General Education Teaching Award FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Multiple people in my department are being nominated for this award in the same year.  Does that hurt my chances?

The awards committee does not consider this as a criteria for evaluating any applications.  Applications are evaluated based on the merit of the application alone, using criteria laid out in the attached rubric.


  • Does it matter how many students are enrolled in my courses?

Courses in our General Education Program range in size pretty dramatically.  All of these courses play a vital role in our program, in the academic mission of the university, and in the educational experiences of our students. The evaluation criteria have been developed with this variation in discipline, size, scope, and form in mind.  There are many possibilities for demonstrating excellence in any General Education classroom.  If you need any help or have any questions, you are encouraged to contact the General Education Oversight Committee. 


  • Do I have to include my SET scores or Gen Ed Assessment data?

We are aware that SET scores have been shown to be particularly unreliable indicators of instructor performance related to issues of race and gender.  As a result, we do not require SET scores as part of applications.  Instructors are allowed to choose to use their SET scores as one of their "artifacts", but they should be prepared to explain how they support the relevant award criteria.

General Education Assessment data helps us assess the strengths and weaknesses of the General Education program and support the continued growth and success of both faculty and students.  This assessment data cannot be required for any form of evaluation, including these awards, and is not required as part of your application.  As with SET scores, however, an instructor may choose to use their assessment data as one of their "artifacts", but they should be prepared to explain how that data supports the relevant award criteria. 


  • How exactly do I define “student success”?

We recognize that what student success looks like may differ vastly among General Education courses. In their answers to the questions, we encourage applicants to clarify and emphasize their own definitions of student success in their courses, how they might facilitate that success, and the evidence necessary for them to reframe their own definitions of success. Strategies for success may (but are not required to) include collaborative efforts to improve pedagogical techniques or to develop and improve course materials.


  • What does diversity and inclusion mean in relation to this award?

The GEOC understands diversity and inclusion as it is defined through the University's Office of Diversity and Inclusion.  In asking applicants to talk about how they support a diverse and inclusive classroom, we do not necessarily mean assigning readings or creating assignments related to diversity and inclusion (though it may include that).  There are many ways to create diverse and inclusive classrooms through the way that we design assignments, course policies, and student support, the authors we assign, the guest speakers we invite, and the tone we set.  We encourage you to think broadly about what that looks like in your classroom.


  • Am I eligible if I have worked as a TA for 3 semesters teaching my own sections?

This award recognizes instructors who have played an active role in the design and implementation of general education curriculum.  We are aware that there is significant variation in the independence of TAs and the structure of general education courses across departments.  If you designed the sections for which you were responsible and feel that you can answer the application questions and provide robust evidence to support your application, you are welcome to apply.  We are happy to answer any questions you might have.


  • What role do departments/chairs play in deciding who is nominated for these awards?

While many university awards go through departmental/college systems and/or require a chair's/dean's signature, this award is specifically designed to be as open and accessible as possible.  Any instructor in a general education course may self-nominate or be nominated by someone else.  Chairs may choose to nominate instructors, but nominations are also accepted from all other parts of the university, and departments may not restrict applications from any instructor.


  • What kinds of artifacts should I use?

In thinking about what artifacts you wish to include in your application, we encourage you to choose evidence that supports your responses to the questions listed in the application form and the rubric.  That might include:  general education assessment reports, SoTL (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) Publications, teaching-related conference presentations, anonymized student materials, syllabi, course websites, other course materials, videos, podcasts, published interviews, peer reviews of teaching, etc.  This list of suggestions is not intended to be exhaustive, however, and we are open to other kinds of artifacts.  We encourage applicants to reference and explain their artifacts in responding to the questions listed in the application form and on the rubric.

You should only submit evidence from courses that fulfill a General Education requirement.  If you are unsure whether your course fulfills a General Education requirement, you can check the Undergraduate Bulletin

Previous awards and recognition (i.e. teaching awards from departments, colleges, universities, or professional associations) will not be considered as part of the evaluation process.  Applicants are evaluated solely on their responses to the questions and the artifacts that they provide to support their responses to those questions.  Please see the attached rubric for more detailed information.


  • How long should my application be?

We do not intend for this application process to be difficult.  We know that our General Education instructors are busy people, and we do not want this form of recognition to create a burden.  We also want to ensure that applications are evaluated fairly and equitably.  There are word limits for all questions listed in the application form. We understand that submitted artifacts will vary in length and in type.  In most cases, we encourage you to submit a single document or piece of media for each artifact.  If you are using student work as an example, you are welcome to include multiple pieces of student work in a single file, but we encourage you to look for representative examples (strong, average, and weak student assignments; a formative and summative assignment, etc) rather than submitting all student work for a semester.


  • How do I write a strong nomination?

Nominations are a mechanism for encouraging submissions for the award and giving faculty, staff, administrators, and students the ability to recognize excellent instructors across campus. The GEOC does not consider nominations in the final evaluation of the application, so your goal should be to provide information on the nomination form that could help GEOC encourage your colleague to apply for the award.


  • Can students nominate instructors?

Absolutely!  We encourage student nominations, and the GEOC is happy to help any student who has questions about the process or needs support in submitting their nomination. Email us at


  • Can an instructor win this award more than once?

An instructor can only win this award once in a five year period. 


  • Which academic staff are eligible for this award?

This award is open to all academic staff who teach a General Education course.  That includes advisors and other staff members who are teaching Wayne Experience courses, but it also includes staff who teach as TAs and part-time faculty in university departments.  If you meet the criteria laid out in the call for applications, you are encouraged to apply.  If you have any questions, please contact the GEOC.