Online Teaching Excellence Award

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning is pleased to announce the Online Teaching Excellence Award (OTEA), sponsored by Digital Learning, which will be awarded for the first time in spring 2018. The OTEA is both institutional recognition and a monetary acknowledgement of the significant work that Mason faculty members devote to innovative online course planning and teaching. The Stearns Center encourages Mason students, faculty members, and administrators to take this opportunity to recognize online teaching excellence by nominating a faculty member for this special honor!

The deadline for nominations has passed.

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 (Fall 2016 – Summer 2017), and who also have at least 4 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 or online course awards (Office of Digital Learning) may be nominated and considered for the OTEA so long as they meet eligibility requirements.

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

This table provides possible examples of evidence for online teaching excellence.

Timeline for the 2018 Online Teaching Excellence Award

  1. Nominations will be accepted through Wednesday, December 6, 2017.
  2. Eligible nominees will be invited to next stage of the selection process by Wednesday, December 21, 2017.
  3. Eligible nominees may participate in an optional Teaching Portfolio workshop or webinar in mid-January 2018.
  4. Eligible nominees will provide a teaching portfolio by Friday, February 9, 2018.
  5. The Online Teaching Excellence Award winner will be selected & announced by the end of March 2018.
  6. A ceremony to honor the 2018 Teaching Excellence Award winners, including the Online Teaching Excellence Award winner, will be held in April 2018.


If you have questions or would like further information, please contact Dr. Darlene Smucny, Assistant Director for Digital Learning, at or 703-993-1907

2017 Digital Learning Award Winner

Dr. Korey Singleton, Manager of the Assistive Technology Initiative of Compliance, Diversity and Ethics

Digital Learning is pleased to honor Dr. Korey Singleton, Manager of the Assistive Technology Initiative (ATI) of Compliance, Diversity and Ethics, with the 2017 Digital Learning Award. The Digital Learning Award is given to an administrator or staff member whose efforts support quality in online education at Mason.  Dr. Korey Singleton and his Assistive Technology Initiative (ATI) team work to make Mason’s extensive educational materials accessible to those with disabilities, and for all learners taking online courses, as well.

Dr. Korey Singleton (left), winner of the 2017 Digital Learning Award, with Dr. Stephen Nodine (right), Director for Digital Learning.

Korey and his team have long partnered with Digital Learning, our Instructional Design Team, and with Mason faculty teaching online, to improve and ensure accessibility of online courses at Mason. Korey and his team regularly conduct accessibility checks as part of Digital Learning’s online course reviews; assist faculty with guidance for accessible videos and online course materials; and share expertise about accessibility with faculty participants in Online Course Development Institute (OCDI) and Online Faculty Learning Community. Korey also consults with Digital Learning’s instructional design team and with instructional designers across campus, providing them with guidance about online course accessibility.

Korey has truly been a champion for designing and building accessible, quality online courses at Mason, serving the needs of all learners.

Previous Winners

Learn more about teaching online

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