Faculty Certificate in Instructional Innovation

Open to all faculty at Georgia State University, the Faculty Certificate in Instructional Innovation testifies that the awardee is an innovative, risk-taking, evidence-based instructor who demonstrates superlative skills both as a teacher and as a student of learning.


If you are interested in earning a Certificate of Excellence in College Teaching please contact Dr. Harry Dangel (hdangel@gsu.edu) or Dr.Jennifer Thomson Hall (jenniferhall@gsu.edu) at the Center for Instructional Effectiveness.

Selection Criteria

If you plan to pursue this certificate, remember to emphasize student achievement as evidence of successful instructional practices. It’s not how hard you teach but how much they learn that matters. In addition to student achievement you may also want to indicate how you saved students money (by perhaps replacing an expensive textbook with free or nearly free online materials) or improved a pass rate or otherwise contributed to an improvement in retention and progression.


To apply for the certification, a faculty member must submit to the Center for Instructional Innovation an electronic portfolio consisting of, but not limited to, the following:

  • Sample Assignments From at least 3 different classes. At least one example from any four of the following, but you might include more samples and different ones than thoselisted here.
  • Your goal is to demonstrate that the assignments you ask your students to accomplish are creative, based in contemporary communication practices, and authentic.
  • A group project that allows students to collaborate online.
  • An online peer review process.
  • New media assignments, something that has students incorporate audio, video, graphics and text or some appropriate mixture to accomplish a contemporary discipline based practice.
  • A rubric and an explanation of why you designed it the way you did as well as the assignment(s) it is used to measure. Include a sample of student work that exemplifies each strata (if the rubric is a Likert scale of 1 to 4, offer 4 samples of student work).
  • A sample of feedback you’ve offered on student work – this might be anything from marginalia to a letter to a voice over audio track or a screen cast.
  • (Optional) A service learning or community based project that has students working with people outside the university on discipline related but not specifically academic work.

Sample instructional aids

Again from at least 3 different classes. At least one example from any four of the following, but you might include more samples and different ones than those listed here.

  • Slides, demonstrating appropriate understanding of the media (more images, less text.) – PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, or whatever the next tool is.
  • Voice over is optional, but a viewer should learn something in particular from the slide deck and know what that particular lesson is.
  • Micro video lectures or audio casts.
  • Screen cast explanations of technical practices.
  • A self-assessed prior knowledge test. The student gets instant feedback as he or she answers questions online and you get the final score.
  • Digital archive.
  • Electronic textbook, an HTML 5 website or a digital resource like what IAuthor and its ilk can produce.
  • A scholarship of teaching and learning project
  • While a publication in a discipline-based teaching journal would be the gold standard for this section, you can simply provide the research findings from an instructional method you applied in a class in order to affect a specific change in student behavior or ability demonstrated by student outcome. In other words, a document that shows that you did X in order to accomplish Y and the student work that came back indicated some measurable level of Y.

Non-Electronic Innovations

Included here might be such things as graduate student or faculty training efforts, peer tutoring arrangements, anything that might demonstrably reduce the cost of a given class, improve retention and progression, or in some way demonstrably enhance student engagement.

  • Discussion of your student evaluations
  • The numbers but also what you make of them and why.
  • Your teaching philosophy
  • A letter from your chair endorsing your application

Presentation of Certificate

Certificates will be presented at the Annual Instructional Innovation Conference each April. Applicants are encouraged to work with the Center as they develop their materials for submission. The requirements listed below may strike you as daunting and they certainly are rigorous but the Center will be happy to help you work through it. Even if you don’t want to work through the whole certificate, we can help you build a teaching portfolio.

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Creating Online Instructional Co...
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