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Bright Idea Award

In an attempt to encourage more faculty and especially newer faculty to present their effective teaching ideas at the annual Teaching and Leaning Poster Day and to submit an abstract the Center’s annual edition of Document of Innovations, the Teaching and Learning Center is awarding one or more Bright Idea Awards.

Description of the award:

  • This award is for bright innovative ideas about how to teach better, both in traditional classes, online environments, and in experiential settings.
  • Unlike the Leahy Award, this award can be for a small innovation such as a different type of peer evaluation or a new assignment.


  • All full-time, adjunct and part-time faculty are eligible through submitting an abstract and presenting a poster.
  • The same project cannot be considered for both the Leahy award and the Bright Idea award in the same year.  It is hoped that Bright Idea Award winner(s), will go on to submit for the Leahy award once they collected assessment data or implemented their innovation another time.
  • Anyone who submits a poster and abstract will be considered.
  • Individuals may submit for both a Leahy and a Bright Idea for different ideas.

Selection Criteria:

  • An original idea or an adaptation of an idea tried elsewhere that seems to work with our students.
  • An insightful reflection on why this innovation works with our students.
  • An idea that can be sustained in future classes, adapted to other classed by this instructor or other instructors.
  • A clear description of the innovation
  • Assessment data is not necessary to be considered.


Judges Scoring Rubrics for the Bright Idea Award

Component 1 - lowest rating 2 3 4 - highest rating
How innovative is the idea for the discipline and type of course. Not at all innovative. Somewhat innovative in scope. Is an innovative idea, but may not have any further applications within this course or elsewhere. Is a brilliant idea that will be maintained, or could be adapted to other courses or situations.
Description of what was done including 1)goals,
2) implementaion,
3) reflection on why it is working, and
4) student reaction
Description is unclear or incomplete. Descripion includes less than half of the aspects listed in the selection criteria or less than half are clear. Clearly describes 2-3 aspects listed in the selection criteria, a few are not clear. Very clearly describes all four of the aspects listed in on the left.
Analysis of how the innovation will continue. Innovation will not be continued. Shows limited insight into how it will improved. Some insights into why and how it can be imrproved. Good analysis of how it might be improved in the future.
Clarity of the entire submission (the writen documents and the poster presentations.) Entire submission lacks clarity. Either the poster or the absract is clear, but the other one is not clear. Description is clear and understandable. Description is extremely clear. Readers or attendees at the session can understand the idea easily without clarificaton.

Deadline for submission: The First Friday in April

Possibilities for Judges for the award:

  • The Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee and Department Chairs and Deans are the judges provided they did not submit a poster to be considered for the award.

Announcement of the award:

  • We strive to give 2-3 Bright Idea Awards per year.
  • Winners will be announced at the annual Faculty Council Luncheon in June.
  • The prize would be a book on teaching in higher education and a trophy like object.
  • Please complete the form, electronically that may be found at
    Bright Idea Innovation
  • If you do not receive a thank you it did not go through. You can always confirm with Mary Rafferty that she received it.
2007 Winners for Bright Idea Award
  • Christine Flanagan - Living Legacy Project
  • Alison Mostrom - Using Conceptual Diagrams/Maps Promote Deep and Meaningful
  • Dave Pauley - Huddles
2008 Winners for Bright Idea Award
  • Bernard Brunner - Newton’s Third Law As A Vehicle for Promoting Critical Thinking
  • Christine Flanagan - The Experiential Text in General Education
  • Jason Porter, Alison Mostrom, Catherine Purzycki, Kevin Wolbach, Eva Agbada and Leslie Bowman - Learning to SMILE: Developing First Year Students’ Critical Thinking Skills using an Angel Based Scientific Method and Information Literacy Exercise
2009 Winners for Bright Idea Award
  • Cristina Hanganu-Bresch - Wiki Article on Scientific Controversies
  • Laura McCluggage - Jigsaw Teaching in a Large Class
  • Karen J. Tietze - Building Pharmacy Student Cultural Competency Through Learner-Centered Teaching
  • Gregory Thielman, Susan Wainwright - Development and Integration of Learning Portfolios Across a Curriculum
2010 Winners for Bright Idea Award
  • Jomy George, Trent Towne - The Amazing Race: An Adventure Trent Infectious Disease Pharmacotherapy
  • Lindsay Palkovic - Clinical Pharmacy in the Classroom: Use of Simulated Patient Chart and
    Hospital Room
2011 Winners for Bright Idea Award
  • Michael J. Cawley, Lindsay Palkovic, Laura Finn - Impact of Computer Based
    Simulation on Learning Objectives in Mannequin Based Simulation
  • Grace Earl - Evaluating the Quality of Online Discussion Forum Posts to Improve
    Teaching Methods that Promote Critical Thinking in Preprofessional Students
  • Lora Packel - The Impact of Hearing Versus Seeing Feedback on Written Assignments
2012 Winners for Bright Idea Award
  • Wendy W. Fox - "OMG! I'm in the clinic" - A Laboratory Simulation Experience Aimed at Developing Student Skills in Critical Thinking and Professional Identification as Precursors to Clinical Competence
  • Vandana Ahuja Miller - Peer Review Process: An instrument to develop students' critical thinking
  • Karen J. Tietze - Multiple Intelligence's Theory as a Guide for Increasing the Variety of Active Learning Activities in a Large Required Pharmacy Course




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