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.
- 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.
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:
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.
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
- Registered Reports for Psychological Science; Youtube video - Joseph Rovetti, Psychology
- 1st Runner-up: Communicating Science on Instagram; Youtube video - Danielle Spice, Biology
- 2nd Runner-up: Zine-ing it Out: DIY Approaches to Content Application; Youtube video - Jill Hoffman, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
- Expressive Reading - Kathy Asari, French Studies
- Exploring Cultural Appropriation from Indigenous Perspectives - Candace Brunette-Debassige, Education
- Building Legislation and Ethics Search, Review and Application Skills (Youtube) - Heather Church, Health Sciences
- Snapchatting Challenge: Learning a second language using the social media context - Ana Boller, Modern Lanugages and Literatures
- Casino Game - Diana Fernandez, Modern Lanugages and Literatures
- Incorporating Field Interpretations into the Archaeology Classroom - Arwen Johns, Anthropology
- Runner-up: Standoff of the Stakeholders: Panel debates on current genetic dilemmas - Shrikaar Kambhampati, Mandana Miri, and Keegan Leckie, Biology
- From What to How and Why: Helping students to critically analyze texts - Lisette Farias Vera, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
- Student Video Projects: Putting knowledge into practice - Natalya Domina, Comparative Literature
- Standoff of the Stakeholders: Panel debates on current genetic dilemmas - Shrikaar Kamphampati, Christina Catellani, and Alanna Edge, Biology
- CMoS Word Jumble - Claude Bock, Art History
- Mathematical Cookbook - Allen O'Hara, Mathematics
- Three Minute Teach - Marylynn Steckley, Geography
- Computing Informatics - Jenna Butler, Computer Science
- Media in Society - Kristen Colbeck, Information and Media Studies
- Choose and Match you Own CATS - Lisa Cossy and Leichelle Little, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
- Runner-Up: Logic Grids in The Classroom - Allen O'Hara, Mathematics
- Acting out Algorithms - A "hands-on" approach to teaching Computer Science - Jenna Butler, Computer Science
- Stimulating Student Learning in Breadth Courses - Chelsea Hicks
- Photo-Reflection Assignments - Beth Hundey, Geography
- Virtual Virtuality - Jennifer Martin, Media Studies
- The Question Game - Angel Petropanagos, Philosophy
- Post-it Empowered - Megan Popovic, Kinesiology
- 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
- The World Café Comes to Western - Megan Popovic, Kinesiology
- Rethinking Multi-Media: An indisciplinary overview of the media, information & technoculture program - Mike Arntfield, English
- “Webmindful(l)”: Building Web Resource Evaluation Skills - Elan Paulson, English
- The Traveling Discussion - Suzanne Fox
- Vocabulary Relay Race - Lauren Keys