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Stewart Awards Application FAQs

What are the goals of the Stewart Award? Whom do we want to award? Why these faculty/instructors?

  • Award is like a reward for overall excellence.
  • “We want to award those faculty who clearly demonstrate going ‘above and beyond’ by designing, implementing, assessing and refining lesson plans that are dynamic, engaging and interactive in ways that support the cognitive and affective development of students of all learning styles.”
  • “We should award innovative faculty for applying creative measures to engage [and therefore, retain] students.”
  • “To place emphasis on exemplary teaching methodologies, to engage in the teaching process by sharing lessons among professors, to document a process of teaching and learning for both the professor and the students. . . . Because they are engaging students in the learning process through formative and summative measures that are involving students in a process rather than just having them go through it.”
  • “We should award faculty members who demonstrate the ability to create assignments, lessons, and/or projects that are unique to their discipline and that provide students with different ways of understanding and demonstrating comprehension of learning outcomes or class objectives.”
  • “Ability to motivate students and help them achieve their maximum potential. Ability to use innovative approaches to teaching. Ability to use assessments not just as a tool for evaluation, but also as a tool for learning.”
  • “Faculty who have demonstrated the ability to support, promote college vision and mission. . . . It should include evidence that other faculty accept innovation for their own curriculum implementation. The presenter should clearly define the value of the innovation and provide recommendations on how other faculty can implement it in the curriculum.”

What is “innovative”?

  • “Ingenuity” wins this one with “creative” and “different” close seconds.
  • Adding to existing best practices rather than solely inventing new practices is an example of ingenuity since many winners have won doing just that.
  • “Ingenuity in lesson planning! Even the definition is a better fit – ‘The ability to solve difficult problems, often in original, clever, and inventive ways.’ Innovation means something new.  We aren't creating new ideas… we are merely creating clever and inventive ways to address current learning objectives.”
  • “The applicant should clearly explain to us why it is innovative based on their expertise in the area.”
  • “An innovative assignment could be one that improves upon or challenges conventional methods, seeks to maintain relevancy in a field during an ever-changing technological/political/educational landscape, enhances value to the students, and potentially includes other industries or disciplines. It should be designed in a way that others – whether in the field or in a different field – would see the value and want to incorporate it in their own methods.”
  • “An improved or alternative teaching methodology.”

What do we mean by interdisciplinary criteria?

  • “The content from discipline to discipline may change, but the delivery process (i.e. lesson plan) should be able to be used in other disciplines. For example, not every instructor has access to a court room; however, we can all incorporate team-based, experiential, problem-based learning. That's the argument that applicants need to make - even if the specific content is different.”
  • Evokes “a description of how a specific learning tool or technique used in the lesson plan might be used in a different discipline.  In this way, we would still be encouraging faculty to consider the broader value and application of the techniques they use.”
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