The Vice-Provost (Academic Programs) Award for Excellence in Online Teaching and Learning

RECENT WINNERS

Recipients and Department / Faculty Year
Brenton Faubert (Education) 2017

DESCRIPTION

The Vice-Provost’s (Academic Programs) Award for Excellence in Online Teaching and Learning is designed to recognize and reward the efforts of instructors who have demonstrated outstanding online teaching through exemplary online course design.  The aims of this award are to recognize and celebrate excellence in online design of teaching and learning and share the exemplary work of award winners to promote excellent online design of teaching and learning at Western.

ELIGIBILITY

  • All full-time and part time members of the faculty at Western or the Affiliated University Colleges are eligible for nomination.
  • A part-time faculty member is defined as one who has held at least one Limited-Duties appointment (0.5 or equivalent) at Western or an Affiliated University College during the fiscal year (May 1 through April 30) preceding nomination.
  • If the application is collaborative, the collaboration needs to be led by a current faculty member but team members could include members of university staff, librarians and archivists, students, and community partners.
  • Previous recipients of the award, visiting and externally-funded faculty are not eligible to receive the award.

AWARD

The award winner will be celebrated in the following ways:

  1. The winner will receive a Letter of Achievement signed by the Vice-Provost (Academic) that details the impact of the individual’s contributions to student learning.
  2. The winner will be invited to a reception hosted by the Vice-Provost (Academic) that celebrates all of Western’s teaching award winners for that year.
  3. The winner will receive $1000 towards professional development activities in teaching.
  4. The winner’s work will be profiled in the Teaching Support Centre’s newsletter and through its website.

SCOPE

This award recognizes the impact of a single learning object or activity that exemplify excellence in online teaching. For the purposes of this award, a learning object is defined as a learning activity, unit, assignment, or project, etc., that may be part of a larger module, course, or program.

A single learning object shall be nominated and put forth in application for the award as the exemplary piece of work in online teaching and learning. The elected learning object may originate from any style of course (e.g., blended, fully online, face-to-face, or flipped) but the learning object itself must be an online teaching/learning event (i.e., housed and engaged in online).

Recognizing that online design is often a collaborative effort, applications may be either individual or collaborative in nature. Collaborative awardees will each receive an individualized letter of achievement, while the profiling/sharing of exemplary work and grant aspects of award will be divided among awardees.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

The award will be given to the nominee who demonstrates excellence in online teaching through exemplary design of an online learning experience as based on the criteria below. See the end of this document for the award rubric.

  • Alignment: learning object’s goal(s) are clear, measurable, and student-focused; consistency exists between goal(s), activities/resources, and assessments
  • Student Engagement: The learning object is designed to provide opportunities for diversified interaction
  • Technology: tools/technologies are appropriate to the goal(s) for learning, and enable students to engage with content in meaningful ways as active learners.
  • Accessibility: The tool is designed to address the needs of diverse users, their various literacies, and capabilities, through the use of accessible technology and universal design for learning
  • Communication: The learning object is designed to support ongoing, consistent, and timely transfer of meaning from learner to learner and instructor to learner.
  • Feedback and Assessment: the object is designed to provide prompt, timely, and ongoing feedback on learning
  • Presentation and Structure: navigation is intuitive, elements of design are consistent. Where applicable, copyright has been obtained for external materials.
  • Impact: The learning object contributes to the student learning experience by enhancing engagement in targeted cognitive task(s) and/or facilitating students to exercise higher order thinking skills

NOMINATION PROCEDURE

Nominations may be initiated by an individual or group, including students, alumni, fellow faculty members, Deans, and department Chairs or by the instructor him/herself. Preparing the application dossier is the responsibility of the candidate(s).

Nomination Letters: Two nomination letters (maximum 2 pages each) shall be included in the dossier. At least one nomination letter must come from a student or group of students (undergraduate, graduate, or alumni) who have engaged in the learning object being put forth for consideration within the past 12 months. Nomination letters should identify the online learning object being put forth for consideration and should highlight the innovative qualities of the object as experienced or observed by the nominators.

APPLICATION DOSSIERS

Dossiers must follow 12-point font, single spaced and 2.5 cm (1 inch) formatting in Times New Roman or Calibri, are limited to 15 pages, and need to be submitted by email as a single electronic file - ideally a pdf package.

APPLICATION DOSSIER

1.Cover page (1 page)

  • Include a cover page with the following information:
    • Name of Applicant
    • Position Title
    • Department/School/Faculty
    • Telephone Number
    • E-mail Address
    • The cover page also requires the signature of the applicant’s Faculty Dean: 
    • Dean’s signature and date

2. Nomination letters (maximum 2 pages each)

  • Nomination letter from student(s) who have engaged in the learning object being put forth for consideration within the past 12 months.
  • Nomination letter from another individual or group, such as alumni, fellow faculty members, staff, Deans, and Department Chairs, articulating the impact of the innovation.

3. Overview of the Learning Object (maximum 5 pages)

  • Description: Provide a detailed description of the applicant’s innovative learning object. Consider including screen shots or links to the learning object/learning activity, while being mindful of student privacy.
  • Departmental/Disciplinary Context: Describe the need/rationale for the object, how it fits into the curriculum and promotes key outcomes, use of resources, and time involved.
  • Impact on Student Learning: Provide evidence that students learned what was intended, evidence for how the innovative learning object contributed to student learning, or evidence of lasting effects on students (e.g., evidence could include pre- and post-tests, summarized student feedback or evaluations, and excerpts of reports or publications demonstrating the exemplary nature of the learning object).
  • Applicants will provide a link to a video summary of their online learning object or activity. In the video, the applicant should: describe their work; clearly identify the innovation where appropriate; and share context, student need and impact on learning. Video length should be no longer than 3-5 minutes."

4. Letters from peers, colleagues and students (optional, no more than 5 pages total)

  • Letters from peers or colleagues can provide evidence of the the impact of the learning object on teaching and learning in the department or discipline as well as on learning in the course.
  • Letters from former students who can look back on their experiences in the course and assess the applicant’s work in a broad context are especially valuable.

5. Teaching philosophy or course philosophy statement (1 page)

  • This statement should outline the instructors’ teaching philosophy  or approach to teaching focusing on facilitating learning in the online environment.

6.Curriculum Vitae of the applicant (maximum 4 pages)

  • CVs should focus on teaching experience and achievements (e.g., awards).

Application Dossier Summary

Component Maximum Pages
1 Cover Page 1
2 Nomination Letters 4
3 Learning Object Overview 5
4 Support Letters (optional) 5
5 Teaching Philosophy 1
6 CV 4
TOTAL PAGES 20

SUBMISSION AND DEADLINE

The Award for Excellence in Online Teaching is awarded annually. The completed application dossier should be submitted electronically as a single PDF file on or before January 15, 2018 to the Office of the Vice-Provost (Academic Programs). Please address the e-mail to the Administrative Coordinator,  Alicia Kemp (ahitchc2@uwo.ca) and reference the award title in the e-mail’s  subject heading.

AWARD COMMITTEE

The Award for Excellence in Online Teaching will be adjudicated by a review committee comprised of the Vice-Provost (Academic Programs) or designate, two previous award recipients and/or designated faculty members, and one representative of the Teaching Support Centre.

Vice-Provost (Academic Programs) Award for Online Teaching and Learning
Rubric for Submission Evaluation

 Quality

Exemplary

Developing

Beginning

Alignment

 

The goal(s) of the learning object are student-focused. Goals are written such that they are concise, clear, observable, measurable, and appropriately balanced

Goal(s) require editing/refinement to be student-focused; or action verbs require editing in order to convey measurable, observable learning

Goal(s) require development in order to communicate the intention of the learning object in a clear, concise, measurable and student-focused manner

Consistency exists between goals/outcomes, activities/resources, and assessments utilized (All materials contribute to achievement of goals/outcomes; All assessments measure stated goals/outcomes;

All assessments are consistent with activities/resources)

Some elements of the learning object (i.e. materials, assessments, activities/resources) require re-examination in order to be fully consistent with other elements (i.e. extraneous materials, assessment does not capture stated goals/outcomes, inconsistency between activities/resources and assessment. etc.)

Elements of the learning object (goals/outcomes, activities/resources, and assessments) must be mapped onto one another in order to communicate the consistency between them

Student Engagement

The learning object is designed to provide opportunities for interaction and support learning across a variety of types (learner–peer, learner–instructor, learner–content)

Some elements of the learning object could be tweaked to increase opportunities for interaction across a variety of types (learner–peer, learner–instructor, learner–content)

Opportunities for interaction require integration into the learning object; or a single opportunity for interaction requires diversification

Technology

 

 

All of the tools/technology are appropriate to the goals of the learning object and related to the goal(s) of the activity (i.e., included not just for the sake of inclusion)

Some elements of the tools/technology employed require re-examination in order to better meet the goals of the learning object and learning activity

Tools/technology employed need to be reconsidered in light of the goals of the learning object and learning activity

The tools/media employed support student learning by engaging students with content and guiding them to become active learners

Opportunities exist for improvement to the ways in which tools/media support active learning and engagement with content

Tools/media require re-examination in order to select and apply appropriate tools/media that support active engagement with content

Technology allows for students to fully engage with the material in meaningful ways and appeals to different learning styles (e.g., has different options when appropriate/ available)

 Some elements of the tools/technology employed require re-examination in order to appeal to more than one learning style

Tools/technology need to be reconsidered in light of the way they engage learners in meaningful learning

Accessibility

 

Through the use of accessible technology, the tool is designed to address the needs of diverse users, their various literaciesb and capabilities

Technologies are available, but improvements to their accessibility would improve students’ access and engagement

Technologies require reconsideration due to significant barriers to their accessibility

Design factors consistently reflect principles of universal design for learning (i.e. representation, expression, and engagement)

Some elements require editing/refinement in order to fully implement universal design for learning

Principles of universal design for learning require integration into the learning object

Communication

The learning object is designed to enable ongoing, consistent, and timely feedback from the instructor

Opportunities exist for improvement to the consistency and timeliness of instructor feedback

Opportunities exist for the introduction of instructor presence into the learning object

Feedback and Assessment

 

Formative and/or summative assessment is built into the learning object such that learners receive prompt, timely, and ongoing feedback on their learning during/after engagement with the learning object

Opportunities exist for improvement to the consistency and timeliness of formative/summative feedback provided to students

Opportunities for formative or summative feedback require introduction into the learning object.

Presentation and Structure

 

 

Navigation within the learning object is intuitive, content flows in a logical progression (e.g., presented in a table of contents, modules in numerical order)

 Some elements of the navigation and/or progression of content require editing/refinement in order to be intuitive and easily accessible

 The progression of material requires re-examination; or a system for navigating through the learning object requires development

All elements of the object design are consistent (i.e. font, graphics, icons, layout) and professional in appearance

 Some elements of the object’s design require editing/refinement in order to be consistent

Consistency in design needs to be introduced to the learning object

It is clear that copyright clearance has been obtained for all external course material, when applicable

 

Copyright clearance for external materials is unclear, or there are violations to copyright that need to be resolved

Impact

The learning object contributes to the student learning experience by enhancing engagement in targeted cognitive task(s) and/or facilitating students to exercise higher order thinking skills

Some elements of the object’s design require editing/refinement in order to enhance engagement in targeted cognitive task(s) and/or facilitate students to exercise higher order thinking skills

The learning object complicates engagement in targeted cognitive task(s) and does not successfully facilitate students to exercise higher order thinking skills