Commendations for the Enhancement of and Innovation in Student Learning

These awards recognise the diverse range of activities, services and programs that contribute to student learning and engagement at the University of Adelaide.

They serve to highlight the important role that staff from all areas of the University have in supporting us to achieve our strategic goals.

Staff are encouraged to engage with the various resources available for applicant support. All inquiries can be directed to the Teaching Excellence Team.

Learn more about former recipients of this award

 

Award categories

Each year up to six Commendations will be awarded.

Up to five awards will be presented across the Learning and Teaching categories, and one award in the Implementing Effective HDR Supervisory Practices category.

Both individuals and teams may apply in any category.

Learning and Teaching categories

  • Innovations in blended and/or online learning
  • Developing graduate employability through work-integrated-learning (WIL)
  • Innovations in assessment and feedback
  • Inclusive learning and teaching approaches
  • Promoting student wellbeing
  • Embedding academic integrity education in curriculum

Implementing Effective HDR Supervisory Practices category

The Adelaide Graduate Research School is proud to sponsor this award

Applications in this category will be assessed on their track record of successful HDR candidate outcomes and engagement in high quality supervisory practice over five years or more.  

Note: Applicants in this category are required to supply a copy of their individual supervision dashboard from the Supervisor Classification and Reporting System (SCRS).


Important information and resources for applicants

  • Selection criteria

    All applications will be assessed on the following:

    IMPACT

    • Has the applicant provided sufficient context to understand the nature of the issue/problem/setting the activity occurred in (or in response to)?
    • Has the applicant adequately demonstrated the impact i.e. enhancement of student learning, using a range of evidence?
    • Has the applicant demonstrated sustained impact  (over at least 2 years)?
    • Has the applicant demonstrated impact beyond their immediate context?

    SCHOLARSHIP & REFLECTIVE PRACTICE

    • Does the application adequately describe the pedagogical/theoretical/scholarly underpinnings of the approach to learning and teaching/support/HDR supervision?
    • Has the applicant demonstrated that they use a cycle of reflection and evaluation to support their practice?

    INNOVATION

    Is the activity described innovative?

    Defining pedagogical innovation or innovation in learning and teaching 

    Pedagogical innovation is intentional change in teaching practice made to enhance or transform student learning experience and outcomes, including the development of skills and attributes needed for post-study success.  Innovation in education is primarily motivated by the desire to engage students and enhance learning, to address learning and teaching challenges, adjust to changing circumstances, and to improve communication and relationships with students. The innovation may be the integration of an existing approach, method, or technique into a new context that is not already widespread in the teaching of the discipline or within a Department or School. 

    References

    Walder, A. M. (2017). Pedagogical Innovation in Canadian higher education: Professors’ perspectives on its effects on teaching and learning. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 54, 71-82. 

    Serdyukov, P. (2017). Innovation in education: what works, what doesn’t, and what to do about it?. Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning

    WRITTEN APPLICATION

    • Does the application address the chosen category adequately?
    • Is the application well written and easy to follow?
    • Has the applicant used an appropriate narrative reflective writing style supported by evidence throughout?

    Implementing effective HDR Supervisory Practices category

    Applications in this category will also be assessed on their track record of successful HDR candidate outcomes and engagement in high quality supervisory practice over five years or more. Applicants should also refer to the selection criteria listed above.

    Note: Applicants in this category are required to supply a copy of their individual supervision dashboard from the Supervisor Classification and Reporting System (SCRS).

  • Eligibility

    • Applications are invited from academic and professional staff, from all Faculties and Divisions of the University. Both individual and team applications are encouraged.
    • Applicants may only apply for one Commendation in any year, in any category. This includes team applications (i.e. an applicant must only be a member of one team and can not apply as a member of a team and as an individual in the same year).
    • Applicants who have previously received a Commendation or a Stephen Cole the Elder for Excellence Award are eligible to apply for a Commendation two years after receiving the Commendation or Award. For team submissions, this includes any member of a winning team application who has contributed 40% more towards the winning application.

    NOTE: Work presented by an applicant who has previously been awarded either a Commendation or a Stephen Cole must be sufficiently different from what was previously recognised (i.e. strong evidence for continual growth, expansion, development of the activities must be presented).

    • Applicants must have been employed at the University of Adelaide for no less than two years full time (or part time equivalent). Evidence of two years's worth of sustained impact must be demonstrated within the application.
    • Should an applicant apply for both a Commendation and a Stephen Cole Award in the same year, they can only be awarded one prize and will be removed from contention from the other category. 

    NOTE:  These award types are quite different so the same application will not be suitable for submission into both schemes. Applicants must advise the Teaching Excellence team at least 8 weeks before the submission date if they intend on applying for both awards so individual advice can be provided.

    • Team submissions can only include members with a contribution of 10 percent or higher. This means that the maximum number of team members is 10. 
  • Elements of the application

    Each application for a Commendation should contain:

    1. Application Form - online in 2023

    Complete all details on the online application form. Note - your progress on this form cannot be saved, so you must compete and attach all information at the same time.

    Summary - The application form must also include a short summary of the application (maximum 75 words), written in third person. For successful applicants, this summary will be used in promotional material.

    Endorsement - The completed application must have the endorsement of one of the following: Executive Dean, Deputy Dead, Associate Head, Dean of Graduate Studies, HDR Convenor, Postgraduate Coordinator, Head of School, Head of Discipline, Faculty Manager, or Line Manager.

    Applicants will be asked to supply details of their endorser at the time of submission, in addition to confirming that they have provided a copy of their written statement to this person.  All endorsers will be contacted to confirm that they support the application after submission. 

    The applicant or the team representative, will be required to sign the declaration provided at the end of the online form.

    1. Written statement

    This is where you write to the selection criteria.  The written statement is limited to three A4 pages in total (11 point Arial or Calibri, narrow fonts must not be used).

    All evidence must be included in the three pages no appendixes are permitted.

    It is the central element of the application as it provides the opportunity for applicants to describe their activities and contributions.  Applicants should ensure the following aspects are included/ considered in their submission:

    • Style – write using a narrative style, ensuring the application follows a logical sequence (problem/ challenge/ claim, solution/ idea, supporting evidence)
    • Impact – provide context, demonstrate your impact using a range of evidence, illustrate how your impact has been sustained (over at least 2 years). Can you demonstrate impact beyond your immediate context?
    • Scholarship - does your application adequately describe the pedagogical/theoretical/scholarly underpinnings of the approach to/ support for learning and teaching/HDR supervision?
    • Reflective practice - not only should you describe the nature of the activities, but demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the impact that the activities have had on student learning and engagement. Can you demonstrate a cycle of reflection and evaluation to support your practice?

    4.  Individual SCRS supervision dashboard

        Implementing effective HDR Supervisory Practices’ category only

    3. Team Statement of Contribution

    • For team applications only
    • Up to one page outlining each team members name and indication of the percentage contribution of each team member (in order from highest to lowest).
    • This should be followed by a clear explanation of the role of each team member.
    • Refer to the eligibility requirements regarding team members who have previously been awarded a Teaching Commendation or Stephen Cole the Elder award.

    Note that team members are required to have a contribution of 10 per cent or higher, with a maximum of 10 team members.

    • Evidence

      Applicants must provide evidence in support of their claims against the selection criteria, and will be expected to draw upon a variety of evidence, which may include:

      • Self-assessment, reflection on professional development, and scholarship/publications
      • Student and/or staff feedback (e.g. surveys and evaluations, unsolicited feedback),
      • Student learning (e.g. assessment results, grade distributions, retention and completion data, learning analytics).
      • Peer review (e.g. review of classroom practice, curriculum content, or learning materials, mentoring relationships, review of scholarly contribution and research relating to teaching and learning).
      • eSELTs (ensuring that these are supplied in context, i.e. – benchmarking against others within your school, faculty or the institution.)

      Refer to this additional information on types of evidence, which was presented in the online information session.

       

      Applicants in the Implementing Effective HDR Supervisory Practices category are also encouraged to consider the following sources of evidence, in addition to those listed above:

      • promotion of industry engagement,
      • demonstrated engagement in high quality and innovative research supervision practice,
      • successful and timely HDR completions,
      • any co-publication or production of other research outputs with or by their candidates,
      • the development of HDR candidate’s employability skills and professional networks,
      • positive post-graduation outcomes of candidates, and
      • supporting statements from current and graduated candidates and academic colleagues

      All evidence must be included in the written statement - and included in the three page limit.

    • Submission

      In 2023 applications have now closed.

      Applicants will need to attached their submission as a three page PDF document within the online form.

      Submissions are due by 9.00am Monday 9 October, 2023

      Applicants will receive an email of confirmation once their applications have been received.  If you do not receive this email please contact teachexcellence@adelaide.edu.au for confirmation.

      Endorsement: Your nominated Endorser will be sent a copy of your submitted application and asked to provide their endorsement in writing - confirming your excellent practice, and that they believe you adhere to the University's Values and Behaviours Framework.

      NOTE: University reserves the right to not award if there are any concerns regarding adherence to the Values and Behaviour Framework

    • Endorsement

      Completed application must have the endorsement of one of the following: Executive Dean, Deputy Dean, Associate Head, Dean of Graduate Studies, HDR Convenor, Postgraduate Coordinator, Head of School, Head of Discipline, Faculty Manager, or Line Manager.

      The endorser will be sent a copy of the application once submitted. They will be asked to confirm that they have read and endorse the application's content. 

      They will also be asked to verify that the applicant adheres to the University's Values and Behaviour Framework.

      As such, applicants are asked to provide a copy of their written statement to their nominated endorser prior to submission.   A short response from the endorser is all that is required.

    • Selection

      Applications will be assessed by a selection panel, consisting of:

      • Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) - Convenor
      • Director, Education Quality
      • one Associate Dean, Graduate Studies
      • one Deputy Dean (Learning and Teaching)
      • one previous Commendation recipient
      • A member of staff from the Adelaide Graduate Research School will also assess any submissions in the HDR category
    • Notification and prizes

      Up to six Commendations are awarded each year.

      Up to five awards will be presented across the Learning and Teaching categories, and one award will be presented in the Implementing Effective HDR Supervisory Practices category.

      All recipients will be awarded $4,000 which will be credited to a project code of their choice (consultancy funds preferred).  Prizes cannot be split, with teams required to nominate one project code for the entire amount.

      Applicants will be advised of the outcome from early November each year. Feedback for unsuccessful applicants will be provided to assist with future applications.

    • Celebration of Learning and Teaching

      All recipients will be presented with a certificate of achievement at the annual Celebration of Learning and Teaching event, which has been scheduled for Thursday 28 November, 2024

      Family and friends in addition to work colleagues are encouraged to attend this event.

    • Resources for applicants

      A range of resources are available on the Resources for Applicants page (staff log in required) including information session recordings, previous applications, important definitions and more.

      See the key dates above for information on other sessions you may like to attend throughout the year.