Provost Awards Program for Outstanding Teaching

Sponsor: Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Nomination Guidelines[i]

CONTENTS

Section I. General Introduction and Purpose
Section II. Program Description
Section III. Nomination Review and Evaluation Criteria
Section IV. Nomination Preparation and Submission
Section V. Awards Program Review Committee
Section VI. Awards Program Application

Section I. General Introduction and Purpose

To signal the importance and high value Clemson University places on teaching and learning, and to encourage faculty to compete nationally and internationally for teaching awards through their professional organizations, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost sponsors this teaching awards program (hereafter the "Awards Program").

The Awards Program is offered annually to honor excellence in teaching and learning by recognizing faculty employed by Clemson University who both practice and promote effective and innovative teaching. Recipients must exhibit sustained, meritorious and exceptional teaching in any academic discipline offered at Clemson University. The Awards Program promotes exemplary teaching within and across disciplines with the objective of recruiting and retaining exceptionally talented teachers to support the growth and quality of those disciplines.

“Teaching” denotes activities to promote student learning of any discipline, and includes various aspects of instruction and student support, such as: formal classroom activities; instruction via innovative delivery systems; student internships and study tours; course and instructional materials development; student advising and counseling; and scholarship related to teaching, including preparation of textbooks, instructional software programs, videos, and other publications of an instructional nature.

Award Categories

Annually, awards will be made in the following four categories:

Category 1: Provost Outstanding Teacher Award (2 awards)

Provost Senior Outstanding Teacher Award: A recipient selected from the pool of potential senior award recipients, from any discipline, who is deemed by the review panel to exhibit sustained, meritorious and exceptional teaching, and who has seven or more years of experience in higher education teaching. As defined in this section, “seven or more years of experience” refers to time in a full-time faculty position and does not include teaching experience as a teaching assistant or adjunct. While a sustained pattern of exceptional activity is expected, this award does not recognize teaching longevity so much as it recognizes the quality of recent achievements involving teaching philosophy, methodology, and self-assessment aimed at improvement. To make a truly compelling case for this award, the Provost Senior Outstanding Teacher award nominee should be able to demonstrate they have also applied these attributes broadly within the academic community outside of Clemson University.

Provost Junior Outstanding Teacher Award: A recipient selected from the pool of potential junior award recipients, from any discipline, who is deemed by the review panel to exhibit sustained, meritorious and exceptional teaching, and who has less than seven years of experience in higher education teaching. As defined in this section, “less than seven years of experience” refers to time in a full-time faculty position and does not include teaching experience as a teaching assistant or adjunct. While a sustained pattern of exceptional activity is expected, this award does not recognize teaching longevity so much as it recognizes the quality of recent achievements involving teaching philosophy, methodology, and self-assessment aimed at improvement. The Provost Junior Outstanding Teacher award recipient is not expected to demonstrate these attributes broadly within the academic community outside of Clemson University.

Category 2: Provost Outstanding Collaborative Teaching Award (1 award)

Provost Outstanding Collaborative Teaching Award: Recipient(s) deemed by the review panel to exhibit sustained, meritorious and exceptional teaching who demonstrate remarkable success and ingenuity in collaborating to create and deliver instruction and who, thereby, demonstrate to students the value and importance of collaboration, and the benefits that accrue when perspectives from diverse disciplines, including the humanities, arts, social sciences, business and STEM, are brought concurrently to bear on the grand educational challenges of our time. Collaborating faculty can be of any rank and experience level. Examples of collaborations include but are not limited to: team-teaching of courses or course segments; faculty/professional learning community or community of practice, such as a research team working in close collaboration on course design and delivery; teaching partnerships, including students-as-partners in curricular design and delivery; course or lab design and delivery resulting from strong and effective collaborations. Faculty who exhibit meritorious teaching and significant levels of student engagement in formal, non-formal and outreach settings, and those employed in lecturer and senior lecturer ranks are encouraged to apply in this category.

Category 3: Provost Award for Outstanding Inclusive Teaching Practices (1 award)

Provost Award for Outstanding Inclusive Teaching Practices: An important yet challenging aspect of teaching is to meet every student where they are on the learning continuum and lead them to their highest learning potential. This award will go to a recipient who is deemed by the review panel to exhibit sustained, meritorious and exceptional teaching, and who has demonstrated remarkable success and talent in effectively leveraging evidence-based teaching practices, instructional technology (including Canvas), cultural relevancy and inclusivity practices, and sound universal design for learning (UDL) or equivalent principles to teach to a broad and diverse profile of learners. In making the case for this award, emphasis should be placed on providing evidence of effectiveness in teaching to students of different levels of intellectual and learning abilities, highlighting any sociocultural considerations that might have added to the teaching challenge. If available, evidence of national visibility in the field would help strengthen a nominee’s case.

Category 4: Provost Award for Outstanding Teaching with Technology (1 award)

Provost Award for Outstanding Teaching with Technology: A recipient who is deemed by the review panel to exhibit sustained, meritorious and exceptional teaching, demonstrated success and excellence in utilizing University-supported technologies to design and teach fully online courses and/or hybrid courses. Instructional technologies can be used in creative ways within education to improve teaching and learning outcomes. To be eligible for consideration under this award category, nominees must present evidence that at least one course integrated into the department’s curricular plan and taught within the three years leading up to the nomination had a designation of online, hybrid/online or a hybrid structure. The percent time of hybrid instruction should be defined.

Section II. Program Description

Eligibility

Nominees must be employed by Clemson University and hold a full-time appointment as an active instructional faculty member as of the nomination submission due date.

Nominees who do not receive an award in any given year are eligible for re-nomination. However, a new nomination package must be submitted, as nominations are not retained for reconsideration.

Nominations must be submitted through the nominee’s college of affiliation. For coordination purposes nominees should contact their Deans office. Instructional faculty in the libraries are eligible. A college or the libraries can enter only one unique nomination per award level within each category.

An individual may only be entered for one category in any given awards year, unless they are also members of a team being entered for the collaborative teaching award, where that person must not be the primary team contact.

Previous winners are not eligible for re-entry into the same category of award at the same level. However, winners of a Junior level award may re-enter for the Senior level award upon meeting the experience criteria for the latter.

If the nominee will be retiring before the end of April of the award year, they are not eligible to be entered for the Awards Program.

Funding

The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost manages the Awards Program (solicitation and evaluation of nominations by a review panel), provides monetary awards, ensures that winners participate in an awards ceremony, and prepares certificates of merit or plaques for the winners.

Awards

Winners of the outstanding teacher award (Category 1) will receive a one-time cash prize of $5,000 and a certificate or plaque of merit. Winners in all other award categories (categories 2 to 4) receive a one-time cash prize of $4,000 plus a certificate or plaque of merit. Collaborative teaching award winners will share the prize, which may be adjusted by and at the sole discretion of the provost depending on the team size. Monetary awards are disbursed to the winners. All winners receive an invitation to an awards ceremony.

The provost-level review panel reserves the right not to name a winner in an award category due to insufficient meritorious nomination entries.

Awards Program Schedule

The annual schedule for the Awards Program will be as follows:

Step in Process

Timeline/Deadline

Request for Nominations

January 2021

Colleges submit nominations to provost

11:59 p.m. EDT, Friday, March 19, 2021

Merit Evaluation of Nominations

March 22-26, 2021

Notification to winners and non-winners*

Starting March 26, after Merit Review

Awards Ceremony

Spring 2021 as scheduled by University

*Award recipients and non-recipients will be contacted immediately following merit review.

Section III. Nomination Review and Evaluation Criteria

The Awards Program evaluation is a two-tier process, including (1) a college-level review as needed to determine the nominations which the college will enter for each award category and level, and (2) a provost-level merit evaluation by a review panel formed by the provost. In any given year, the awards review panel may include a combination of university faculty and administrators, immediate past winners, and a representative from the faculty senate. Reviewers follow strict rules governing conflict of interest.

Review Process

Nominees from each of the academic colleges and the libraries will be evaluated first in competition with others from within the same college of affiliation as needed. The nominees deemed most meritorious in each award category and level will then be placed in the university-wide competition for the Provost Awards. For the collaborative teaching award category, the college of affiliation will be the same as that of the lead faculty on the nomination entry. Colleges are encouraged to use the same evaluation criteria and nomination forms for screening nominations as those suggested in this document to maintain evaluation consistency across the university. The provost-level review panel reserves the right not to make an award in any award categories due to insufficient meritorious nominations.

Evaluation Criteria

Each nominee is required to complete and submit a nomination package as described in Section IV, below. The primary component of that package is a written response to each of the six evaluation criteria below.

Responses should be organized by ‘Evaluation Criterion Number’ and include the bold-type criterion wording. Responses for Evaluation Criterion # 6, ‘Endorsement by an Administrator, and Two Others’, may be submitted via signed letters, on letterhead, and include contact information for the endorser to enable authentication by the review panel.

Award recipients are selected based on responses in the nomination package that best address the following criteria:

Evaluation Criteria

Weighting

1. Teaching Quality Assessment: Briefly document how the nominees’ most recent (3–5 year) teaching assignments, both classroom and online, align with and support the nominees’ academic disciplines. Document teaching quality by providing evidence such as: peer evaluations, self-reflection, supervisory evaluations, teaching awards, student evaluations of instruction, assessment of student learning, or other evidence of teaching quality. Responses must demonstrate how this nominee excels when compared to others within the department, college and university. Please provide a description of how the nominees have improved their teaching based on feedback from evaluations and assessments. An example is provided below for including teaching evaluations. If evaluations cannot be provided as comparisons, please explain why. Refrain from including student comments that lack measurable assessments (i.e., Rather than including the comment “This teacher is awesome!”, instead, document why the teacher is “awesome!”). List any teaching awards nominees have received.

25%

2. Philosophy of Teaching and How It Translates into Teaching Methodology: [Note: Nominees are required to provide a first-person response to this Evaluation Criterion #2]. Briefly document the degree to which the nominees (a) articulate a cohesive, creative philosophy which is foundational to their teaching, and (b) document substantive expertise in evidence-based teaching. In other words, what is the nominee’s philosophy of teaching and how do they put it into practice? How has their philosophy evolved over time? The nominee should describe the high-impact practices they utilize, such as hybrid or blended classrooms, flipped classrooms, case studies, problem-based learning, experiential learning, Socratic method, active learning, etc.

20%

3. Professional Development and Scholarly Activity: Briefly document the degree to which the nominee's professional competence in teaching is evidenced by continuing intellectual accomplishments and pursuits. What is the nominee doing to improve their teaching? This may include such items as participation in teaching improvement workshops, service as author or editor for textbooks or other activities which enhance the nominee’s understanding of the instructional content or other teaching professional development activities. What is the evidence of their teaching scholarship such as invited presentations and peer-reviewed teaching research publications? An example has been provided for demonstrating relevant teaching publications, teaching grants, and invited presentations.

20%

4. Service to the Teaching Profession: Briefly document the degree to which the nominee has either organized or led teaching improvement initiatives, served as teaching mentor to other faculty, undergraduate or graduate students, or has through other approaches contributed to the support of excellence in teaching at the K-12, departmental, college, university, regional, and national levels, including professional societies. Include service activities related to teaching, curriculum, and student success, such as college or university committee activity or serving on national committees focused on teaching. One could consider in this criterion the extent to which the nominee has made outreach to diverse communities.

15%

5. Service to Students: Provide a brief account of the degree to which the nominee has an exemplary record of contributing to student success through such activities as academic and career advising, undergraduate research, mentoring, supervising internships, competitive team activities, career exploration or placement, advising of student associations (on campus, regionally or nationally), recruitment, K-12 service, 4H service, etc. Documenting the extent to which the nominee has made outreach to diverse communities could be considered in this criterion.

10%

6. Endorsement by Administrator, and Two Others, Who May Be Alumni, Current Students or Colleagues: Provide a brief accounting of the degree to which statements substantiate the nominee's excellence in and dedication to the teaching role. Letters should convey special contributions distinguishing the nominee from other teachers, and to the extent possible, provide details not found elsewhere in the nomination packet. Include statements (preferably on signed letterhead) from: (a) an administrator* of the college or department, (b) a colleague or staff of OTEI and/or Clemson Online, whichever is more appropriately positioned to have worked closely with the nominee, and (c) a former or current student**.

* The administrator is also the nominator for this faculty member and should discuss how the nominee has made an impact on teaching and learning at the department and/or college.

** Student letters must identify the student's current relationship to the nominee, program, and institution. For example, is the student currently a graduate student in the nominee's department?

10%

Documentation Examples for Your Application

Note: Faculty entering this competition are strongly encouraged to emulate the national guidelines for teaching excellence developed by their professional association, if available, while following the outline proposed here. The ultimate competition goal is to incentivize faculty to compete nationally for teaching awards.

Example of How to Provide Teaching Evaluation Evidence (optional)

Table 1: Student Teaching Evaluation Summary

Course

Sem/Yr

# Stud.

Required Yes/No

Candidate

Average

Department Average

College

Average

Principles of XYZ

FA18

55

Yes

5.11

4.58

4.46

Principles of XYZ

SP18

116

Yes

4.83

4.66

4.5

Principles of XYZ

SU17

31

Yes

5.11

4.81

4.51

Principles of XYZ

SP17

94

Yes

4.79

4.51

4.41

Principles of XYZ

FA17

119

Yes

4.91

4.61

4.46

Principles of XYZ

SU16

33

Yes

5.11

4.76

4.46

Principles of XYZ

SP16

118

Yes

4.78

4.57

4.46

Principles of XYZ

FA16

135

Yes

4.89

4.68

4.44

Principles of XYZ

SU16

48

Yes

4.88

4.47

4.31

Principles of XYZ

FA19

145

Yes

4.49

4.49

4.31

Principles of XYZ

SU19

71

Yes

4.85

4.76

4.57

Foundations of ABC

FA18

55

Yes

4.84

4.81

4.47

Foundations of ABC

SP18

81

Yes

4.88

4.88

4.81

Foundations of ABC

SP17

81

Yes

4.83

4.51

4.41

Foundations of ABC

FA16

74

Yes

4.94

4.68

4.44

Foundations of ABC

SP16

165

Yes

4.85

4.57

4.46

Foundations of ABC

SU16

66

Yes

4.86

4.76

4.46

Foundations of ABC

SP16

51

Yes

4.86

4.57

4.46

Foundations of ABC

FA16

83

Yes

4.67

4.45

4.67

Foundations of ABC

FA19

134

Yes

4.77

4.64

4.31

Foundations of ABC

SU19

75

Yes

4.91

4.76

4.57

Foundations of ABC

SU18

46

Yes

4.86

4.11

4.46

Developing LMNOP

SU16

45

No

4.83

4.67

4.31

Developing LMNOP

SP16

77

No

4.85

4.45

4.36

Study Abroad Q

SU18

68

No

4.75

4.66

4.57

Study Abroad Q

SU17

13

No

4.75

4.81

4.51

Practicum in Something

SU18

111

Yes

4.88

4.66

4.57

Practicum in Something

SU17

59

Yes

4.54

4.81

4.51

Practicum in Something

SP17

53

Yes

5.11

4.51

4.41

Practicum in Something

FA16

15

Yes

5.11

4.68

4.44

Practicum in Something

SU16

69

Yes

5.11

4.76

4.46

NB: [Scale is 1-5 (poor-excellent) for “Overall assessment of instructor.” Bold indicates candidate score is above departmental and college averages.]


Example of How to Document Selected Awards and Recognition

  • 2019, Advising Excellence Award, Any State University, The Best College Ever (College) This honor is awarded to a faculty member in the College who demonstrates excellence in advising. It is determined by a committee of faculty and
  • 2019, Distinguished Teaching Award, Professional Association, (National) This award recognizes individuals whose efforts represent the very best in this discipline’s higher education, is a criterion award, and applicants are reviewed by a committee of the association’s members
  • 2018, Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, Any State University, (University) This is State University’s highest honor, which recognizes up to five recipients each
  • 2018, International Achievement Award, International Organization (International) This award honors instructors who inspire excitement, inquiry, and promote global understanding.
  • 2015, Award of Excellence in Teaching, State University, (College) This annual award recognizes a member of the faculty who has gone above and beyond to create a warm and caring environment for students and personalize the student experience. Students nominate faculty and staff for this
  • 2015, Awesome Foundation Teaching Award, (University) This award recognizes faculty and staff at State University that develop an innovative ideas, programs, and efforts and work to improve the
  • 2015, Distinguished Alumni Award, University of State, Incredible Department, (Department) Department faculty nominate alumni who have gone on to distinguish themselves in the

Example of How to Document Selected Teaching Publications

  • Nominee Name. Teaching techniques to the new generation in this discipline. Year. The Professional Society Journal. Volume: pages.
  • Other Authors, Nominee Name, Another author. 2006. Doing something unique in the classroom. The Professional Society Journal. Volume: pages.
  • Nominee Name, Other authors. Year. Finding teachable moments. The Professional Society Journal. Volume: pages.

Example of How to Document Grant Funding to Support Instruction Innovation and Teaching Excellence

  • Educational Program to Improve Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking in Discipline (Principal Investigator with Other Person, University of Y College of Z, Funded in Year by Federal Agency Grant Number - $$,$$$)
  • University of Y Underrepresented Students Program in Discipline Q. (Co-Principal Investigator with Other Person, University of Y, Funded in Year by the Federal Agency Program – $$$,$$$)
  • Creating Innovative Fellowships in the Discipline. (Co-Principal Investigator with Other Person, University of Y, Funded in Year by the Federal Agency – Award#, $$$,$$$)

Example of How to Document Selected Teaching Presentations

  • Training Aids for Judging Panels. 2017. University of State,
  • Innovative Techniques to Engage Students. 2015. International Judging
  • Introduction to Judging and Benefits. 2011. Other State University,
  • Syllabus Swap Session. 2010. State University,
  • Interpretation of Teaching Evaluations. 2010. University of Territory,

Section IV. Nomination Deadline, Selection, Preparation and Submission

 

Deadline

All nominations from the college must be submitted electronically, and arrive no later than 11:59 p.m., Daylight Saving Time, on March 19, 2021.

 

Selection of Nominee(s)

College administrators should limit nominee submissions to only their college’s superior educators who excel in most (preferably each) of the six published Evaluation Criteria, and who exhibit sustained, consistent and long-term commitment to achieving the highest quality of teaching excellence. Provost Junior award nominees should demonstrate a commensurate level of commitment based on their teaching tenure.

Application Formatting Requirements

Submit only the materials requested. All submitted documents should use Times New Roman 12-point (or equivalent) font, have 1-inch margins, and be single spaced. Documents not adhering to this format will not be accepted for review.

An eligible nomination must be submitted as a single PDF document, in one email message addressed to Berinthia Allison (balliso@clemson.edu).

File Naming Convention: The PDF document should be named using the first initial and full last name of the nominee. For example, the PDF name for Dr. John Doe would be JDoe.

Paper copies of nominations, nominations submitted via fax, or submissions received after the posted deadline date and time will not be accepted for review.

Applicant’s Checklist for Nomination Packet

Applicants must provide the following items in a single pdf formatted in the following manner:

  • Page 1: Provost-supplied Information Cover Page
  • Page 2: Personal data page
  • Pages 3-4: Teaching evaluations and other evidence of teaching quality to satisfy part of Criterion #1
  • Pages 5-9: Responses to Evaluation Criteria #2-5 plus anything more for Criterion #1 beyond the teaching evaluations
  • Pages 10-11: Endorsement and nomination letter from an administrator
  • Pages 12-13: Two endorsement letters (single page each) from another source (alumnus or current student, and a colleague)

Direct College Nomination to:

Berinthia Allison (balliso@clemson.edu)

Nomination Acknowledgment

Berinthia Allison will attempt to acknowledge all email nominations received within two business days of receipt (excluding weekends and any Federal holiday). Therefore, it is the responsibility of the nominator to submit a nomination well ahead of the deadline to ensure it has been received in time for review. This acknowledgment of receipt of a nomination does not constitute a review of all attachments to ensure accuracy and completeness for panel review. Therefore, applicants will not have the opportunity to resubmit multiple nominations for the same individual. Berinthia will submit for panel review only the first nomination received on behalf of the nominee.

Helpful Hints—Nomination Package Submission

Application Submission Tips:

  • Evaluation Criteria – Each Criterion need not take a full page.
  • Maximum Total Nomination Pages = 13:
    • Information Cover Page, Personal Data Page, Teaching Evaluation Pages (4 pages maximum),
    • Evaluation Criteria #2-5 plus anything more for Criteria #1 beyond the teaching evaluations (5 pages max.);
    • Letters of Support (4 pages max).

Evaluation Criteria Tips:

Criteria listed under each award category are designed to guide nominees on the focus of the category. Narrative on impact should address the specific focus of the category.

  • Evaluation Criterion #1: Reviewers will assess how the nominee’s teaching accomplishments compare to others providing similar instruction. Include numerical data when available but concentrate on how the nominee excels in comparison to others, both within the academic unit and especially across the greater college or Institutional Research could assist with data for this section.
  • Evaluation Criterion #2: Reviewers are interested in the nominee’s teaching philosophy (beliefs or understandings) inspiring the teaching methodology. An explanation of how this has emerged over time is useful. Peer panel members especially like to read how the nominee designs special teaching practices to address specific topics, material, or learning styles of students. Focus on the “how” and “why,” and not just on the “what.” Further, reviewers would like to know the impact of those methodologies on student learning. Specific examples are encouraged.
  • Evaluation Criterion #3: Tell the review panel the nominee’s accomplishments in helping others to improve their teaching. Did they teach a course, lead a teaching academy, etc.? Every nominee is already recognized as a good classroom teacher and mentor. What demonstrates how this nominee is different or special? For example, most Provost Senior Award recipients are expected to be well known off campus for regional, national, or international contributions. How has the nominee impacted others to become better teachers or advisers? This section may also include service to their professional and/or scientific societies.
  • Evaluation Criterion #4: What has the nominee done to ensure that he/she is up-to-date concerning both pedagogy and disciplinary content? What have they done to advance their personal understanding of teaching and learning? Did they take a course or sabbatical, or participate in a teaching academy? Have they conducted studies of teaching methods? It should be clear that the nominees work to maintain themselves as a student of teaching. This section may also include information about their disciplinary research program because top-ranked nominees are also frequently leaders within their
  • Evaluation Criterion #5: Advising, participating in student organizations, or mentoring are all examples of activities benefiting students. What has the nominee done to serve students in their capacity as a teacher? Are there notable achievements, recognitions or initiatives that they have developed or achieved? Peer panel members like to see activities other than advising undergraduate and/or graduate students. What are specific, formal or informal activities that demonstrate a unique student-focus and engagement in a student’s overall academic and/or personal development? What has been the impact of those activities?
  • Evaluation Criterion #6: The nominating letter should come from the unit's person in charge of academic instruction, such as department chair or a staff of OTEI or Clemson Online. Letters should refrain from repeating information already included in the nomination. What special contributions distinguish the nominee from other teachers? Specific examples of unique contributions or impacts on students are helpful to the peer panel members.

[1] To provide a model for national-level teaching competition entries, the criteria, wording and format of this document is inspired by and adapted from the 2021 USDA TEACHING AWARDS GUIDELINES.

Note: Faculty entering this competition are strongly encouraged to emulate the national guidelines for teaching excellence developed by their professional association, if available, while following the outline proposed here. The ultimate competition goal is to incentivize faculty to compete nationally for teaching awards.

Section V. Awards Program Review Committee

A university-wide review committee will form per academic year. This will be the committee’s structure:

Committee Chair (One)
Term: Unlimited
(Associate Provost or other designee appointed by the Provost)


Faculty Senate President or Designee (One)
Term: 1 year
(Faculty Senate President or designee)


College Faculty Representatives from each college (Seven) plus libraries (One)
Term: 2 years
(Potentially the chairs of the awards committee from each college, who are usually elected from among instructional faculty)


Undergraduate Student Government Representative (One)
Term: 1 year
(Student leader appointed by the Provost upon recommendation from Undergraduate Student Government)


Graduate Student Government Representative (One)
Term: 1 year
(Student leader appointed by the Provost upon recommendation from Graduate Student Government)


Office of Teaching Effectiveness (OTEI) staff (One)
Term: Unlimited


Clemson Online staff (One)
Term: Unlimited


TOTAL MEMBERSHIP: 14

Section VI. Awards Program Application

Applicants must complete the Provost Awards Program Application.