June 13, 2018

Online Teaching Excellence

Outstanding teaching is an integral part of Mason’s mission and is deserving of significant recognition. The Online Teaching Excellence Award (OTEA) is both institutional recognition and a monetary acknowledgment of the significant work that Mason faculty members devote to innovative online course planning and teaching. We encourage Mason students, faculty members, and administrators to take this opportunity to recognize online teaching excellence by nominating a faculty member for this special honor.

Nomination Process:

The OTEA is open to all instructional faculty at Mason (adjuncts, term, tenure-track, and tenured faculty) who have taught at least one fully online course during the past academic year, and who also have at least four semesters of teaching fully online courses at Mason. The semesters of online teaching do not need to be consecutive, and faculty also do not need to teach exclusively online to be eligible for the OTEA.

Past winners of teaching awards (Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence) or faculty of online course awards (Office of Digital Learning) may be nominated and considered for the OTEA so long as they meet eligibility requirements.

Nomination Deadline: December 5.

Method: Nominations should be in the form of a 2-3 paragraph support letter that briefly addresses how the faculty member meets the criteria for online teaching excellence. Please indicate the following criteria in which your nominee demonstrates the strongest evidence for online teaching excellence, and describe the specific evidence in your letter.

  1. Growth and development as an online educator
  2. Online student and learner engagement
  3. Assessment of online student learning and achievement
  4. Online teaching effectiveness and impact

You may submit online through the OTEA Nomination Portal or email your Nomination Letters to: The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning at stearns@gmu.edu.


Submissions will be evaluated according to the following guidelines:

For more assistance, please see our suggestions on Documenting Your Teaching.

The Selection Process:

  1. Nominations will be accepted through December 5.
  2. Finalists will provide a condensed teaching portfolio by February.
  3. The Online Teaching Excellence Award winners will be selected by early April.
  4. A ceremony will honor the Online Teaching Excellence Award winners in April. Winners receive a stipend (subject to taxes).


If you have questions or would like further information, please contact us at stearns@gmu.edu or 703-993-6200.

  Online Teaching Excellence Award Winners