• In your application, you need to align your teaching aims and purpose with the citation or award you are applying for.
  • Your claim to excellence will be stronger if you demonstrate a clear, overarching strategy underpinned by your values and teaching philosophy.
  • Start preparing your application early and access support through the Centre for Education and Innovation, and/or colleagues (including those who may have won citations/awards themselves in the past).

On this page

Preparing the application Writing the application CEI support

Preparing the application

Tips for getting started

  • Read the guidelines and criteria carefully and discuss the expectations with colleagues.
  • Talk to past winners to get advice and support. Past winners are available on the CEI website, see ACU Citations and Vice Chancellor Teaching Awards
  • Think about your teaching philosophy and evidence you have that justifies an award.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to prepare and draft the application

When you are putting together an application for a citation or award it is important to know the expectations and understand the purpose. To understand the purpose of the citation or award you need to be familiar with the citation/award criteria and guidelines. In your application, you need to align your teaching aims and purpose with the citation or award you are applying for.

Writing the application

A citation/award application is a unique style of writing that combines different genres. It integrates a personal reflective narrative with scholarly writing where claims that what you did impacted positively on students’ learning experiences and outcomes need to be supported and evidenced, as well as described.

Your application should clearly establish your context and the challenges your students were facing, how your outstanding approach addressed these challenges and evidence of the impact you had on student learning experiences and outcomes. Remember the focus should be on student learning experiences and outcomes, and that your impact needs to be evidenced.

Your application needs to specifically address the citation/award criteria, aims and purpose. Your claim to excellence will be stronger if you have a clear narrative that communicates your teaching philosophy, your values and your passion for learning and teaching. Your teaching philosophy should be apparent throughout your application as an underpinning of a clear, deliberate and purposeful teaching strategy. Your claims to excellence will therefore be situated within this strategy and founded on your teaching philosophy and values.

Key considerations when writing the application

 Key writing considerations - Structure and Presentation, Evidence and Scholarship, Tone and Language
Structure and Presentation

There should be a clear, well-structured argument, your claim to excellence, underpinning the narrative. Make your context, teaching philosophy and claim clear at the beginning of the application. The narrative needs to showcase your practice, your relationship with, and impact on students, as well as your impact more broadly on higher education.

Your writing needs to be succinct; awards and citations have a very limited page length. It is also important to stay strictly within the parameters and formatting requirements set out in the guidelines.

Tone and language

While an application draws on elements of scholarly writing, a purely academic, formal tone will not engage the assessor. The tone should be personal and reflective, but at the same time assured and confident. To achieve this balanced tone, remember to focus on your students and their learning. While the application should be written in the first person to enable the assessor to know who you are, be mindful not to overuse “I”, your focus should be on “My students”. The claims should be about your teaching (what you did) having an impact on your students’ learning experiences and outcomes – not you.

Write in clear, plain language avoiding the use of institutional jargon. Align your application with the citation/award guidelines by incorporating the wording of the criteria in your application. Clearly articulate how you have met each criterion.

Evidence and scholarship

A citation or award application has to include evidence that supports your claims to excellence. The evidence should come from a variety of sources, but you should start by demonstrating how your strategy was informed by scholarly evidence drawn from teaching and learning literature, as well as initiatives in your discipline that inform your approaches. Explain how they relate to the approaches you are describing. Think of this as input evidence – how did scholarship reflected in learning and teaching literature as well as your own discipline inform the design of what you did?

Output or outcome evidence is equally important. For example, SELT data (including an interpretation of the tabulated data), student and peer testimonials, evidence of institutional recognition, peer recognition, and (ideally) recognition beyond your own institution. For example, if you have been involved in collaboration with ACU Stakeholders, such as schools/clinics, Catholic organisations, charities, employers, include feedback and recognition from these partners that supports your claim to excellence.

Evidence should also demonstrate sustained impact and excellence (the length of time required, and degree of excellence depends on the citation/award you are applying for).

Evidence should be integrated and embedded into the narrative to support your claims: explain the significance of the evidence in relation to your claims and context.

CEI Support

CEI offers support for citation and award applicants. The CEI website has resources explaining and overviewing the application process, see Grants, Citations and Awards Overview and ACU Citations and Vice Chancellor Teaching Awards, as well as more information about reflecting on and evidencing your teaching practice, see Reflective Practice and Evidencing.

CEI can also provide some support for your application. Contact CEI at CEI@acu.edu.au for more information about the support available.

Page last updated on 31/08/2022

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