Vice-Chancellor Awards for Learning and Teaching

The Vice-Chancellor Awards for Learning and Teaching are an important part of the University's mission to promote and advance learning and teaching through recognition and reward of individuals and teams who go above and beyond standard practice. The VC Awards for Learning and Teaching can form an integral ‘first step’ in the academic reward and recognition pathway. There are three categories of awards that recognise outstanding contributions to student learning, student services, and teaching excellence at an institutional level. Creating a culture of excellence starts with the support of a School/Department Leadership Team, and the commitment of staff within, to recognise and reward outstanding and exceptional practice.

Essential information

Please view each of the following tabs that outline the award type, scheduled timelines, process phases, estimated time commitment for nominees and Expression of Interest form.

Phases

The process involves four (4) phases between May – September, and three (3) administration phases:

  • Planning Phase (March) – CAD and Institute Executive Deans work together to compile the necessary information, resources, and avenues for promotion for the upcoming ‘Academic Awards Season’.
  • Preparation Phase (April) – Resources are opened for exploration by prospective nominees.
  • Nomination Phase (May) – Nominees submit an Expression of Interest.  These are reviewed to determine if the nominee meets the eligibility criteria, and has access to sufficient evidence over a period of time to generate a quality application.
  • Application Phase (June & July) – Approved nominees progress to the development of three drafts, utilising the feedback provided by allocated mentors
  • Submission Phase (August) – Final submissions completed and uploaded.
  • Evaluation Phase (September) – Submissions are assessed by the Awards Panel, and recommendations endorsed by the Vice-Chancellor.
  • Presentation Phase (October) – Nominees are notified of the outcomes. Successful recipients are presented at an Awards Ceremony. Unsuccessful applicants are provided with feedback for future applications.

Schedule

The following is a summary of the VC Awards L&T timeline for 2021, lead responsibility, and associated milestones.  It is important to note that many of the dates within this schedule are not negotiable. Timelines have been established to ensure that applicants remain on track and maximise their opportunity to develop a quality application, and are conducted within a timeframe that supports a streamlined academic career progression pathway.

MonthPhaseActivitiesLead
March Planning Identify potential nominees and mentors, and support required. Promote at School forums/meetings. Institute Leadership
April Preparation Advertising CAD and Institutes
   Resources: Webinars | online resources | online learning modules Nominee
May Nomination Expressions of Interest due Monday 09 May 2022 Nominee
   Nominees notified of EOI approval/denial on Monday 16 May 2022CAD
  Mentor(s) allocated by Monday 23 May 2022CAD/Nominee
  Approved nominees create an application planNominee
June Application Nominee Draft 1 due Monday 06 June 2022Nominee
   Mentor feedback due Monday 20 June 2022 Mentor(s)
July Application Nominee Draft 2 due Monday 04 July 2022Nominee
   Mentor feedback due Monday 19 July 2022 Mentor(s)
  Nominee Draft 3 due Monday 01 August 2022Nominee
August Submission Mentor feedback due Monday 15 August 2022 Mentor(s)
  Nominee final submission due Monday 29 August 2022Nominee
September Outcomes Awards Panel assess nominations and provide recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor Awards Panel
   Vice-Chancellor approval sought for outcomes recommended by Awards Panel Vice-Chancellor
October Presentation Applicants notified of outcomesCAD
   Awards presentation ceremony – Date TBC CAD

Time commitment

The following is an ESTIMATE of the time required to maximise success for each role within the process.

  • Prospective nominee  – It is anticipated that prospective nominees should allocate approximately 3 – 5 hours to explore the various resources, consider eligibility, research evidence to support chosen assessment criteria, and discuss with line manager.
  • Approved nominee – It is anticipated that approved nominees should allocate approximately 15 – 40 hours (depending on award type) across 12 weeks, to collate evidence, develop and submit drafts, engage with feedback, and liaise with mentors. Whilst applications may only be 4 – 8 pages in length, being concise in a written statement can be challenging – it takes time to perfect what you are trying to demonstrate.
  • Mentors – It is anticipated that mentors should allocate approximately 4 – 6 hours to provide feedback to drafts and liaise with applicants to discuss feedback, when required.

Award types

There are three types of awards that recognise outstanding contributions to student learning, student services, and teaching excellence at an institutional level. Note: The term ‘academic staff’ refers to Federation University TAFE teachers and higher education lecturers, plus institutional associates.

Vice-Chancellor Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (Citation)

Recognises and rewards the diversity of contributions made by individuals and teams to the quality of student learning in higher education. A citation is awarded to an academic teacher or teaching team who have made a significant contribution to the quality of student learning, in a specific area of responsibility over a sustained period.

  • Open to academic staff involved in student learning
  • Ability to demonstrate outstanding practice for three (3) years or more [Early Career: more than two (2) years but less than five (5) years]
  • Involves a four (4) page Expression of Interest,  four (4) page written statement and referee letter
  • Up to five (5) awards may be granted in 2022 with prize money of $1000 per award.
  • For full information, download the VCALT 2022 Student Learning Citation Nomination Instructions (pdf, 1.9mb)

Vice-Chancellor Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Service (Citation)

Recognises learning and teaching programs and services that make innovative and outstanding contributions to student learning outcomes and the quality of the student experience. A citation is awarded to academic and/or professional staff (or teams) for providing outstanding service to individual students or student groups on a consistent basis, whether through personal advising, development of programs, or improvements to the university’s systems and policies that effect students.

  • Open to academic staff and professional staff involved in programs or services that enhance student learning in higher education
  • Ability to demonstrate outstanding practice for three (3) years or more [Early Career: more than two (2) years but less than five (5) years]
  • Involves a four (4) page Expression of Interest, four (4) page written statement and referee letter
  • Up to two (2) awards may be granted in 2022 with prize money of $1000 per award.
  • For full information, download the VCALT 2022 Student Services Citation Nomination Instructions (pdf, 355kb)

Vice-Chancellor Award for Teaching Excellence

Recognises excellence in teaching and sustained commitment to improving student learning outcomes in higher education. This award is awarded to an academic teacher or teaching team who have demonstrated excellent leadership through sustained commitment to innovation, delivery of quality teaching and continued dedication to improving the student experience and learning outcomes in higher education over a sustained period.

  • Open to academic staff in a current teaching or teaching/research appointment
  • Ability to demonstrate outstanding practice for seven (7) years or more [Early Career: more than three (3) years but less than five (5) years].
  • Involves four (4) page Expression of Interest, an eight (8) page written statement, supporting evidence in video/written/web format, and one (1) page referee letters
  • Only one (1) award may be granted in 2022 with prize money of $3000
  • For full information, download the VCALT 2022 Teaching Excellence Award Nomination Instructions (pdf, 370kb)

Note:

The application criteria and process mirrors closely to that of the Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) to streamline the progression from institutional to national recognition. Please access the tabs at the bottom of this webpage to view full details of eligibility, all presented as an easy step-by-step ‘what to do’ for each phase of the process.

Expression of interest

Staff can either self-nominate or be nominated by a peer or line manager. Institute Leadership teams are asked to identify staff within their Disciplines who excel in their role beyond standard practice, over a sustained period of time. Regardless of how nominees are identified, an endorsement from the Institute Executive Dean is a requirement for the submission of an Expression of Interest. This is to ensure nominees (a) meet the eligibility criteria, and (b) have the time commitment required to create a quality application within current workloads.

Expressions of interest are reviewed by the Dean, Learning and Teaching (or proxy) to determine if the nominee meets the eligibility criteria, and has identified sufficient evidence over a period of time, to create a quality application. Approved nominees will be invited to progress to the application phase. Nominees considered not eligible at this time will be provided with feedback to support future applications.

Expression of Interest forms can be obtain here, or in the tabs of each award type at the bottom of this webpage.

Access the Submission portal via Moodle - L&T Awards | VCALT 2022

Support resources

The Centre for Academic Development (CAD) support nominees through the process with the provision of online resources, professional learning modules, mentoring and feedback on drafts.

Professional Learning Modules

These self-paced professional learning modules work through the value of applying for a learning and teaching award and how it can support career progression, tips and tricks for collecting and displaying evidence of your outstanding practice, and how to construct a strong award application.

Webinar

A webinar session is scheduled in May each year to explore the value of a VC Award for Learning and Teaching as recognition of exemplar practice, outlining the award process, highlighting the resources and support offered as part of the journey, and as an opportunity to answer any questions you may have.

Mentoring

Nominees are provided with two mentors – one within CAD, and another within their academic or professional portfolio. Mentors are allocated depending on expertise to support nominees through the process by providing advice, critical feedback and recommendations for writing a strong award application.

It is the expectation that previous VCALT recipients make themselves available to mentor new nominees. Additional guidance, advice and supports will be offered to mentors during the awards process.

Online resources

Please refer to the three tabs at the bottom of this webpage that outline specific details for each award category, including:

  • Eligibility criteria
  • Time commitment
  • Key information and resources
  • Step-by-step process for:
    • Preparation phase (April)
    • Nomination phase (May)
    • Application phase (June and July)
    • Submission phase (August)
  • Submission portal link

Past recipients

Evaluation information

Applications for Vice-Chancellor Awards for Learning and Teaching are considered by an Awards Panel, made up of the following:

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or proxy
  • Dean, Learning and Teaching or proxy
  • One Institute Director, Learning and Teaching
  • One national winner equivalent to the AAUT and/or predecessors (ie ALTC, OLT)
  • One previous Vice-Chancellors Award (VCALT) winner
  • One student representative

Applications will be assessed on the following evaluation criteria, based on the national learning and teaching awards. Download the VCALT Evaluation Criteria 2022 (pdf, 120kb)

Further information

Contact Tulsa Andrews on t.andrews@federation.edu.au or phone: +61 3 5327 9654