We are now accepting nominations for the 2021 Exemplary Online Awards. All of the courses submitted during 2021 will be eligible for the awards presented at the Interface Conference in 2022. We have 3 submission cohorts each semester and you can fill out the nomination form in any of the cohorts; however, submitting early will give you a chance to address standards and make improvements based on reviewer’s feedback before the award eligibility window closes. Visit the Request an Online Course Review page for the list of cohorts and details about the steps in the process.


Submitting Your Nomination

If you are ready to start and submit an Exemplary Online Award nomination, complete the nomination form (also known as the self-review) in ProposalSpace and provide the items listed below.

A complete nomination includes:

  • Exemplary Online Awards Nomination Form
    • Instructor information: name, contact information, UFID
    • Course information: title, prefix and number, class number, and term and year
    • Home page URL for the nominated course in the course delivery system (Canvas or other)
    • Facilitator permission for CTE staff so QA reviewers can be given access the nominated course site
    • Course teaching assistants, collaborators and production personnel (if applicable)
    • Brief narratives and URLs for each of the Specific Review Standards
    • Selected nomination categories (see below)
    • Descriptions of the exemplary or innovative aspects of the course along with URLs linking to examples within the course
    • Student evaluations (GatorRater.csv, GatorEvals or Excel file) including comments from the nominated term
      • Include the course prefix and number in the filename
    • Reflection on the student evaluations — what worked well and plans for improvement

Please Note:

  • Submissions that are incomplete will be removed from award consideration.
  • Documents must be uploaded within the ProposalSpace nomination form.
  • Documents that are emailed will not be accepted.

Award Categories

Awards will be presented at the annual Interface Conference. Award recipients may be invited to share the exemplary or innovative practices used in the course at this event. In addition, a multimedia presentation will be created to showcase each course receiving the award and made available through the teach.ufl.edu website.

Pathways Online Course Review Awards

Courses submitted through the Pathways Online Course Review Process can be nominated for one of the following categories:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategies

In alignment with the UF goals for The Decade Ahead, engagement in courses nominated for this category award reflect the breadth of thought essential for preeminence. A course should exemplify outstanding practices in providing students with instruction in diverse and robust educational and interdisciplinary areas of excellence that include:

  • Inclusive online teaching reflected through course content that authentically represents the various identities, backgrounds, and life experiences of students.
  • An instructor team that invests in getting to know students and demonstrates an awareness of multicultural issues that impact students within and outside the classroom experience and responds appropriately.
  • Course modules, assignments, and assessments that challenge students to grow in their own understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.
Global Learning Experiences

Increasing globalization to enhance student effectiveness as world citizens can extend to teaching and learning in online courses. For this category award, the instructor team intentionally weaves in content knowledge from various global perspectives through:

  • Providing diverse course materials that accurately represent various cultures, locations, and backgrounds. Course materials are relevant to instruction.
  • Including carefully crafted assignments and assessments such as virtual exchange, global scholar portfolios, and/or capstone collaborative projects to increase global perspective.
Imaginative or Innovative Approach

Creative, Courageously Curious, Collaborative, Connected. These are just a few words that describe courses that embrace imaginative and innovative approaches to online course design and teaching.

  • Creativity in the course is reflected through original, inventive, unconventional, or trailblazing instructional approaches that may not have been applied in a particular context before. The instructor finds and embraces novel ways to help students engage with the course’s content. Differentiated instruction that meets students’ diverse needs is evident.
  • Collaboration is evident in how the instructor helps students develop a common vision. They don’t just give group assignments, but designs group projects in ways that brought forth students’ diverse expertise while engaging in innovative processes that enhance outcomes for all learners.
  • The instructor encourages students to embrace curiosity while learning. Mistakes are not treated as failures; instead, they are used as learning opportunities for students to grow and correct misconceptions. The instructor courageously takes risks in their own learning as well as their teaching and welcomes feedback from students.
  • The instructor demonstrates a connection to the changing world around them and the needs of their students. When possible, they nurture partnerships & craft experiences that lead to higher levels of content acquisition and career relevance. These connections can be digital, community-centered, and/or oriented toward professional development in their respective field(s).
Instructional Strategy

As we all know, there isn’t one single path to creating and delivering great online instruction. We believe these research-supported characteristics are generally represented within outstanding online courses and should be in evident in any course nominated for the Instructional Strategy category award:

  • Clear goals and intellectual challenge – The instructor articulates clear course goals, provides students with clear expectations, and sets high standards for students and the course. Goals and expectations are provided in text and included within course materials.
  • Interest and explanation – The instructor shares their passion for the course topics and couples this enthusiasm with relevant materials and activities that help students understand the course content. This requires knowing what students understand and then connecting it with new information.
  • Concern and respect for students and student learning – The Instructor makes the content accessible to and achievable for students while maintaining high standards. The instructor shows concern and care for students and their ability to successfully complete the course. The instructor provides an avenue for students to contact them in the event the student has an issue or concern.
  • Independence, control and active engagement – The course includes challenging learning tasks appropriate to the students’ level of understanding.
  • Appropriate assessment and feedback – The instructor offers varied and authentic assessments that give students the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of course content. High-stakes and high-stress exams that focus on memorization are avoided. The instructor regularly provides quality feedback to motivate students to learn.
Large Enrollment Strategies

In large enrollment courses, it is imperative that the instructor team develops unique strategies that help students engage with the content and each other. The following characteristics are present in a course nominated for Large Enrollment Strategies when the instructor team develops and implements creative strategies to help a large class feel like a small learning community.

  • The instructor team builds a sense of community and shared purpose and increases the perception and value of students’ individual contributions.
  • The instructor team establishes a virtual presence and interacts with students throughout the course. They are present and active members of the learning community.
  • The instructor team employs tried-and-true and unique strategies and techniques to encourage student engagement in the course.
Learner Satisfaction

Instructional effectiveness for students in a course nominated for the Learner Satisfaction category is not taken for granted. The instructor sees the relationship between teaching and learning and is open to change. The instructor tries to find out what effects instruction has on learning and makes plans to appropriately modify the course in the light of student evaluation data. When providing student evaluation data, highlight student feedback that indicates:

  • The instructor was prepared and present in the course.
  • The instructor shared their enthusiasm and appeared to genuinely enjoy not only the topic but teaching the topic.
  • The course had a clear learning path and clear directions.
  • The instructor team was responsive and engaged.
  • Students felt a sense of belonging and community in the course which engendered feelings of being a part of the campus community and a commitment toward the institution.
  • Students felt the course was worth their time and they can indicate how their knowledge and understanding have grown as a result of taking the course.
Quality of Course Materials

Relevant, organized, and quality instructional materials are vital to any online course. In a course nominated for this category, materials are used effectively to help students achieve course, module, and unit goals.

  • The course has an organized structure and uses items like modules and pages to incorporate learning materials into a consistent flow of course information.
  • The course includes a logical filing system for documents and resources.
  • Course materials are current, relevant to course topics, and the instructor provides context for how & why each course material is applicable to learning.
  • The difference between required and optional materials is clearly designated.
  • Production value for instructor-generated materials meets minimum standards of quality for grammar, visual design, and functionality.
  • All course components are as accessible as possible, and the Ally Report score is higher than 85%.
  • Course materials that are not instructor-generated are properly furnished, follow copyright and licensing guidelines, and are appropriately cited.
  • All hyperlinks work.
Student Engagement

The instructor cultivates a sense of community among course participants and demonstrates compassion. Students feel their instructor cares about them and their learning. Students feel motivated to learn and actively engage with the instructor and their peers.

  • The instructor provides guided options that give students choice in how they would like to learn the material.
  • The instructor allows students to choose how to demonstrate what they learned.
  • The instructor inspires students to think critically about the course content.
  • The instructor team creates an environment that allows exploration and multiple “right” answer choices.
  • The course includes peer mentoring or peer feedback opportunities.
  • The instructor team intentionally creates an inclusive course setting.

Fast Track Online Course Review Awards

Courses submitted through the Fast Track Online Course Review Process can be nominated for one of the following categories:

Innovative Teaching Approach

Creative, Courageously Curious, Collaborative, Connected. These are just a few words that describe courses that embrace imaginative and innovative approaches to online course design and teaching.

  • Creativity in the course is reflected through original, inventive, unconventional, or trailblazing instructional approaches that may not have been applied in a particular context before. The instructor finds and embraces novel ways to help students engage with the course’s content. Differentiated instruction that meets students’ diverse needs is evident.
  • Collaboration is evident in how the instructor helps students develop a common vision. They don’t just give group assignments, but designs group projects in ways that brought forth students’ diverse expertise while engaging in innovative processes that enhance outcomes for all learners.
  • The instructor encourages students to embrace curiosity while learning. Mistakes are not treated as failures; instead, they are used as learning opportunities for students to grow and correct misconceptions. The instructor courageously takes risks in their own learning as well as their teaching and welcomes feedback from students.
  • The instructor demonstrates a connection to the changing world around them and the needs of their students. When possible, they nurture partnerships & craft experiences that lead to higher levels of content acquisition and career relevance. These connections can be digital, community-centered, and/or oriented toward professional development in their respective field(s).
Outstanding Learning Experience

Instructional effectiveness for students in this course is not taken for granted. The instructor sees the relationship between teaching and learning and is open to change. The instructor tries to find out what effects instruction has on learning and plans for appropriately modifying the course in the light of student evaluation data. When examining student evaluation data, look for student feedback that alludes to:

  • The instructor was prepared and present in the course.
  • The instructor shared their enthusiasm and appeared to genuinely enjoy not only the topic but teaching the topic.
  • The course had a clear learning path and clear directions.
  • The instructor team was responsive and engaged.
  • Students felt a sense of belonging and community in the course which engendered feelings of being a part of the campus community and a commitment toward the institution.
  • Students felt the course was worth their time and they can indicate how their knowledge and understanding have grown as a result of taking the course.
Quality Student Interaction

The instructor cultivates a sense of community among course participants and demonstrates compassion. Students feel their instructor cares about them and their learning. Students feel motivated to learn and actively engage with the instructor and their peers.

  • The instructor provides guided options that give students choice in how they would like to learn the material.
  • The instructor allows students to choose how to demonstrate what they learned.
  • The instructor inspires students to think critically about the course content.
  • The instructor team creates an environment that allows exploration and multiple “right” answer choices.
  • The course includes peer mentoring or peer feedback opportunities.
  • The instructor team intentionally creates an inclusive course setting.

For questions about the nomination form or the awards, contact Nikki Lyons or Alexandra Bitton-Bailey.