Submissions and evaluation

Applicants are invited to submit a reflective narrative and substantiating evidence and relevant documentation. The portfolios will be evaluated using four criteria: reflection on students, reflection on context, reflection on knowledge and reflection on growth.

All shortlisted applicants are required to make a short presentation to the adjudication panel. The presentation may be in-person or online depending on the logistics and arrangements required to meet in-person.

The reflective narrative

Applicants are expected to describe how they teach (critical reflection on practice) and why they do it in the way that they do (philosophy of teaching). Portfolios should show some deliberation on the four overlapping areas – reflection on context, students, knowledge and growth – and may be based on the guiding questions provided in each area.

View the guiding questions for each reflective area

Guiding questions

The guiding questions are meant to guide reflection on practice and to help in structuring the portfolio. While applicants need to show engagement with all four areas, the guiding questions are provided to stimulate ideas and applicants are not expected to respond to every question.

Assertions made in the reflective narrative should be substantiated by evidence. This could be in the form of concise examples in the reflective narrative itself or in the form of brief appendices. It is advisable that the portfolio submitted for the award spans several years of teaching and must include current evidence.

Evidence of excellent teaching could include but is not restricted to the following:

  • Information about the applicant and the applicant’s teaching context (position in the institution, part/ full time, discipline taught, size of classes, teaching context e.g. main/ satellite campus, areas of key challenge) and broad social context
  • Peer Review of Teaching (feedback)
  • Student feedback
  • Student retention rates
  • Student success data
  • Student involvement beyond the classroom
  • Artifacts include brief extracts from study guides, multimedia, online materials, innovative student assessment, and photographs.

The evidence should demonstrate how the applicant’s teaching stands out from that of other good teachers in terms of promoting student learning and contributing to education for social justice.

Evidence of the applicant’s involvement with teaching and learning that has a broader impact within the university and beyond could include, but is not restricted to, the following:

  • Papers presented on the subject of teaching and learning at conferences
  • Articles or other publications on teaching and learning (online links or citations only or abstracts at the most)
  • Membership of professional associations to which the applicant is a significant contributor based on evidence of conference attendance, papers presented, review activities, membership of special interest groups (SIGs) or of the executive
  • Moderation of examinations and examination of dissertations/theses
  • Membership of university committees and national or international committees and evidence of the applicant’s contribution
  • List of formal and non-formal continuing professional development the applicant has undertaken
  • List of students or staff mentored or supervised
  • List of awards received (where relevant)
  • Contributions to addressing social issues

Evaluation

Portfolios that demonstrate innovation will be considered for an award. The criteria are designed to be relevant to all teaching contexts in South Africa. Members from all public universities are encouraged to apply.

Portfolio that portrays innovation

The portfolio makes a convincing case in that the applicant(s) has reflected on multiple aspects of their context, including their students, their institution and their discipline/programme.

The portfolio clearly describes the teaching and provides an explanation of why the applicant adopts the approach that s/he does (teaching philosophy). Teaching methods used are contextually nuanced and are aligned to the stated philosophy. Robust and diverse evidence has been provided for the claims made in the portfolio. The applicant(s) is constantly looking for ways of improving and can reflect on growth over time and in response to changing contexts or new understandings. The applicant(s) has had a positive institutional, national or international impact on teaching in higher education. The portfolio is exemplary in addressing all aspects of reflection and can serve as an inspiration of forward-thinking, innovative, student-centered teaching and holistic development.

Noteworthy portfolio

For this portfolio the applicant(s) reflected on aspects of their context, including their students, their institution and their discipline/programme.

The portfolio describes teaching and provides an explanation of why the applicant adopts the approach that s/he does (teaching philosophy). Teaching methods used are adapted to context and aligned to the stated philosophy. Evidence has been provided for the claims made in the portfolio. The applicant(s) looks for ways of improving and can reflect on growth over time. The applicant(s) had a positive impact on teaching in higher education beyond their classroom. The portfolio demonstrates innovation in teaching that can promote better practice and encourage others.

Portfolio is developmental

The portfolio begins to construct a case that the academic/academic team has reflected on aspects of context. 

The portfolio describes the teaching and provides an explanation of why the applicant adopts the approach that s/he does (teaching philosophy). Teaching methods used are adapted to context but perhaps not very well aligned to philosophy (or vice versa). While evidence has been provided for some of the claims made in the portfolio, some claims are not substantiated. The academic/academic team looks for ways of improving. The academic/academic team has had a positive impact on teaching. The portfolio demonstrates the development of scholarly reflection for innovative teaching.