Saturday, July 26, 2014

Excellence in Teaching Award

News yesterday that I’ve won an Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law at Flinders University.

CITATION: For excellence, first, in teaching which is innovative in assessment design and in exploring “flipped learning” and second in scholarly activities including conference presentations and publication.

Details of the award are as follows: The Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law Awards for Excellence in Teaching are designed to reward staff for excellence in teaching within the faculty, and to encourage winners to apply for the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching later in the year and possibly the Australian Awards for University Teaching in the next year. Award winners receive a certificate of Excellence in Teaching and a prize of $3000 which may be used for such purposes as conference attendance, purchase of resources to assist in preparation and delivery of teaching and learning materials, or purchase of books, journals etc.

It involved an application (of some 4,000 words). Applicants need to reflect on their teaching in two out of five categories:

  • Approaches to teaching that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn
  • Development of curricula and resources that reflect a command of the field
  • Approaches to assessment and feedback that foster independent learning
  • Respect and support for the development of students as individuals
  • Scholarly activities that have influenced and/or enhanced learning and teaching

I chose to reflect on the first and last categories.

Approaches to teaching that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn – evident through innovations in assessment that have developed critical thinking, encouraged student engagement and inspired independence in learning. I presented as evidence student feedback across three topics I have taught – Reading Cultures; Church, Ministry, Sacraments and Introduction to Theology.

Scholarly activities that have influenced and/or enhanced learning and teaching – evident through leadership activities that have broad influence on the profession, in particular ways that I have encouraged the shift at Uniting College around blended learning technologies within theological teaching as a Department of Theology and also through reflective practice, seeking to conduct and publish research that reflects on excellence in teaching in blended learning.

I applied as a way of inviting myself to reflect on my teaching in general, given it is so crucial to the formation of leaders. I also wanted to benchmark the educating part of what I do and what we as as a College/Department of Theology do, against the wider University.

I’ve not given any thought to how to spend the money. I’m simply sitting with the encouragement that I’m an excellent teacher! 🙂

Posted by steve at 11:51 AM


  1. Congratulations on this Award for Excellence Steve. Well done and well deserved.
    Best wishes, John.

    Comment by John Littleton — July 26, 2014 @ 5:50 pm

  2. Thanks John. It’s great to be part of a university culture that encourages this and to be invited to reflect on what I do as a teacher. Steve

    Comment by Steve — July 26, 2014 @ 6:56 pm

  3. Hey matey. Congratulations. Very well deserved, and undoubtedly a very encouraging endorsement of the the effort, creativity, scholarly work, and experimentation that are characteristic of your approach.

    Comment by Paul Fromont — July 27, 2014 @ 9:13 am

  4. Congratulations! Well-deserved and I hope a real encouragement 🙂

    Comment by Tim Bulkeley — July 27, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

  5. Thanks Tim. Those first classes at Carey Baptist seem a long time ago but I remain grateful to you and Martin Sutherland for the trust you placed in a newbie lecturer


    Comment by Steve — July 27, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

  6. Congratulations! And how nice to be recognised!

    Comment by Jan — July 28, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

  7. Congratulations, Steve. I haven’t sat in on one of your classes for a while, but I certainly got a lot out of ‘Living the Bible in the post-modern context’.

    Comment by Chris McLeod — July 30, 2014 @ 11:58 am

  8. Congratulations on this award Steve

    Comment by Jenny B — August 2, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.