Octal Awards

VC’s Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning - OCTAL Awards 


Who makes a difference?

Nominate an individual or team for a teaching award

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The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning (OCTAL) are presented each year to staff members who have made major contributions to teaching and learning excellence within the University of Wollongong.

Alongside the overall OCTAL, a series of specific category awards for teaching and learning are also presented that recognise staff commitment, achievement and contribution to the University’s exceptional learning and student experience.

Category Awards

  Faculty Award Faculty Early Career Award Faculty Sessional Award*
Vice-Chancellor’s University OCTAL Award One overall award for UOW
Faculty of Business 1 1 1
Faculty of EIS 1 1 1
Faculty of SMAH 1 1 1
Faculty of Social Sciences 1 1 1
Faculty of LHA 1 1 1
DVC(A) Portfolio 1 1 1
UOW Dubai 1 1 1
UOW College 1 1 1
Across All Faculties and Units 2 x Program that Enhances Learning Award
Across All Faculties and Units 1 x Professional Services Staff Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning

*Sessional includes: sessional lecturer, tutor, demonstrator

Application Process for Successful Nominees


1. Nomination and Recognition

Individuals or teams with two or more valid nominations and an endorsement from their Faculty or Division will receive a DVCA Recognition of Learning and Teaching. This certificate marks strong learning and teaching practice and will be provided to each Faculty for dissemination.

Nominees will also be invited to develop and submit an application for an OCTAL, that demonstrates their contribution to student learning. Applications take the form of a portfolio and provide a strong scaffold for future award submissions in the national space.

Nominations are valid for up to five years, with consideration of career breaks.

2. Information Session/workshop

OCTAL information sessions are open to all staff.

  • 2019 dates are listed below

Register for sessions here.

View the LTC Professional Development Calendar for a complete list of all learning and teaching events.

3. Acceptance Form

Nominees wishing to engage in the OCTAL application process are asked to signify their intent to submit an application by completing the Nominee's Acceptance Form.

This will ensure that you are provided with support during the application process. However, it is understood that this acceptance does not commit you to the submission of an application.

4. About the Application Process

Nominees wishing to be considered for an OCTAL Award must complete a portfolio addressing the selection criteria. Portfolios should also include a completed and signed Application Form. The next round of portfolios are due 5 February 2020.

There are a range of awards for academic, sessional and professional staff. All applicants should consult the Application Instructions and Support for Applicants documents below.

Where might you find support?

  • Past successful portfolios are available for viewing. Contact the Recognition Programs Coordinators to arrange a suitable time
  • Work through the above Support for Applicants documents to help think through each criterion, your case, evidence and support materials
  • Consider chatting with a past OCTAL Award Recipient about their experiences and what advice they may have to share
  • Think about talking to a WATTLE member or a member of the assessment panel
5. Checklist

There are a number of application components that must be included in your portfolio for submission. Use the Applicant Checklist to ensure that you have included all the necessary components and adhered to the page limits. Any additional information and pages will be removed prior to assessment.

6. References and Head of Unit/Course Coordinator Report

Applicants are required to include two references as part of their portfolio submission. Referees can be internal or external to UOW and should be provided by people who are able to comment on your performance against the selection criteria.

References should be one single A4 page on official company letter head and signed. 

Head of Unit/Course Coordinator Report:
Applicants are required to include one report from their Head – this may be a Head of Unit/Faculty/School. For sessional staff, this may be provided by your Course Coordinator. 

NOTE: Your Head’s Report may be used as a second reference.  E.g. you may choose to submit two references and one Head’s Report OR one reference and one Head’s Report.

The Head’s Report Template should be used.

7. Submission

Applicants should merge all the application components into one PDF document. Email your PDF portfolio submission (including your Application Form) to grants-awards@uow.edu.au prior to 5 February 2020.

8. Assessment, Outcomes and Recipients

Applications are assessed in February/March by the Internal Teaching Review Panel.

Applicants are advised of the outcome of their submission in April.

Award recipients are celebrated at the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards Ceremony in August.


Key Dates

Friday, 24th May 2019

2020 Online nominations closed 

Thursday, 27 June 2019 (12.30pm - 1.30pm)

Information workshop for interested applicants 

Tuesday, 9 July 2019 (12.30pm - 1.30pm)

Information workshop for interested applicants 

Wednesday, 24 July 2019 (12.30pm - 1.30pm)

Information workshop for interested applicants 

Friday, 13 September 2019

Acceptance Form due 

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Applications due 



Forms and Resources


2019 OCTAL Awards - Nominee Acceptance Form 

2019 OCTAL Awards – Application Form 


OCTAL Awards – Report Template (Head of Unit/Course Coordinator) 


2019 OCTAL Awards – Application Instructions 

OCTAL Awards – Support for Applicants, Standard Criteria

OCTAL Awards - Support for Applicants, Sessional Criteria

OCTAL Awards - Support for Applicants, Program Criteria

Octal Awards – Applicant Checklist 

OCTAL Awards – Past Recipients 


2018 OCTAL Awards – Report  

2017 OCTAL Awards – Report  

2016 OCTAL Awards – Report  

2015 OCTAL Awards – Report  



For all Reward and Recognition enquiries, please contact the LTC Programs Coordinators.

Phone: 02 4221 5012 and 02 4221 5456

Email: grants-awards@uow.edu.au


Last reviewed: 20 February, 2019