June 13, 2018

Online Teaching Excellence

Notice: We are monitoring the Covid-19 situation as it evolves.  At this time, the award ceremony has been postponed until further notice. We will continue to post any changes to the ceremony here.  Please visit www2.gmu.edu/coronavirus for University updates.

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.

2020 Nomination Deadline Extended to December 5, 2019

Method: Nominations should be in the form of a 2-3 paragraph support letter that briefly addresses how the faculty member demonstrates online teaching excellence. In your letter, please share reasons why your nominee deserves the Online Teaching Excellence Award.  Self-nominations will NOT be accepted.

You should  email your Nomination Letters to: The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning at stearns@gmu.edu.

OTEA Portfolio Requirement & Criteria:

Each OTEA Nominee will be asked to prepare a teaching portfolio. The teaching portfolio provides each nominee an opportunity to share evidence for what is unique about their online teaching, in relation to the  discipline, best teaching practices, and most of all, student learning & engagement. Teaching Portfolio Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria may be accessed here.

The Stearns Center–Digital Learning will provide each nominee with details & guidance for preparing the OTEA teaching portfolio.  Nominees are also encouraged to submit (or supplement) their teaching portfolios in an alternative (i.e., innovative) format, if they wish. Alternative formats may include a video, multimedia presentation, or digital portfolio.

The OTEA Selection Committee will use four criteria to evaluate evidence of online teaching excellence documented in the OTEA teaching portfolio:

  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

The Selection Process:

  1. Deadline for nominations: December 5, 2019.
  2. Nominees will be contacted in December 2019, and provided guidance about preparing their online teaching portfolio.
  3. Finalists will submit  teaching portfolios in February 2020.
  4. The Online Teaching Excellence Award winners will be selected by early April.
  5. 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