About the Prize

This is an annual prize to be awarded to a University of Saskatchewan Department, non-departmentalized College, or interdisciplinary team for group innovation in teaching and learning.

Value: The winning proposal will receive a grant of $5000 to help support the innovative practice (including perhaps further research and evaluation of the initiative).

Evidence

The department, college, or team selected to receive the Prize must demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • strong commitment to teaching and learning,
  • successful implementation of some innovative practice in teaching or learning,
  • involvement by a significant number of the department's, college's, or interdisciplinary team's faculty members in the innovation, and
  • a positive impact on student learning or the student learning experience.

Applications

Application Format

The application should be no more than 5 pages in length and should include the following elements:

  • a brief description of the activity, practice or innovation,
  • an explanation of the level of faculty / staff involvement (be specific, use names), and
  • a description of the impact on students or the student experience (provide evidence / brief testimonials).

Selection Committee

The winning proposal will be selected by a sub-committee of the Gwenna Moss Centre's Advisory Board.

Submission

Submission Deadline: The deadline for nomination submissions is August 31st each year.

Please submit proposals to the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Past Recipients

The 2014 Provost's Prize for Innovative Practice in Collaborative Teaching and Learning was awarded to Dr. Mela Mansfield from the Department of Psychiatry and Dr. Glen Luther from the College of Law. This project involved the two departments jointly hosting the interprofessional Law and Psychiatry Seminar series over the course of 12-15 weeks. Instructors from both fields lead the seminars, and the series is offered to students each academic year.

Since its inception in its current form eight years ago, at least three peer-reviewed publications resulted from the series, in which law students are coached to write for publications using psychiatric results. Participants in the seminars include law students and psychiatry residents who are then able to interact with and learn about each others' approach to dealing with offenders, which is meant to foster greater understanding and collaboration between these two groups of future professionals. This collaboration and communication may in turn result in more positive outcomes for the offenders with whom both groups of seminar participants may have contact in their professions.

The 2013 Provost’s Prize for Innovative Practice in Collaborative Teaching and Learning was awarded to Dr.s Michael Bradley and Gap Soo Chang from the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics and Ramaswami Sammynaiken of the Saskatchewan Structural Sciences Centre (SSSC) and Biochemistry for their project called “Innovative Laboratory for Engineering Physicists and Physicists in the 21st Century.” The project put together two different upper year instructional approaches so that students would have an opportunity to apply their technical skills to a real-world consultative problem.

The resulting course, Physics 404, is an innovative blend of the strengths of structured, rigorous approach used by upper year ‘cook book’ labs, and the more open ended approach used in an undergraduate thesis. Bradley said, “the upper year labs have a high level of complexity but the script is already written,” meaning that the outcomes are set, so students are not pushed to be creative. Physics 404 is taught in two phases, a training phase using state-of-the-art equipment available in the department and SSSC, and a consulting problem phase that lets students apply what they learned in the first phase. In between the two phases, an experienced professional consultant outlines the ups and downs of consulting, how to set up a consulting company and how to approach a consulting contract.

The 2012 Provost’s Prize for Innovative Practice in Collaborative Teaching and Learning was awarded to the Longitudinal Elderly Person Shadowing (LEPS)First implemented in 2007 and offered annually since then, LEPS “is an innovative, inter-professional experience that brings together students and professors from several health science disciplines at the University of Saskatchewan and healthy seniors from Luther Tower.”

 The program involves students who are partnered with a senior, who they meet and interview in accordance with a set of guidelines. The students first learn about the lives older adults have lived. Then, during three subsequent visits, students learn about the seniors’ contemporary experiences to assess how much is known about services available.

As of 2011, 258 students had taken part in LEPS. Participation has impacted students’ comfort level and perception of older adults.  It has also deepened their understanding of the healthcare services and professionals. Students who enter the workforce with this understanding can work more cohesively with other professionals and provide more effective care to the elderly. As Dr. Lou Qaulitiere, Acting Dean of Medicine, notes, the prize will “support the extension of the LEPS program to continue to support the collaboration of future healthcare students and older adults."

The 2010 Provost’s Prize for Innovative Practice in Collaborative Teaching and Learning was awarded to the Interprofessional Problem-Based Learning Team in the Health Sciences made up of applicants from Clinical Psychology, Medicine, Nursing, Nutrition, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, and Social Work (U of Regina) titled "Innovative Practice in Interprofessional Health Sciences Problem-Based Learning".

The intent of the initiative was to incorporate interprofessional Problem-based Learning (iPBL) into the programs of hundreds of health professions students over several years. Faculty from multiple Colleges and Departments have been involved in organizing modules covering a variety of health related topics (e.g., care of patients with HIV/AIDS, Palliative Care, and Aboriginal Health and Healing). The implementation of the program over the years has resulted in high gains in students' knowledge and enjoyment and an appreciation of the interprofessional aspects of the innovative iPBL modules. The innovation has demonstrated involvement by a large number of faculty and staff from several health professions programs, a strong commitment to teaching and learning over nearly 10 years, and a very positive impact on student learning and student learning experiences. The Interprofessional Problem-Based Learning Team submission reflects the emphasis this group of health professionals places on teaching and learning and their commitment to initiate innovative programs that support student learning.

The 2009 Provost’s Prize for Innovative Practice in Collaborative Teaching and Learning was awarded to the College of Kinesiology for its initiative in peer review of teaching and faculty professional development. The Prize was chosen by a selection committee comprised of Ernie Barber, Vice-Provost Teaching and Learning, Jim Greer, Director of the University Learning Centre, Richard Schwier, Acting Director of the University Learning Centre, and Candace Bloomquist, Graduate Service Fellow at the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness.

The College of Kinesiology initiative was designed to stimulate interest in teaching and learning and to maintain a continuous awareness of relevant literature for college faculty. All faculty in the College of Kinesiology were involved in the implementation of a peer review process designed to enhance the pedagogical skills of both experienced and less experienced faculty through feedback and modeling.

The College developed a “Peer Teaching Evaluation Guidelines and Recommendations” manual and a training session was conducted to help support faculty implementation of the initiative. The positive impact of the initiative on the faculty was evident in the testimonials of several faculty members. Furthermore, the initiative enhances the pedagogical skills of the faculty which contribute to improving the student learning experience through more skilled teaching by instructors. For example, one improvement to the student learning experience is the implementation of a common course outline which is used by all faculty within the college to ensure that important aspects of all courses are presented in a clear and consistent fashion. The College of Kinesiology submission reflects the emphasis the College of Kinesiology places on teaching and learning and their commitment to initiate innovative programs that support student learning.

The 2008 Provost’s Prize for Innovative Practice in Teaching and Learning was awarded to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine for their project entitled "Integrative Teaching and Learning to Bridge Basic and Clinical Sciences in Veterinary Medicine". The College met all the criteria for the award in terms of collaborative unit-wide effort and innovation shown to improve the student learning experience. In particular, the implementation of the “biomedical rounds” course provides a new kind of experiential learning that integrates traditional classroom learning with realistic case studies and practical learning experiences. Students claim that this has led to a significant improvement in their learning experience.

The selection committee comprised of Dr. Ernie Barber, Vice-Provost Teaching and Learning, Dr. Jim Greer, Director University Learning Centre and a graduate student unanimously agreed that while other projects were strong contenders, this project was exemplary.

In the words of our graduate student member of the selection committee, “Veterinary Medicine’s application reflects a teaching response to a need articulated by students. Goals are clearly established and the process used speaks to how the faculty did not simply use a problem-based learning process, but rather found a way to address the specific needs of both their students and their department through the use of didactic teaching combined with a case study approach. Evidence of how this approach has worked for students is also included in the application. When considered against the criteria, Veterinary Medicine’s application shows a strong and balanced commitment to both teaching and learning. I do feel that Vet Med’s blending of processes to suit their needs is innovative.”

Questions

Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning