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 completed 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 TEA or Adjunct TEA recognition 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.

2024 Nomination Deadline: Friday, December 1, 2023

Method: Please use our online form for your nomination.

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 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. Nominees will be contacted in December, and provided guidance about preparing their online teaching portfolio.
  2. Finalists will submit  teaching portfolios in February.
  3. The Online Teaching Excellence Award winners will be selected by early April.
  4. Our recognition ceremony for all our award winners, either in-person or online, will be in April. Winners receive a stipend as well as formal recognition; Teachers of Distinction will also be recognized at this ceremony.


If you have questions or would like further information, please contact us at

  Online Teaching Excellence Award Winners