Commendations for the Enhancement and Innovation of 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.

Up to seven (7) Commendations are awarded annually. They comprise of up to five (5) Commendations in the DASE-funded categories, and up to two (2) Commendations sponsored by the Adelaide Graduate Centre.

Both individuals and teams may be nominated in any category.

The categories for DASE-funded Commendations are:

  • 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

The Adelaide Graduate Centre sponsors up to two Commendations in the category of:

  • Implementing effective HDR Supervisory Practices

A collection of resources are available for applicants - including examples of winning submissions.

Resources for Applicants

Submission Guidelines and Application Documents

The information listed below is also available as a PDF.

  • Selection Criteria

    DASE-funded Categories

    All applications in will be assessed on the extent to which the application shows evidence that the contribution has had a significant impact (typically over at least a two year period) on student learning.

    Adelaide Graduate Centre Category

    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).

  • 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.

    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.

  • Application

    Each application for a Commendation should contain:

    Application Form

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

    Details must be provided of one referee who is able to comment on the applicant’s contribution. Referees may be contacted for additional commentary on the application.  If the application is from a team, the referee should be able to comment on the team.

    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.

    Written statement

    The written statement is the central element of the application. It provides the opportunity for applicants to describe their activities and contributions, and should demonstrate a reflective approach, in which the applicant/s not only 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.

    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.

  • 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 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 classroom practice, curriculum content, or learning materials, mentoring relationships, review of scholarly contribution and research relating to teaching and learning).

    For more guidance on collecting evidence, see:

    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.

  • Selection

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

    • Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) - Convenor
    • Director, Education Strategy and Teaching Excellence
    • one HDR convenor
    • one Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching)
    • one previous Commendation recipient
  • Notification and Prizes

    In 2021, up to 7 Commendations of $1,000 will be awarded, comprising up to 5 Commendations in the DASE funded Categories, and up to 2 Commendations sponsored by the Adelaide Graduate Centre.

    Monies will be credited to an internal project code, and all recipients will be presented with a certificate of achievement.

    Applicants will be advised of the outcome in mid-November, 2021. Feedback for unsuccessful applicants will be provided to assist with future applications.

  • Awards Ceremony and Teaching Excellence Showcase

    Dependant on the level of government restrictions at the time, these events may be held remotely, on campus or as a combination of both.

    Successful applicants will be invited to present the work for which they have received the award at the annual Teaching Excellence Showcase which will occur immediately prior to the awards ceremony on Thursday December 2, 2021.

    Successful applicants will be strongly encouraged to share their work with others, so are encouraged to allow time in November to prepare either a pre-recorded or live presentation.

Former Recipients

  • 2020 Award Recipients

    Special Commendations - COVID 19 Emergency Teaching Response 

    In 2020 there were no DASE sponsored Commendations due to budgetary restrictions imposed to manage the COVID 19 pandemic emergency response. 

    Instead, Special Commendations were offered to recognise the exceptional work in teaching and learning that academic and professional staff supporting teaching have undertaken in response to the COVID19 pandemic.  

    In recognition of the increased workload imposed by the changes in teaching mode required by the emergency response we have simplified the application process. 

    Awards were made to staff who demonstrated agility, creativity and innovation in responding to the unique learning and teaching context created by the COVID19 pandemic.  

  • 2019 Award Recipients

    • Dr Francesco Barbera, Business School, Faculty of the Professions, Using effective and innovative assessment and feedback practices
    • Dr Walter Barbieri, School of Education, Faculty of Arts, Effective & Innovative use of Learning Technologies
    • Dr Lyndsey Collins-Praino, Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Effective & Innovative use of Learning Technologies
    • Dr Tak Kee, School of Physical Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Implementing effective HDR Supervisory Practices
    • Dr Michelle McArthur, School of Animal and Veterinary Science, Faculty of Sciences, Developing Career-Ready Graduates
  • 2018 Award Recipients

    • Dr Mark Dodd, School of Economics, Faculty of the Professions for Effective and innovative use of learning technologies
    • Associate Professor Anne Hewitt, Adelaide Law School, Faculty of the Professions for supporting and encouraging colleagues in their teaching
    • Dr Chelsea Liu, Adelaide Business School, Faculty of the Professions, for effective and innovative use of learning technologies
    • Dr Kerry Wilkinson, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Faculty of Sciences, for effective and innovative use of learning technologies
    • Professor Rachel Ankeny, School of Humanities, Faculty of Arts, for implementing effective HDR Supervisory Practice
    • Dr Susan Hemer, School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, for implementing effective HDR Supervisory Practice