Great Ideas for Teaching (GIFT) Award

Have you ever had that moment in the classroom when your students finally grasp a difficult concept and you know that all of your hard work and planning has paid off? The Centre for Teaching and Learning wants to recognize and reward outstanding Teaching Assistants for their commitment to undergraduate student learning!     

The Centre for Teaching and Learning selects the winners of the GIFT Award from a competitive pool of proposals submitted by graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Each proposal provides a summary of an in-class activity, creative assignment, or another strategy that supports undergraduate student learning. Great proposals describe a course- or discipline-specific teaching idea but also include thoughts on how the strategy could be modified for use in other disciplines.

The winners will present their innovative teaching method to an interdisciplinary audience as part of a CTL workshop or panel.

Benefits:

  • A teaching award looks great on a CV and Teaching Dossier - especially when applying for future teaching positions.
  • By presenting their "Great Idea" as part of CTL programming, winners have the chance to share successful teaching methods with the broader Western community.
  • Winner receives a $100 gift certificate to the Western Bookstore or Hospitality Services.

Instructions:

The GIFT Award submission process has been redesigned for 2021. This year, we invite you to submit your GIFT Award application as a proposal for the Own Your Future May Conference on Teaching.

Choose from one of the two categories:

Panel Presentation proposal

Applicants to this submission category are eligible for the GIFT Award. If your submission is accepted for this category, you will be required to submit a 5-minute “meta moment” video describing your great idea for teaching (e.g., class (online or onsite) activity, creative assessment, or other strategy that supports undergraduate learning), the impact of the lesson, and how TAs and instructors can apply the lesson content or teaching strategies to their own discipline. On the day of the conference, you will participate in a moderated Q&A with other graduate student and postdoc presenters about your great ideas for teaching.

Welcome To My Classroom proposal

Applicants to this submission category are eligible for the GIFT Award. If your submission is accepted for this category, you will be required to prepare a live (synchronous) 20-minute demonstration of your great idea for teaching including a 10-minute lesson (must include pre-assessment, active learning, and post-assessment) and a 5-minute “meta moment” where you explain the impact of your teaching strategy and how TAs and instructors can apply it to their own disciplines. The last 5 minutes of your session is reserved for a Q&A with the session moderator.


2021 Application Deadlines:

  • Wednesday February 17: Call for proposals opens
  • Monday March 15: Call for proposals closes
  • Week of March 22: Proposal notifications
  • Friday March 26: Deadline for successful applicants to accept invitation to present
  • Friday April 2: Own Your Future May Conference on Teaching schedule announced; Registration opens

Questions? Contact: Dr. Melanie-Anne Atkins

Past GIFT Award Winners Proposals

2021

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2012

2010

  • Virtual Virtuality - Jennifer Martin, Media Studies
  • The Question Game - Angel Petropanagos, Philosophy
  • Post-it Empowered - Megan Popovic, Kinesiology

2009

  • The Medium is Still the Message: Generation Text Meets Marshall McLuhan - Mike Arntfield, English
  • Fossil Analogies: Correlating Primate Behaviour and Morphology - Zoe Morris, Anthropology
  • Art Theory Review Pie - Helen Parkinson, Visual Arts

2008

2007