Excellence Award for Teaching Assistants (762200302733)

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR AN ANNUAL FUND

NAME OF ANNUAL FUND

Excellence Award for Teaching Assistants

INTRODUCTION
The Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS) has been providing teaching assistants (TAs) with the training needed to improve the quality of their teaching support. In 2011, there was a drive to make the training mandatory for all TAs and, in so doing, contribute positively to the student experience. This pilot project, done in partnership with the Faculty of Social Sciences and the School of Human Kinetics (Faculty of Health Sciences), was a huge success and has allowed the TLSS to convince other faculties to make their TA training mandatory.

In addition, a variety of resources have been developed to help teaching assistants in the various tasks they must perform. Teaching guides on various topics (e.g., facilitating discussion groups, evaluating student work, and managing lab sessions) are available on the TLSS website. These guides are also accompanied by formative assessment tools that allow teaching assistants to improve their skills in specific aspects of their work.

In conjunction with this TA training and the available resources, the TLSS would like to recognize the achievement of exceptional TAs by offering three excellence awards annually in the form of a $250 to $500 prize money (amount will vary depending on collected funds). This type of recognition would satisfy many objectives, including those of the 2012 Campus Campaign (now the Employee Giving Campaign), which the philanthropic nature and spirit also allow employees to contribute financially to the Excellence Award for Teaching Assistant Fund. Specifically, it would:

  • Emphasize the importance that the TLSS places on teaching excellence and the improvement of the students’ academic experience;

  • Value the role played by TAs by improving the interactions with students; and

  • Give students who chose to become TAs an opportunity for a financial boost and an additional accomplishment to distinguish their resumes.

PURPOSE OF FUND
To enhance the student experience both by improving the quality of the teaching support that they receive from fellow students and by recognizing the TA’s that are truly exceptional.

AWARD DETAILS
Eligibility Criteria
The applicant must:
1. be a teaching assistant at the University of Ottawa;
2. have accumulated at least 250 hours of teaching assistantships before the nomination deadline;
3. still be enrolled at the University of Ottawa at the time of the award presentation; and
4. submit, in a timely fashion, the documents associated with the nomination process.

Note: a TA can be nominated more than once over the years.

Amount of the award: $250 to $500

Number of awards: Three (for a TA in science and engineering, for a TA in the humanities or one for assistantships with an online component).

Frequency of the award: Annual

Level and program of study: Undergraduate and graduate

Application contact: Teaching Programs Manager (currently Nancy Vézina)

Application deadline: March 15

APPLICATION PROCEDURE
The nomination form must be completed by a University of Ottawa professor (Full or Part-time) or a Dean and be accompanied by two additional signatures of students who can attest to the assistant’s work.

The assistant, for whom a nomination form will have been completed by a professor, must also complete a form describing their experiences as a teaching assistant and any TA related training they may have participated in.

Completed nominations, including the nomination form and the description form, must be submitted to the TLSS office no later than March 15 of every year (or the following working day should the 15th fall on a weekend or a statutory holiday).