Vice-Provost (Academic Programs) Award for Excellence in Collaborative Teaching


The Vice-Provost (Academic Programs) Award for Excellence in Collaborative Teaching recognizes instructors whose exemplary collaborations in university teaching enhance student learning. Collaboration in teaching can take place within disciplines or across departmental, administrative, and institutional boundaries. Teaching collaboration comes in many forms. It may involve colleagues team-teaching a graduate seminar, facilitating a graduate professional development program, working together to create a new multi-disciplinary first year course, significantly re-designing a course and including students as partners in curriculum and course design, or it may involve a large interdisciplinary team facilitating re-designing and implementing an extended community service learning experience with community partners. Collaboration between faculty, staff, students and community members may benefit students in many ways. For example, teaching collaboration may allow students to explore intersections between different subfields of a discipline, engage with innovative interdisciplinary problem solving or research, or participate in community based learning facilitated by a team of faculty.
The goal of the award is to showcase, recognize and encourage collaboration in university teaching and learning.

What types of teaching collaborations are eligible for the award?

The award is open to groups of instructors consisting of two or more individuals currently teaching at Western. Applications may focus on a course team, a department, or a committee of colleagues from different departments, faculties and affiliated colleges working together on a common teaching project. The teaching project needs to include significant innovation and collaboration among members of the applicant group in course or curriculum design, teaching, assessment and facilitation of student learning. Applicants need to articulate how collaboration has enhanced student learning, contributed to student engagement and facilitated the achievement of learning outcomes in the program. Co-taught courses in which there is little collaboration between instructors are not eligible for the award.

Exemplary examples of collaborative teaching can be viewed on the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education’s webpage acknowledging the previous recipients of the Alan Blizzard Award, Canada’s national award for collaborative teaching.  Recipients of the Vice Provost’s award for Collaborative teaching may consider applying for the Alan Blizzard award.  


  • All full-time and part time members of the faculty at Western or the Affiliated University Colleges are eligible for nomination. The collaboration needs to be led by a current faculty member but team members could include members of university staff, librarians and archivists, students, and members of the community.
  • A part-time faculty member is defined as one who has held at least one Limited-Duties appointment (0.5 or equivalent) at Western or an Affiliated University College during the fiscal year (May 1 through April 30) preceding nomination.
  • Previous recipients of the award, visiting and externally-funded faculty are not eligible to receive the award.


Award winners will be celebrated in the following ways:

  1. The Team’s work will be profiled and shared through the Centre for Teaching and Learning website.
  2. The Team will be invited to a reception hosted by the Vice-Provost (Academic Programs) that celebrates all of Western’s teaching award winners for that year.
  3. The Team will receive $2000  towards professional development activities in teaching.

Nomination Procedure

Nominations may be initiated by an individual or group, including students, alumni, fellow faculty members, Deans, and department Chairs or by the Collaborative Team itself. Each application must include two nomination letters that highlight the innovative aspects of the collaboration.

Teams need to identify a Team Leader who will be responsible for the application dossier, but ideally the dossier will be prepared collaboratively by the whole team.

Application Dossiers

Dossiers must follow 12-point font, single spaced and 2.5 cm (1 inch) formatting in Times New Roman or Calibri, are limited to 40 pages, and submitted by email as a single electronic file - ideally a pdf package.

1. Cover page

Include a cover page with the following information:

  • Name of Applicant Team Leader
  • Position Title
  • Department/School/Faculty
  • Telephone Number
  • E-mail Address

The cover page also requires the signature of the Dean in the team leader’s Faculty, or Principal of the leader’s Affiliated University College

2. Nomination letters (two letters, maximum 2 pages each)

  • Self-nominations or nominations by peers or colleagues can highlight how the collaborative project impacted student learning.
  • Letters from a student or group of students (undergraduate, graduate, or alumni) can highlight the experiences and perspectives of students participating in the collaboration as learners.  

3. Executive summary (maximum 1 page)

  • Describe the precise nature and features of the collaboration among team members.

4. Project description (maximum 7 pages)

The project description and bibliography should not exceed 5 and 2 pages respectively. Organize project information under the following headings:

  • Goals of the Project: the intended learning outcomes; challenges met and obstacles overcome
  • Project Description: a clear description of the ways in which the nominees collaborated to create and facilitate the project, how collaboration contributed to the experiences of students; in the case of a course, the number, level and kind of students involved; how and over what period the project was assessed
  • Departmental/Disciplinary Context: the need for the project; how the project fits into the curriculum and promotes key outcomes, use of resources; time involved
  • Future Developments: plan for sustainability of the collaboration; new directions; adoption by other groups; ways the innovation might be diffused to other programs and faculties
  • Bibliography: demonstrating how project design, implementation, practices, and assessment were informed by scholarship in the field or by research on teaching and learning
  • Impact of Collaboration on Student Learning: evidence that students learned what was intended, evidence for how the innovative learning object contributed to student learning, or evidence of lasting effects on students (e.g., evidence could include pre- and post-tests, or student ratings)

5. Course philosophy or philosophy of collaboration (maximum 2 pages)

  • This statement should outline the Team’s philosophy about the nature and purpose of collaboration and capture the teaching approaches adopted by the Team for the collaboration.

6. Letters from peers, colleagues and students (optional, maximum 5 pages total)

  • Letters from peers or colleagues can provide evidence of the the impact of collaboration on teaching and learning in the department or discipline as well as on learning in the course
  • Letters from former students who can look back on their entire university career and assess the Team’s work in a broad context are especially valuable.

7. Teaching evaluation summaries (maximum 2 pages)

Rather than presenting raw data from instructor or course evaluations, applications need to compile summaries of those results.

  • Summaries should focus on the feedback on the course as a learning experience.
  • If formal teaching evaluations are not available, other forms of student feedback on the program may be substituted (e.g., exit survey, focus group data, sample student assessments or learning objects created by students that represent learning that resulted from collaboration among faculty).

8. Teaching materials (maximum 3 pages)

  • Nominees may include example course materials with a rationale/description of how they enhance student learning in the course, and how they reflect the collaborative nature of the project.

9. CVs for the Team Leader and up to two co-nominees (each vitae should not exceed five pages)

  • CVs may focus on teaching experience and achievements (e.g., awards). Research papers with students as co-authors can also be highlighted.

Application Dossier Summary

Component Maximum Pages
1 Cover Page 1
2 Nomination Letters 4
3 Executive Summary 1
4 Project Description 7
5 Philosophy 2
6 Support Letters (optional) 5
7 Teaching Evaluation Summaries 2
8 Teaching Materials 3
9 CVs 15

Submission and Deadline

The Award for Excellence in Collaborative Teaching is awarded annually. The completed application dossier should be submitted electronically as a single PDF file on or before January 15, 2024 to the Office of the Vice-Provost (Academic Programs). Please address the e-mail to the Administrative Coordinator, Alicia Kemp ( and reference the award title in the e-mail’s subject heading.

Award Committee

The Award for Excellence in Collaborative Teaching will be adjudicated by a review committee comprised of the Vice-Provost (Academic Programs) or designate, two previous award recipients and/or designated faculty members, and one representative of the Centre for Teaching and Learning.