Teaching & Learning awards

Home » Faculties of Humanities » Teaching & Learning awards

Teaching and Learning is an integral part of academic life. Our Faculty prides itself on its high standard of teaching and learning, at both undergraduate and post-graduate level. To recognise the outstanding work that our lecturers do to promote excellence in teaching and learning, particularly in regard to adapting to the trends in advancing technologies, the Faculty of Humanities 2023 Teaching and Learning Awards will consist of the following six categories:

1. Award Categories

1.1 Innovation in Teaching and Learning;

1.2 Going the Extra Mile in Teaching and Learning;

1.3 Most Promising Young Teacher;

1.4 Best Post-Graduate Teacher;

1.5 Students’ Choice; and

1.6 Departmental Tutor Awards

Below are brief descriptions of each of these categories. Please note that eligibility criteria and supporting documents required differ for each award.

To enter any of the first five award categories (the tutor award works differently, see details below), please complete the attached Application Form and send supporting documents to suzyg@uj.ac.za by 30th September 2023. Shortlisted nominees for the Student Choice Award will be informed by late August 2023.

All the portfolios will be reviewed by a panel of judges made up of people in the Faculty, members from the Academic Development Centre, and/or other Faculties.

Application closing date: 30 September 2023

Eligibility: The awards are open to anyone who has taught in the Faculty of Humanities in semester 2 of 2022 and semester 1 of 2023

Announcement of Winners: November 2023



1.1 Innovation in Teaching and Learning

This award is designed to encourage innovative practices in all aspects of teaching and learning. The practice of effective and meaningful teaching can benefit students immensely when educators thoughtfully experiment and;

  • apply new and nuanced pedagogical approaches and practices;
  • use technologies in innovative ways;
  • embark on curricular enhancement, such as re-designing a curriculum or significantly updating and innovating a new curriculum,
  • Come up with innovative assessments practices that promote critical thinking and problem solving.

Submission requirements

In applying for this award, kindly submit:

  1. A four-page teaching and learning philosophy;
  2. A teaching and learning portfolio of between 8 (minimum) and 11 pages (maximum) (excluding addenda)
  3. Evidence of innovations you have brought about and how they have enhance your ability to connect with learners;
  4. Teaching/Module evaluations for the module – from both students and peers.


1.2 Going the Extra Mile in Teaching and Learning

The extra mile award is for individuals whose teaching and learning transcend and eclipse good teaching practices. Creating an environment in which students are empowered to master particular subject matter is not easy, especially when contact time with students is minimal and student numbers are high. In this category, we invite applicants to share with us the challenges they have faced in helping students to master and apply the content of an academic discipline. Applicants are invited to explain what makes the module they teach challenging, the particular challenges that students face, and how the applicant has gone out of their way – over and above expectations – to create a learning environment that enables students to master and apply the content.

Applicants are required in their Teaching and Learning Portfolio to highlight how their teaching enables students to master a subject to a degree appropriate to the academic discipline they teach and the students’ level – that is, First, Second or Third year, or Honours.

Submission requirements

In applying for this award, please submit the following:

  1. A four-page teaching and learning philosophy;
  2. A teaching and learning portfolio of between 8 (minimum) and 11 pages (maximum) (excluding addenda)
  3. Description of particular challenges related to academic discipline and module;
  4. Discussion of a variety of strategies that addressed the particular challenges and that reflect the diversified nature and learning styles of UJ’s student base;
  5. Evidence of teaching, peer evaluations and going the extra mile strategies. These could include videos of teaching, black board postings, digital media, testimonials, industry awards and responses; and
  6. Suggestions on how “going the extra mile” could become more sustainable.


1.3 Most Promising Young Teacher

The Most Promising Young Teacher Award aims to reward an early career academic, with not more than 5 years of teaching experience. He or she must be at the level of Assistant Lecturer or Lecturer. The following qualities and attributes will be considered when assessing applications for this Award:

  • promise of excellence in teaching;
  • the ability to connect with students;
  • the ability to set a positive example for undergraduate students, in particular;
  • the ability to inspire students with exemplary teaching;
  • he/she must show evidence of meticulous preparation for and dynamic delivery of lectures;
  • the ability to draw on his/her current Master’s or Doctoral research to enrich his/her teaching; and
  • he/she must show evidence of continuous enrichment in the teaching of his/her discipline, through attendance of teaching and learning workshops and seminars

In applying for this award, please submit the following:

  • A Teaching Portfolio of not more than 15 pages (excluding addenda), indicating the applicant’s teaching philosophy and reflective pedagogy;
  • Recent student and peer evaluations of teaching.


1.4 Best Post-Graduate Teacher

The Best Post-graduate Teacher Award is the highest honour awarded to recognise excellent teaching and/or supervision at post-graduate level in the Faculty. Applicants for this category would be expected to:

  • Demonstrates enthusiasm, commitment and excellence in various aspects of teaching at the post-graduate level;
  • Demonstrate teaching that motivates and inspires students to learn more and be independent critical thinkers;
  • Demonstrates excellence in curriculum development, innovation and review – with emphasis on decolonisation and other core objectives of the University.

Applicants must be teaching and supervising students at post-graduate level. This includes Honours or Masters by Coursework teaching and/or supervision, as well as supervision of Masters and doctorate by research.

In applying for this award, please submit the following:

  • Evidence of excellence in teaching or supervision at post-graduate level;
  • A Teaching Portfolio of not more than 15 pages (excluding addenda), indicating the applicant’s teaching philosophy (no more than 4 pages) and reflective pedagogy; and summary of teaching evaluations. The portfolio could also include:
    • Evidence of curriculum development and innovation at post-graduate level;
    • Development of new and innovative courses or programmes at post-graduate level;
    • Track record in successful supervision of post-graduate students to completion;
    • Mentorship of post-graduate students into roles of teaching assistants or tutors.
  • A letter of nomination from Head of Department (optional); and
  • Letters of endorsement of students supervised – both past and present.


1.5 Students’ Choice

For this award category, students are given an opportunity to nominate their best lecturer; who they found inspiring, knowledgeable, approachable and able to break down complex concepts and make them easily accessible for the students’ level. Nominations should be made online at:


Once the student nominations are captured, the lecturers with the most votes are long-listed and invited to submit their applications.

Submission Requirements:

A reflective narrative teaching portfolio of no more than 15 pages (excluding addenda) that includes:

  1. A brief teaching philosophy (no more than 4 pages);
  2. Evidence of enhancing students’ learning experience i.e. what makes your teaching style and learning space appealing to students;
  3. Evidence of engaging with teaching and learning strategies that reflect an understanding of the diversity of the UJ student population;
  4. Evidence of recent peer and student teaching evaluations;
  5. Evidence of the commitment to on-going professional development with regard to teaching and learning and/or learning support; and
  6. Evidence of student commendation i.e. letters and/or email correspondence.


1.6 Departmental Tutor Awards (email dimphot@uj.ac.za for any questions)

The Departmental Tutor Awards acknowledges the role that our tutors are playing in supporting our teaching and learning excellence. Tutoring is an integral part of the UJ Faculty of Humanities’ teaching and learning process. It is designed to improve students’ academic success rates and also to enable students to achieve their professional goals. The qualities of a good tutor include;

Knowledgeable about the topics being taught;
Skilled in reasoning about the contents and methods of the discipline;
Capable of explaining the contents and methods in easily understandable ways;
Able to communicate clearly in dialogues with individuals and groups;
Excellent at facilitating group work;
Capable of using innovative approaches to tutoring (including methods and examples used);
Capable and willing to establish collegial working relationships with students, lecturers, and fellow tutors;
Has attended the prerequisite training (departmental and Unit for Tutor Development).
Submission requirements – please submit to your department’s tutor coordinator

i) One page (300 words) by tutors on their approach to, and perspective on tutoring(compulsory)

ii) The results of a tutor evaluation questionnaire, filled in by the tutor’s tutees (compulsory)

iii) Peer review by a fellow tutor (compulsory) Peer review form

iv) A lecturer’s review of the tutor’s performance during a tutorial (optional) (to be done on a peer review form)

Awards Process for Tutor Awards

The Faculty of Humanities will provide awards to each Department for TWO Best Tutor Awards in two categories: ‘Most innovative tutor’ and ‘Achievement in tutoring’.

The HoDs and tutor co-ordinators in every department are expected to:

take responsibility for the awards process;
invite and encourage all tutors to apply;
assist the tutors to assemble the required documentation, which can date back to the first semester
present a shortlist of candidates to a full departmental meeting for a decision.

Download form