Innovation projects and awards to university teaching quality: to what extent do they contribute to institutional development of teaching?

Mònica Feixas

One of the strategic lines of action at the majority of universities, if not at all, is identified with the teaching transformation of university learning, which usually takes the form of calls aimed at driving teaching innovation projects. Furthermore, innovative teaching ideas and excellent learning solutions at many universities are acclaimed and showcased annually with a teaching award. Even though the teaching transformation at the university has more facets, the policies implementing innovation and awarding quality have meant a unique opportunity for academic staff to decide to drive their teaching concepts and curricula to decide to introduce innovative endeavours.

The paper seeks to answer the following questions: Are teaching innovation projects and awards for educational excellence changing the perception of the importance of university teaching? Do the current calls for prizes and innovation projects foster a “scholarship of teaching and learning”? What impact do those calls have on individual teaching development and on institutional development? Which instruments do the policies that develop and award teaching quality use? How do they facilitate the success of the transformative and educational concepts of the academic staff and for their impetus to be sustained in time?