Commendations for the Enhancement and Innovation of Student Learning

The University of Adelaide Commendations for the Enhancement and Innovation of Student Learning recognise the diverse range of activities, services and programs that contribute to student learning and engagement at the University of Adelaide, and the important role that staff from all areas of the University have in supporting the University to achieve its strategic goals in learning and teaching.

Special Commendations - COVID 19 Emergency Teaching Response 

In 2020 DASE sponsored teaching Commendations will not be awarded due to budgetary restrictions imposed to manage the COVID 19 pandemic emergency response. They are expected to resume in 2021.   

This year Special Commendations will be 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.  

The application process for these awards has also been simplified, in recognition of the increased workload imposed by the changes in teaching mode required by the emergency response.

At least 10 awards will be made to staff who can demonstrate agility, creativity and innovation in responding to the unique learning and teaching context created by the COVID19 pandemic.  

How to Apply

Applicants must submit an Application Form and receive written endorsement by the applicant’s Line Manager, Executive Dean, Head of School, Head of Discipline or Faculty Manager.

short written statement of no more than 500 words should be included on the application form.  It should describe the contribution and demonstrate a reflective approach which describes the rationale for the approach and the impact that the activities had on students.


The application form should be sent as a single PDF file to by Friday 23 October. Receipt of all nominations will be acknowledged by email.  


Additional Information

The following information is also summarised in the 2020 Special Commendations - Guidelines document.

  • Selection Criteria 

    Applicants should demonstrate how their approach or contribution during the 2020 academic year responded to the unique context of the COVID19 emergency response and impacted on one or more of: 

    • student or staff wellbeing 
    • student or staff sense of belonging 
    • access and/or inclusion 

     Applications will be assessed on degree to which they demonstrate:  

    • agility 
    • creativity 
    • innovation 

     NOTE: Applicants for the 2020 Special commendations are not expected to demonstrate impact on student learning outcomes given that matters related to the pandemic outside the control of the University (and individual members of staff) are accepted to have had a potential impact on these outcomes. 

  • Eligibility 

    Applications are invited from academic and professional staff, from all Faculties and Divisions of the University. Both individual and team applications are encouraged.  

    2018 and 2019 recipients of Commendations or Stephen Cole the Elder awards are eligible to apply.

  • Selection Panel

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

    • Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) - Convenor 
    • Director, Education Strategy and Teaching Excellence  
    • Educational Officer (student)
    • two senior staff (TBC)
  • Notification 

    Applicants will be advised of the outcome in early November.

    Names of awardees will be published on the University website and via other promotional outlets as appropriate. 

  • Presenting successful submissions - 2020 Teaching Excellence Showcase

    Teaching Excellence Showcase 

    Successful applicants will be invited to present the work for which they have received the award at the annual Teaching Excellence Showcase and Awards on Thursday December 3, 2020.

    Depending on the current restrictions on large gatherings, this event will be held on campus, online or a combination of both.

    Successful applicants will need to confirm their involvement in the Showcase by November 16, 2020. Successful applicants will be provided with guidelines for their presentation and a PowerPoint template.  


Previous Recipients of a Commendation for the Enhancement and Innovation of Student Learning

2019 Teaching Commendations

Dr Walter Barbieri receives his 2019 Commendation for 'Effective and Innovative use of Learning Technologies'