, some of the following:
- A clear description of the new or revitalized learning initiatives that were developed to improve student learning, including their planning, development, execution and assessment of learning outcomes;
- Direct and indirect evidence of the value of the developed strategies and their effectiveness in improving student learning;
- Samples of student reflection on, and analysis of, their learning;
- Samples of additional reflection from the nominee(s) and from other participants on the goals, objectives and results of the initiative;
- Description and samples of developed teaching materials, if relevant;
- Photos of teaching situations, if relevant;
- Description of curriculum development activities, if relevant;
- Description of teaching and learning grants received;
- Evidence of grounding one’s work in good practice and connection to learning theories;
- Evidence of positive peer review of the initiatives;
- Awards and recognition received as a result of learning initiatives;
- Letters from students, alumni, colleagues and administrators, providing examples and describing the nominee or nominees’ specific learning initiatives and their impact on student learning.
Any evidence of an outstanding and sustained record of undergraduate or graduate teaching will also be taken into consideration by the Selection Committee. Outstanding teaching integrates best practices in instruction and assessment with well-defined student learning outcomes, demonstrates effectiveness of teaching strategies, and provides evidence of student engagement. The range and diversity of support for the nominee (e.g. from students, alumni, colleagues, peers, administrators, collaborators, etc.) will be reviewed, as well as the range and complexity of contributions.
The nomination process for the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence follow a two-stage process. If the nominator is a student, they are encouraged to contact the Faculty Awards Committee (FAC) via the Dean's Office to get assistance from a faculty advisor with compiling the nomination brief and with compiling the full nomination file. This is to ensure that the nomination reflects a full scope of the nominee’s activities.
- Obtain the nominee’s permission.
- Prepare, in collaboration with the nominee, a Nomination Brief (one to two pages). The Nomination Brief should clearly address the nominee’s achievements according to each of the awards criteria. Should the nomination move forward to Stage 2, this Brief will serve as an executive summary for the full awards package.
- Submit the Brief in the Online Nomination Portal by the specified deadline for consideration by the FAC. The FAC will select up to three candidates per faculty to move forward to the second stage of the nomination process. Once the FAC makes its selections/recommendations, nominators will be notified as to whether their candidate has been selected.
- The nominator compiles a Full Nomination file detailing the record of the nominee’s accomplishments and submits through the Online Nomination Portal.
- Nominees will be prompted by email to log in to the Online Nomination Portal and upload their CV.
The nomination file should clearly address the Award Criteria. There are seven required components of the nomination for the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence:
- A Nomination Brief (two page maximum) prepared by the nominator, submitted in Stage 1 of the nomination process. Once the nomination has proceeded to Stage 2, the nominator will have the opportunity to revise the nomination brief. The revised nomination brief should serve to summarize and contextualize the evidence included and provide references that help direct the committee’s attention. Please be clear as to which stream you are applying for.
- A Citation (100 word maximum). Highlight why the nominee(s) deserves this award and any notable achievements. This citation will be included in related university communication if the nominee is selected.
- A statement of the nominee’s Teaching Philosophy (three page maximum). This statement shows evidence of reflection on one’s practices related to fostering student learning and intellectual growth, and highlights the nominee’s contributions to continuing teaching excellence according to the award criteria and the particular stream the nominee is being nominated for.
- A Summary of Teaching Evaluations (one page maximum) over a minimum of three consecutive years. Faculty Course Survey (FCS) data will not be used as evidence of teaching effectiveness, but can be used to support claims made about the impact of teaching methods on student experience. Nominees are welcome to submit the data they feel best represents their achievements in teaching. Please do not submit copies of raw data, instead tabulate (or provide a graph of) the relevant information on a single page. Frequency distributions rather than averages must be used.
- Letters of Support (one page maximum each) that provide specific examples of why the nominee should be considered for the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Try to ensure that, when read as a group, letters cover all the key features of the award criteria. There should be no more than three letters in total. The supporting letters must include:
- One letter from a colleague. If the nominator is a colleague the letter must be from a colleague other than the nominator;
- Two letters from students (undergraduate student, graduate student, or alumna/alumnus). Students writing support letters should disclose their relationship with the nominee (current student, former student, research assistant, working under nominee’s supervision, etc.). If the nominator is a student, the letters must come from students other than the nominator.
- Supporting Materials (four page maximum) containing additional evidence for how the criteria have been met. Make sure to include factual evidence to support the narrative provided in the supporting statement and the letters. It is essential to provide meaningful captions or descriptive information for all supporting materials, describing how the evidence demonstrates that the nominee meets the criteria for the award. Because of the capacity for visual elements to add richness and nuance to a nomination package, the use of these elements within the supporting materials is encouraged.
- A modified Curriculum Vitae (four page maximum) focusing on the nominee’s teaching, educational leadership, achievements and other contributions to teaching and learning, as distinct from a standard C.V. pertaining to the nominee’s field of expertise. This requirement is submitted after the initial nomination process. Nominees will be prompted by email to submit this portion. For example, do not include field-specific research publications, but do include presentations at the Learning & Teaching Conference and other educational conferences, workshops on teaching and learning, textbooks, teaching awards, etc. Nominees will be prompted by email to submit this portion.
When preparing materials:
- Use a standard 12-point font with one-inch margins.
- Each page and scan must be legible.
- Please do not include active URLs, the committee will not review any material beyond what is included in the nomination package.
Group nomination instructions:
- Submit the nomination under the most senior instructor's name.
- Include a list of all nominee names and roles in the Nomination Brief. Briefly describe their contributions.
- Download the Team Nomination Consent Form from the Online Nomination Portal and have each nominee complete a separate form. Merge all completed forms into one PDF file and upload it into the Portal.
The Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence recipient is selected by the University Teaching Awards Selection Committee (UTASC). The UTASC mandate is to help advance teaching and learning at TMU through the university-wide Teaching Awards Program by ensuring that high quality candidates, whose achievements meet or exceed the awards criteria, are selected for the available university teaching awards.
Following notification to all nominees and nominators, the Provost will make a public announcement regarding all Awards recipients.
November 8 by noon: All Nomination Briefs are to be submitted online including the nominee's online consent.
November 24: Deadline for each FAC to select a candidate, if any, for the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence and for the Chair of the FAC to communicate the results to all nominees and their nominators.
December 8 by noon: All completed nomination files for the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence must be submitted online.
January 15: Deadline for the UTASC to complete their deliberations. The Committee reserves the right not to confer the Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence in any given year if no suitable candidate is identified.
January 22: The results are communicated to the recipient's nominator, as well as to all unsuccessful nominees and their nominators.