Evolution of the CTL Instructional Award Series
Until 2017, the Fredrick D. Williams Award for Teaching Innovation was given to a single instructor who was bringing new technologies or teaching methods to campus. With the implementation of Canvas and the push for blended learning, the award was discontinued mostly because there was so much innovation happening in so many places, it would have been extremely difficult—and maybe inappropriate—to single anyone out.
At the same time, academic leadership continued to recognize that eligibility for our main teaching awards (selection to the Academy of Teaching Excellence) tended to be driven mostly by student feedback—which is great. But other instructional contributions, by their nature, were unlikely to be rewarded through that process. The goal was to recognize not only instructors who were trying something really new, but also teachers in large classes (where student evaluations are known to be lower), and those that did the behind-the-scenes work of curriculum innovation and assessment.
During spring 2017, academic deans were asked to begin recognizing instructors making contributions in these areas as part of the Deans’ Teaching Showcase, effectively nominating them for these instructional awards. CTL and Provost’s office members along with previous awardees select instructors in each category from a pool composed of the Showcase and those nominated to the Academy of Teaching Excellence. These instructors are asked to make a presentation, sharing the work they are doing that has drawn this recognition. Following each presentation, each is formally recognized and subsequently receives additional compensation.