(Revised March 2016)
This award is for non tenure-track faculty and staff whose teaching accomplishments are exceptionally significant and meritorious among their ISU colleagues. The award is designed to recognize persistent, focused, and purposeful dedication to striving for excellence over time. This includes: learning about and applying effective instructional practices across a wide range of teaching activities; evaluating the effectiveness of those practices; and reflecting on personal values and professional experiences to shape future teaching practices. This award is given to one recipient each year and includes a stipend.
To be eligible for a Non-Tenure Track Faculty Award nomination, an Illinois State University teacher must:
Note: Previous award recipients within the prior five years and current members of the University Teaching Committee (UTC) are ineligible.
Any current or former ISU department chairperson, school director, division head, or dean; any current or former ISU full- or part-time faculty member; or any current or former full- or part-time ISU student may nominate someone meeting the eligibility requirements for this award. Nomination letters or emails should be sent directly to the candidate’s department chair/school director. Nomination letters/emails should:
The chair/director should use a selection process developed and implemented in consultation with the DFSC/SFSC to identify no more than two nominees each year and forward those names to the Chair, University Teaching Committee, via email no later than 4:30 p.m. on the last Tuesday of April. Nominees should then prepare their teaching portfolios and submit them to their chairs by the first Tuesday of September (or a date arranged with the chair/director). Chairs/directors then forward completed portfolios to their college dean’s office no later than the third Tuesday of September.
Each dean, dean’s appointee, and/or selection committee, in conjunction with the College Council, shall do the following:
The UTC shall evaluate nominees’ materials to select recipients and notify each finalist of the outcome. In the case of portfolios of equal merit, preference shall go to those who have not previously won the award.
Nominees should scrupulously adhere to all page length restrictions. The 2-page limit assumes 12-point font with 1” margins, and includes images and tables.
See this list for general tips on creating a compelling teaching portfolio.
Use the following list as your table of contents (even if you do not have materials for each and every section) and to organize your portfolio so that reviewers can find your materials. For printed portfolios, using labeled dividers for each section will help evaluators find pertinent materials. For electronic portfolios, using those topics as primary links will similarly help evaluators find pertinent materials.
This is where you identify your foundational beliefs about teaching and learning and explain how you implement those beliefs into your instructional activities. The best Teaching Philosophy Statements articulate teaching philosophies that reflect significant time and effort to develop and refine and articulate the instructor’s fundamental approaches to teaching. Also, the best teaching philosophies are reflected throughout the rest of the elements that make up the portfolio and present the instructor’s approaches to teaching and ongoing development as a professional.
The Best Portfolios:
This narrative should cover up to the last five years and describe the following (when part of your record) (listing some information–e.g., courses and # students–where it makes sense is acceptable):
These narratives should describe teaching evaluations over time to look for trends or changes, specifically focusing on the last three years. (Graduate Students may have fewer evaluations.)
The best summaries and contextualizations of teaching evaluations present teaching evaluations from multiple perspectives (students, peers, and/or self) and in multiple instances over time, a relevant context for those evaluations, and include insights not only from the positive responses but also candidly note problems with teaching, identify the causes for these problems, and explain responses to them.
Summarize student evaluations for your courses. These evaluations may include end-of-semester course or teaching evaluations, results of midterm chats, or other midterm evaluations. Include information on the instrument(s) used. For evaluations that are not numerical, explain evaluation method used and summarize those evaluations. Contextualize the evaluations to help provide a more accurate interpretation.
Summarize any additional peer evaluations (formal or informal, formative or summative) such as peer observations, peer reviews of teaching materials, etc. Include frequency, format or procedure, instruments, information on the specific courses evaluated, the content of peer reviews, and the credentials of peer evaluators of your teaching. These could include observations by those who have visited your classes, reviews of course syllabi and materials, reviews of technology used in instruction such as web sites, etc.
Describe any self-evaluations you have completed. This can include narratives you have done as a part of annual productivity reports, analyses you have done while participating in teaching workshops at conferences or elsewhere, reflections based on reviewing video footage of yourself teaching either through CTLT or independently, or other forms of self-evaluation. Summarize the key findings of your self-evaluations, including providing contextual information such as your motivation, your areas of focus and goals for each evaluation, and how you have used what you learned to improve your teaching.
Explain what you have learned from the accumulation of evaluations over time and from different perspectives, how those insights have shaped your teaching and you as a teacher, and how you will incorporate the insights into your future teaching.
The Best Portfolios:
Every teacher, including the best, has failures, crises, difficult situations, etc. The best teachers, however, are distinguished by how they handle and learn from these challenges. This is an opportunity for you to describe a challenge that you have faced as a teacher, how you handled it, what you learned from it, and how the experience shaped your teaching. It could be a single incident or a long-term issue, a temporary problem, or an ongoing difficulty. Choose one that best illustrates who you are as a teacher and how you have become the teacher that you are today.
The best Reflections on Teaching Challenges identify a significant event or issue, describe vividly the practical and conceptual challenges encountered and responses to those challenges, and thoughtfully review the insights gained from the experiences described.
The Best Portfolios:
This narrative should describe your activities contributing to revised or new curriculum covering up to the last five years. It should describe (a) revisions to courses (rationale, specifics, evaluation of/reflections on revisions), (b) new course development (rationale, specifics of developed course(s), evaluation of/reflection on new course(s)), and (c) contributions to department/school/university curriculum development (e.g., formal participation in committees, informal contributions with peers) and reflection on the value of these contributions.
The Best Portfolios:
This narrative should describe your activities implementing instructional innovations, including approaches and strategies as well as technologies, covering at least the last five years. It should describe specific strategies and/or technologies, the course(s) in which they were implemented, and your rationale/motivation/goals for the change. Include an evaluation and/or reflection of your activities’ contributions to student learning.
This narrative should describe your scholarship that focuses on teaching and learning covering the last five years. Detail completed projects, current projects, professional presentations at conferences and through publications, and projects in process. Explain how this work has influenced you as a teacher.
This is an opportunity to describe where you’ve been as a teacher (and why you were there), where you are now (and what you did to get here), and where you are going as a teacher (and specifically what you intend to do to get there). Organization is up to you, but the plan should include specifics about teaching-related decisions and activities in the past and your plans for your future that describe your evolution as a teacher. As such, it should provide a specific agenda for your ongoing development as a professional pursuing teaching excellence.
The best Teaching Development Plans detail comprehensive plans that clearly describe trajectories over time, including specific short- and long-term goals and priorities as well as specific plans to pursue those goals and priorities.
The Best Portfolios:
A letter of support from the department chair or school director should provide documentation for details of the nominee’s record. As such, it will be a substantial letter that authoritatively addresses important elements of the nominee’s record based on the chair’s/director’s participation in reviewing annual productivity reports and other ASPT activities. The letter should:
It may not be necessary to provide the committee with your entire CV. You may choose to focus this version of the document on the information most pertinent to your work as a teacher. Limit it to no more than 10 pages.
Do include standard CV items, as appropriate, pertinent, and helpful, especially
Nominees may include up to (but no more than) five artifacts or forms of documentation. The small number means that nominees must be selective about what they include, based on their judgment about which items best illustrate, illuminate, support, and reinforce their teaching record as described in the rest of the portfolio. Also effective are artifacts that demonstrate the effectiveness of your practices and activities by including information and evidence on student outcomes. The most effective artifacts will be those that are cited explicitly and contextualized in the essay(s) relevant to the artifact.
Artifacts can include forms of documentation typically included in a standard teaching portfolio, but can also include other items that nominees believe are important to understanding themselves as teachers. For example, if a nominee has articulated his or her success in course development activities in an essay, materials related to that effort are a possible artifact. If a nominee has articulated his or her emphasis on instructional innovations in an essay, materials related to that effort might be considered as one of the artifacts. Note: Nominees are required to obtain students’ permission to include student work in the portfolio and, when appropriate, to remove all identifying information from any student work.
For each artifact, you can provide a cover page with an explanation (approximately one-half page single spaced) explaining what the artifact is, what theme/practice/idea that it is intended to illustrate or convey, and which portfolio elements are pertinent.