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President's Award for Teaching Excellence

The President’s Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes an outstanding Ryerson educator who has demonstrated continuing teaching excellence and who has made contributions to advancing teaching and learning at Ryerson.

The award recipient will receive a certificate of recognition and a one-time monetary award payment of $3,000 (subject to applicable deductions). 

Key criteria: Teaching

Nomination Guidelines

Who can be nominated?

  • Any tenured or tenure stream faculty member of the Ryerson Faculty Association is eligible to be nominated for the President’s Award.
  • No individual can be nominated for more than one university-wide teaching award in any given year. The University Teaching Awards Selection Committee (UTASC) tasked with selecting award recipients may choose to reassign a nomination to a different category, based on the best fit with the evidence, if a nominee agrees to it.
  • The nomination is valid only for the year in which it is made.
  • An unsuccessful nomination may be reconsidered the following year provided the nomination package has been updated to reflect any new contributions and/or achievements.
  • Any individual can receive the President's Award for Teaching Excellence only once.
  • By agreeing to be nominated, the nominee commits to cooperation with the nomination facilitator in providing supporting evidence. The nominee will also commit, if selected as the recipient, to:
    • attending the annual Ryerson Awards Night,
    • delivering a Convocation Address at a Convocation ceremony,
    • giving a presentation at the Ryerson Learning & Teaching Conference in May of the same year,
    • sharing their teaching philosophy with fellow instructors by making it available for posting on the Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching website, and
    • serving on the University Teaching Awards Selection Committee for the following year’s awards.

Any member of the Ryerson Community (faculty, student or staff) can nominate someone for the President's Award for Teaching Excellence.

The nomination file should clearly address the two award criteria as described below.

Continuing teaching excellence

Since this award focuses on teaching excellence, the nomination must include evidence of strong support from students, both present and former. The range and diversity of support for the nominee (e.g. from students, alumni, colleagues, peers, administrators, collaborators, etc.) will be reviewed, as well as the range and complexity of contributions to teaching and learning at Ryerson, both within and beyond the nominee’s own Department/School.

Continuing teaching excellence can be demonstrated by an outstanding and sustained record of undergraduate or graduate teaching, including one of more of the following:

  • Effectiveness of teaching strategies in the classroom, studio or laboratory;
  • Evidence of student engagement;
  • Nature of interactions with students;
  • Enthusiasm for teaching, innovative pedagogical approaches, and grounding of one’s practice in learning theories;
  • Ability to motivate students, capacity as a role model for personal and professional development of students;
  • Integration of best practices in instruction and assessment with well-defined student learning outcomes;
  • Incorporation of inclusive values into teaching and/or curriculum;

Evidence in support of the criteria may include, but is not limited to, some of the following:

  • Description of specific teaching strategies that were developed to improve student learning, including their planning, development, execution and assessment;
  • Evidence of impact on student learning (e.g. improved exam performance, pass rates, acceptance rates to graduate programs, success in workplace placements, increased course enrollment, etc.);
  • Personal contact with students (e.g. mentoring, advising, consultations outside of class, field trips, small-group tutoring, laboratory, studio instruction, thesis supervision, etc.);
  • Evidence of transformative influence on student learning experience;
  • Evidence of grounding one's work in good practice and connection to learning theories;
  • List of awards, internal as well as external, and other recognition received for teaching excellence;
  • Letters from students, alumni, colleagues and administrators, describing the nominee’s teaching and its impact on students’ learning;
  • Course development, management, planning and coordination; development of educational materials (e.g. textbooks, videotapes, multimedia, web pages, study guides, etc.).

Contributions to advancing teaching and learning at Ryerson

Contributions to advancing teaching and learning at Ryerson can be demonstrated by one or more of the following:

  • Mentoring and consultations to other faculty members;
  • Collaborative initiatives at the university level to improve quality of teaching and learning at Ryerson;
  • Sharing of best educational practices;
  • Course/curricular design or redesign, teaching innovation;
  • Involvement in educational research and its dissemination.Involvement in educational research and its dissemination, and the extent to which students were involved in this research.

Evidence in support of the criteria may include, but is not limited to, some of the following:

  • Evidence of personal professional development in teaching and learning (e.g. attending conferences, working with TA/GAs, participating in the Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching workshops and programs, etc.);
  • Description of educational materials (e.g. textbooks, videotapes, multimedia, web pages, study guides, etc.) developed;
  • Evidence of sharing one's educational expertise with others (e.g. consultations on teaching methods, mentoring, adoption of teaching materials by others, etc.);
  • Initiatives to improve teaching at Ryerson, and description of the nature of involvement;
  • Collaborations within one's own department, at the Faculty and at the university levels to improve teaching at Ryerson, and description of the nature of involvement;
  • Curriculum development and description of the nature of involvement;
  • Relevant educational initiatives, planning and policy making and description of the nature of involvement;
  • List of presentations or publications on teaching and learning;
  • Evidence of recognition by a community of peers at Ryerson;
  • Letters from students, alumni, colleagues and administrators, describing the nominee's various contributions to teaching and learning at Ryerson and elsewhere.

While some of the criteria and examples listed above are similar to those for other Ryerson teaching awards, it is expected that the recipient would demonstrate a greater depth and breadth of their record, as appropriate for the prominence of the Ryerson President’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

The nomination process for the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence follows a two-stage process. If the nominator is a student, they are encouraged to contact the Faculty Awards Committee (FAC) via the Dean's Office to get assistance from a faculty advisor with compiling the nomination brief and with compiling the full nomination file. This is to ensure that the nomination reflects a full scope of the nominee’s activities.

Stage 1

  1. Obtain the nominee's permission.
  2. Prepare, in collaboration with the nominee, a Nomination Brief (one to two pages). The Nomination Brief should clearly address the nominee’s achievements according to each of the awards criteria. Should the nomination move forward to Stage 2, this Brief will serve as an executive summary for the full awards package.
  3. Submit the Brief in the Online Nomination Portal by the specified deadline for consideration by the FAC.

Each Faculty can submit only one candidate for the President’s Award of Distinction. The Faculty candidate will be selected by the FAC. Once the FAC makes its selections/recommendations, nominators will be notified as to whether their candidate has been selected to move forward to the second stage of the process.

Stage 2

  1. The nominator compiles a Full Nomination file detailing the record of the nominee’s accomplishments and submits through the Online Nomination Portal.
  2. The FAC will request an endorsement letter from the Dean, to be included in the candidate’s Full Nomination file that is to be submitted online by the deadline.
  3. Nominees will be prompted by email to log in to the Online Nomination Portal and upload their CV.

The nomination file should clearly address the Award Criteria. There are seven required components of the nomination for the President’s Award of Distinction:

  • A Nomination Brief (two page maximum) prepared by the nominator, submitted in Stage 1 of the nomination process. Once the nomination has proceeded to Stage 2, the nominator will have the opportunity to revise the nomination brief. The revised nomination brief should serve to summarize and contextualize the evidence included and provide references that help direct the committee’s attention.
  • A Citation (100 word maximum). Highlight why the nominee deserves this award and any notable achievements. This citation will be included in related university communication if the nominee is selected.
  • A Statement of the nominee’s Teaching Philosophy (three page maximum). This statement shows evidence of reflection on one’s practices related to fostering student learning and intellectual growth, to teaching and learning contributions at Ryerson that transcend the Faculty and to possible contributions to teaching and learning outside Ryerson.
  • A Summary of Teaching Evaluations (one page maximum) over a minimum of five consecutive years. Faculty Course Survey (FCS) data will not be used as evidence of teaching effectiveness, but can be used to support claims made about the impact of teaching methods on student experience. Nominees are welcome to submit the data they feel best represents their achievements in teaching. Please do not submit copies of raw data, instead tabulate (or provide a graph of) the relevant information on a single page. Frequency distributions rather than averages must be used.  
  • Letters of Support (one page maximum each) that provide specific examples of why the nominee should be considered for the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Try to ensure that, when read as a group, letters cover all relevant  aspects of the award criteria. There should be no more than four letters in total. The supporting letters must include:
    • Two letters from colleagues and/or administrators. If the nominator is a colleague or administrator, letters must be from colleagues and/or administrators other than the nominator;
    • Two letters from students (undergraduate student, graduate student, or alumna/alumnus). Students writing support letters should disclose their relationship with the nominee (current student, former student, research assistant, working under nominee’s supervision). If the nominator is a student, the letters must come from students other than the nominator;
  • Supporting Materials (five page maximum) containing additional evidence for how the criteria have been met. Make sure to include factual evidence to support the narrative provided in the supporting statement and the letters. It is essential to provide meaningful captions or descriptive information for all supporting materials, describing how the evidence demonstrates that the nominee meets the criteria for the award. Because of the capacity for visual elements to add richness and nuance to a nomination package, the use of these elements within the supporting materials is encouraged.
  • A modified Curriculum Vitae (four page maximum) focusing on the nominee’s teaching, educational leadership, achievements and other contributions to teaching and learning, as distinct from a standard CV pertaining to the nominee’s field of expertise. For example, do not include field-specific research publications, but do include presentations at the Faculty Conference and other educational conferences, workshops on teaching and learning, textbooks, teaching awards, etc. Nominees will be prompted by email to submit this portion.

When preparing materials:

  • Use a standard 12-point font with one-inch margins.
  • Each page and scan must be legible.
  • Please do not include active URLs, the committee will not review any material beyond what is included in the nomination package.

The Ryerson President’s Award for Teaching Excellence recipient is selected by the University Teaching Awards Selection Committee (UTASC). The UTASC mandate is to help advance teaching and learning at Ryerson through the university-wide Teaching Awards Program by ensuring that high quality candidates whose achievements meet or exceed the awards criteria are selected for the available university teaching awards.

Following notification to all nominees and nominators, the Provost will make a public announcement regarding all Awards recipients.

November 8 by noon: All Nomination Briefs are to be submitted online including the nominee's online consent.

November 26: Deadline for each FAC to select a candidate, if any, for the President’s Award of Distinction and for the Chair of the FAC to communicate the results to all nominees and their nominators.

December 17 by noon: All completed nomination files for the President’s Award of Distinction must be submitted online.

January 14: Deadline for the UTASC to complete their deliberations. The Committee reserves the right not to confer the President’s Award of Distinction in any given year if no suitable candidate is identified.

January 21: The results are communicated to the recipient’s nominator, as well as to all unsuccessful nominees and their nominators.

Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching
Michelle Schwartz
Educational Developer
michelle.schwartz@ryerson.ca
416-979-5000, ext: 552094

Celebration details

This award is celebrated at Ryerson Awards Night and included in a Convocation Ceremony to present a Convocation Address.