COVID Transformational Online Instruction Contributions (TONIC) Awards

UT faculty and staff have demonstrated extraordinary creativity in their rapid innovation and transformation of hybrid and online instruction. In recognition of the impact of these efforts, we are announcing the COVID Transformational Online Instruction Contributions Awards.

The transformation of how we teach — and how our students learn — will extend beyond the pandemic. The university wants to recognize the importance of these contributions through these awards.

In this regard, we specifically want to acknowledge the impressive efforts of our professional (non-tenure-track) instructional faculty and staff. These awards are intended to reward innovation and excellence through the creation of impressive pedagogical resources, systems or programs for the transformation of online instruction in response to COVID-19. Pedagogical resources might include, for example:

  • instructional supports
  • systems or processes
  • contributions that might be operationalized as pedagogical hardware or software solutions, etc.

The contribution should be broadly impactful (beyond use by a single instructor or program) and should exhibit exceptional innovation with long-lasting influence. The contribution should also support enhanced student engagement and community while maintaining inclusive and equitable access for all learners.

Professional (non-tenure-track) instructional faculty and academic instructional staff of any title or rank are eligible for these awards. Dell Medical School faculty and staff are not eligible

$1,000 for each COVID-19 Transformational Online Instruction Contribution Award. Recipients of the award will be invited to participate in a panel presentation for the Faculty Innovation Center’s Technology-Enhanced Learning Symposium in May, 2021.

  • March 1, 2021. 5pm CST – Applications due
  • April 16 – Notifications distributed

Application Information

These awards are designed to reward innovation and excellence in the creation of impressive pedagogical resources, systems or programs for the transformation of online instruction. The contribution should be broadly impactful (beyond use by a single faculty member or program) and should exhibit exceptional innovation with long-lasting influence. The contribution should also support enhanced student engagement and community while maintaining inclusive and equitable access for all learners.

Each College / School will select their award recipients.

All nominees must submit the following application materials:

  • Candidate’s statement (2 pages, maximum)
  • Optional Supplement (1 page, maximum) of figures and tables
  • Up to two letters of support (2 pages, maximum for each letter)

The candidate’s statement (2 pages, maximum) should describe:

  • The transformational online instruction contribution,
  • Who was impacted by the contribution and how,
  • How the contribution supports enhanced student engagement and community while maintaining inclusive and equitable access for all users, and
  • Addresses how the contribution created by the candidate:
    • Exemplifies high-quality pedagogical approaches that leverage the potential of digital interactions for cultivating new communities, academic technologies for online instruction and learning,
    • Encourages the adoption of inclusive practices that seek to address or overcome inequities, foster empathy, and encourage student resilience, and
    • Has the potential to be or has already been widely adopted with long-lasting influence by other instructors or colleagues at UT.

The application can include an optional 1-page supplement that includes additional figures or tables. And note that while the candidate’s statement can include links to sample online resources or content, the statement itself should contain sufficient description and details.

Up to two letters of support from individuals or groups of individuals (students, staff, faculty) familiar with the contribution and its impact can be included.

  • The letters of support should address the same points as listed above detailing the focus of the candidate’s statement, and
  • Each letter of support cannot be longer than 2 pages.

The application system will prompt the applicant for the email addresses of the two individuals contributing their letters of support. The system will then automatically request the letters from the letter-writers.

Please submit letters by Monday, March 8th, if possible but no later than March 11th
Important Dates

Application Closed on March 8, 2021 at 5pm CST

Please submit letters of support by March 8, 2021 and no later than March 11

Notifications Distributed:
April 16, 2021