Georgetown hires faculty who are unusually devoted to their teaching. This becomes the day-to-day manifestation of being a “student-centered” research university. Teaching standards are high, reinforced by the norms of faculty within units. We recognize superb teaching with awards, both within schools and at higher levels (e.g., the Dorothy Brown Award, and the President’s Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award).
About five years ago the Provost’s Office provided internal grants to faculty to support innovation within their classrooms and to explore new ways of enhancing the depth of learning among their students. Some of these were technology-enhanced methods; others were attempts to deepen the research-based learning within courses. This effort was a success. Indeed, every week I learn about Georgetown colleagues using new tools to improve learning within courses and about the construction of new flexible methods of pursuing traditional courses. Georgetown faculty are actively engaged in innovating within their classes.
The best and boldest of this innovation should be recognized. We should shine the spotlight on those who are attempting new ways of teaching and organizing learning opportunities. So, we’ve decided to create the Provost’s Innovation in Teaching Award.
The Provost’s Innovation in Teaching Award recognizes a faculty member, a faculty team, or a whole department/unit that has exhibited exceptional creativity and innovative approaches to promote student-centered learning. This annual award will be based on the extent of innovation, as well as evidence of impact on students, colleagues, and the potential for wider adoption. The award recipient(s) will present their innovation to the Georgetown University Community, as part of the award presentation ceremony.
The award is open to all full-time faculty in any discipline who teach undergraduate and/or graduate students on the Main Campus at Georgetown University. A variety of innovations will be considered, including but not limited to, those in face-to-face courses as well as blended and online learning approaches. The innovations may have been used throughout a course, in special assignments, or in other learning activities. They may employ the innovative use of learning technologies and/or pedagogical methods.
We are interested in supporting joint teaching efforts of multiple faculty members; hence, innovative sharing of course content and team-teaching strategies are especially welcomed as nominees. Therefore, teams can win the award. When a whole department or program innovates by building a completely redesigned curriculum, the entire set of faculty involved can be awardees.
We are attempting to award innovation, even if it was not completely successful. However, one criterion of importance is what evidence is collected to evaluate the innovation. Those innovations that are accompanied by evaluation of the innovation on learning will be given preference. In that regard, we want to honor those among us who take risks in improving their instructional performance, but do it with devotion to real evaluation of the innovation.
We will name a faculty selection panel to review the award nominations. We plan to have nominations due by December 19.
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