Document the quality of your teaching through formal recognition and teaching awards

February 15, 2017 | Claudia Stanny

A successful faculty career depends on three areas of expertise: teaching, research, and service. Summary data from course evaluations are required documentation for all teaching portfolios, but they are not the only evidence we can provide about the quality of our teaching.

 Course evaluations reflect the student voice and illustrate how students perceive their learning experience in classes we teach. But student perceptions provide only one part of the picture of an effective teacher.

 Teaching awards provide another source of evidence of teaching quality. These awards require multiple sources of evidence to document teaching quality, including examples of course syllabi and assignments, assessment procedures that document student learning, and descriptions of new courses or teaching strategies created.

 The University of West Florida recognizes several faculty members each year with internal awards for teaching. The link to the list appears in the resources below. Faculty can also seek recognition for their teaching through state and national awards. Because these awards are competitive and draw applicants from multiple institutions, they provide powerful evidence of teaching quality.

 The Center for Teaching Excellence at Rice University maintains a comprehensive list of teaching awards for faculty in higher education. Many of these awards are specific to an academic discipline (the CTE site identifies more than 30 disciplines or types of disciplines that sponsor a teaching excellence award). However, several award programs recognize quality teaching in multiple disciplines (e.g., STEM) or apply to applicants from any discipline in higher education.

 Review the application criteria for these awards to identify strategies for documenting the quality of your teaching for your annual evaluation or tenure and promotion portfolio.


 List of External Teaching Awards. Center for Teaching Excellence. Rice University.

 The Academic Affairs web site hosts a lists of all University of West Florida internal awards and recognitions (including awards for teaching and awards for service):