The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Education are celebrated annually. The initiative provides the ANU community with an opportunity to recognise exceptional teaching and acknowledge positive impacts on student learning experiences. As recent years have shown the pool of teaching talent at ANU is a deep reservoir from which we draw collective inspiration. The full list of 2021 candidates and recipients has been updated and fittingly extends our honour roll of highly regarded educators.
Of course, recognition of quality teaching should be evident in both informal and formal contexts. Informally, the feedback from appreciative students and thankful colleagues is motivational and gives good reason to teach another day. Formal recognition, as provided through the VC Awards and associated college-based schemes, raises the awareness of shared perspectives on what makes teaching at ANU distinctive and coloured with the character of individual and team passion.
The path towards formal recognition, via the VC Awards, begins with a period of nomination. To some extent, due to the life of a nomination being more than one year, the process is continuous and accumulates active nominees year on year. As of Monday 23 May a broadly posted “Invitation to Nominate” message was sent to college representatives including College Associate Deans (Education), College Awards Committee delegates, Division Directors or delegated staff, and senior staff from other areas of ANU. Other individuals may not self-nominate or make nominations.
In that same message, the eligible nominators were given background guidance on making the most of the VC Awards, ensuring the teaching focus of our university over the past few years of adversity and disruption has every opportunity to be recognised and celebrated in 2022.
The nomination window will be open for three weeks and closes on Friday 10 June. Thereafter, the Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT) will coordinate an information session for VC Award nominees on Tuesday 21 June. The ‘information session’ will work nominees through the VC Award guidelines which have been adjusted to incorporate some contextual changes that have taken place over recent years. In particular, the ‘new’ context created by the ANU Strategic Plan 2021-25 provides an important background to ‘Delivering a student experience equal to the world’s best’ (p18).
Following submission of all applications (due Friday 30 September), the VC Award Selection Panels will meet throughout October, with recipients being announced in the latter-half of November.
Tim Grace is the Manager of the Education Communities and Environments team at the Centre for Learning and Teaching