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The President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning

2017 Call for Nominations:

The President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning demonstrates the value McMaster attaches to its educational function and recognizes those who, through innovation and commitment, have significantly enhanced the quality of their students’ learning experience.

Each President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning recognizes the contributions of an individual or group collaboration to education through innovation, continued excellence in teaching, and enhanced student learning. It is an award that recognizes sustained achievement with weight given to evidence of continuing effort and outstanding contributions over a number of years especially at the undergraduate level.

Outstanding contributions to teaching and learning may be demonstrated by evidence of the intellectual growth of students and enhanced student learning that results from innovative teaching in the classroom, the mentorship of students through involvement in research or practical experience, the development of novel and effective educational materials, or leadership that promotes teaching and learning at McMaster. Recipients of the President’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning receive:

  • A citation of excellence and memento to be presented at Spring Convocation;
  • An honorarium in the amount of $3,000 individually OR option to pool monies of award winners (valued up to $15,000) for cohort teaching and learning project;
  • An inscription of the recipient’s name on a permanent plaque bearing names of all previous award recipients;
  • An invitation to the President’s Cohort Day and the President’s Retreat;
  • Membership in McMaster’s community of award-winning educators now assembled as the McMaster Teaching Academy.

Up to five awards may be given each year. See the list of past recipients.

Nomination Procedure:

  • Review the call for nominations.
  • A 1-2 page nomination brief is submitted by the respective Chair or Dean who can attest to the nominee’s quality of teaching and impact on student learning.
  • A copy of the nominee’s current curriculum vitae is one component of the nomination brief.
  • Nominators complete and submit the nomination brief to mi@mcmaster.ca by January 31, 2017.
  • The selection committee will review the nomination briefs to assess the eligibility and quality of the nomination.
  • By mid-February, selected nominees will be contacted by the committee and encouraged to develop and submit a complete nomination portfolio
    by March 30, 2017.

Eligibility

All full-time and part-time faculty and staff (including those who are on contract) who contribute to teaching and learning at McMaster are eligible. A previous recipient remains eligible, but only on the basis of work completed since the previous award.


The Nomination Process

  1. A 1-2 page nomination brief is completed by a nominator who can attest to the nominee’s quality of teaching and impact on student learning. Nominations are submitted by the respective Chair or Dean but can be proposed by members of faculty, students or staff.
  2. Nominators complete and submit the nomination brief by January 31st, 2017.
  3. The selection committee will review the nomination briefs to assess the eligibility and quality of the nomination.
  4. By mid-February, selected nominees will be contacted by the committee and encouraged to develop and submit a nomination portfolio by March 30th, 2017. Electronic portfolios, submitted to mi@mcmaster.ca are encouraged.


The Nomination Brief

A nomination brief is completed by the Chair or Dean who attests to the nominee’s excellence in teaching and the impact that the nominee has on student learning. Nominators should discuss the nominee’s particularly innovative teaching, mentoring, educational leadership, or development of innovative teaching materials, and highlight compelling evidence that demonstrates sustained impact on and enhancement of the student learning experience. Clear connections to McMaster’s values and current priorities as well as evidence of impact that reaches across the university and/or externally would strengthen a nomination.

The nominator should complete and submit the Nomination Brief no later than 4:00 p.m. on January 31st, 2017.


The Nomination Portfolio

The nomination portfolio is an expanded version of the teaching portfolio prepared by the nominee to showcase the best possible evidence for outstanding contributions to teaching and learning. Support from the nominator and the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning is highly encouraged. Check out our guide, Preparing a Teaching Portfolio.

Nomination portfolios are expected to be approximately 30 pages, but must not exceed 35 numbered pages, including appendices and graphics.

Similar to McMaster’s Teaching Portfolio requirements (see SPS-B2), the following elements should be included in the Nomination Portfolio:

  • An abstract (written in plain language similar to a press statement) that summarizes why you should get the award, what makes you outstanding?
  • A statement of teaching approach or philosophy.
  • A description of innovative teaching, mentoring, leadership practice, or development of educational materials, including examples of how the approach/philosophy has been realized.
  • Evidence that demonstrates the sustained impact or value-added that results from the nominee’s teaching innovations. Mentorship of student learning through involvement in research or practical experience at the institutional, local, or global levels may be included. Evidence of impact in the areas of student experience, community engagement, undergraduate research, and/or international education would strengthen an application.
  • Letters of support from colleagues and students.

Nomination portfolios must be submitted no later than 4:00 p.m. on March 30, 2017. The selection committee prefers to receive electronic portfolios. These should be submitted to mi@mcmaster.ca.


The Selection Committee

The Selection Committee is approved by the President and will normally include the following:

  • Chair: Appointed by the President
  • One faculty member, external to McMaster
  • Two previous President’s Award recipients
  • One 3M National Teaching Fellow
  • One representative of the McMaster Students Union
  • One representative from the Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching (who has not provided support to the nominator or nominee).


Support Available

The Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching has a range of sample portfolios and other documents that are helpful in the preparation of a portfolio. The nomination materials of previous winners of the President’s Award are also available at the Institute. MacPherson staff are available to assist nominators in developing a Nomination Brief and nominees in developing a Nomination Portfolio. To book a consultation, please fill in our online form.