Sept. 17, 2020

Students' Union to recognize efforts to improve remote learning during COVID-19

SU Teaching Excellence Awards nominations open for fall 2020

The Students’ Union (SU) is continuing their annual tradition of honouring great professors at the University of Calgary, something that is even more important this year as most instruction has been moved online. The Teaching Excellence Awards (TEA) is the SU’s campus-wide program which gives undergraduate students the chance to recognize outstanding instructors and teaching assistants.

“TEA is a unique opportunity for students to reward their instructors and teaching assistants,” says Semhar Abraha, SU vice-president academic. “Despite the challenges we are all facing, the SU is proud to continue to recognize these incredible instructors for their ongoing commitment to quality education at the University of Calgary.”

The creation of the SU Teaching Excellence Awards was intended to encourage high-calibre teaching and innovative pedagogy at the University of Calgary. From the start, the awards were meant to provide students with the opportunity to give feedback on the quality of university instruction.

Typically, the in-classroom experience plays a major role in the nomination and selection process; however, this year most students will be receiving instruction remotely, and the SU hopes to recognize the additional effort made by instructors to create engaging, interesting, and informative online course delivery.

“Many students are facing the challenge of remote learning for the first time, and we understand that many instructors are teaching this way for the first time as well,” says Abraha.

For those dedicated teaching professionals who are continuously putting in the effort to ensure the quality of their courses remains consistent, and especially for those who go the extra mile to make their courses something special, we want to make sure they get the recognition they deserve.

TEA nominations will be collected for the fall semester from Sept. 14 to Oct. 23. Winter semester nominations will open on Jan. 18, 2021, and winners will be selected and announced in the spring, at which time the SU will make a $5,000 donation in recognition of the winners to the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.

The SU has been honouring outstanding teaching at the university since 1975, with the Teaching Excellence Awards being handed out in their current form for the first time in 1984. Last year, the SU received 1,143 nominations from students and honoured 37 faculty members, instructors, and teaching assistants. Find more information about the SU Teaching Excellence program and the award criteria.