In 1992, shortly after developing the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), Dr. Dorothy Frayer, then-associate provost and CTE director, established the Creative Teaching Awards to recognize creative teaching efforts at the University. This year’s Celebration of Teaching Excellence will mark its 20th anniversary at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, in the Power Center Ballroom. The campus community is welcome to attend.
“I thought about the fact that Duquesne had only one teaching award at the time and that it did not specifically focus on active learning,” Frayer explained. “Therefore, it probably did not provide an incentive for faculty—especially those who were not yet tenured, to attempt active forms of learning. My idea was to initiate awards specifically designated for creative teaching.”
Frayer shared her idea with then-Provost Mike Weber, who approved the funding for up to four awards per year in the amount of $500 each. “From there, things blossomed,” said Frayer, who retired from the CTE in 2005.
According to Frayer, the awards began to serve as a teaching vehicle for educators. If a promising submission is received but is not chosen for an award due to inadequate evidence for learning, that faculty member is encouraged to re-submit the following year. The CTE offers assistance to help further develop a sound plan for learning assessment. Many faculty often re-submit and receive the award. “I think that this was a subtle but important outcome of the awards,” Frayer said. “It actually led to faculty developing projects with sound evaluation that were publishable.”
Laurel Willingham-McLain, director of the CTE, has overseen the Creative Teaching Awards since 2005. “Dorothy had incredible foresight in the way she established the award,” said Willingham-McLain. “The only thing that has changed is that the quality of faculty submissions gets higher and higher each year.”
Past winners from across the University form the evaluation committee, which selects the winners. To date, 84 faculty have received the award, often in collaborations of two to three faculty members. These collaborative initiatives are usually within a school, but may cross school boundaries.
“I believe the awards helped develop a cadre of faculty who, by then, were already attuned to the idea of learning assessment,” said Frayer. “Another outcome is that the awards have sometimes motivated faculty to try new approaches to teaching and share them with others.”
Grants Received [July 1, 2015]
Funds totaling $402,034 were awarded to the Gumberg Library, the School of Nursing, the Mylan School of Pharmacy, the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, and the School of Law.
Faculty & Staff Spotlight [July 1, 2015]
What have Drs. Janet Astle and Laurel Willingham-McLain been up to?
DU in the News [June 2015]
News coverage highlighting Duquesne’s experts and initiatives.
- Grants Received [July 1, 2015]
New Crowdfunding, Urban Plunge Initiatives Boost Cross-Cultural Missions
While Spring Break provides an opportunity for students to vacation or stay home for relaxation, 65 Duquesne students and staff will take this time to embark on Cross-Cultural Mission Experiences (CCME) that will impact six different areas in the country.
- New Crowdfunding, Urban Plunge Initiatives Boost Cross-Cultural Missions