Excellence in Online & Distance Teaching


A well-crafted nomination for this award would clearly address sustained excellence and innovation in online and/or distance teaching & contributions to student learning through innovative uses of technology. Faculty members or instructors who teach academic credit online or distance courses are eligible for the Campus Award for Excellence in Online and Distance Teaching.


Nominations are only accepted from colleges. Contact your college to determine its deadline for departmental submissions.

February 1 – Deadline for college nominations to be submitted.

Early March – Recipient(s) and their nominator(s) will be notified.

April – Awards are presented at the annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence.

*When a deadline falls on a weekend or campus holiday, nominations will be due the next business day.


  • Rank of instructor or above. Those on adjunct or emeritus faculty status may also be considered
  • Taught at least 3 courses for the University of Illinois for credit online and/or at a distance over the past five years
  • Has not won this award in the previous 10 years

Evaluation Criteria

  • Sustained excellence in online and/or distance teaching
  • Positive impact on online and/or distance student learning
  • Innovative approaches to teaching online and/or distance students
  • Effective use of technology and media when used to teach online and/or through distance education (including off-campus site-based courses)
  • Creativity in course development and instruction
  • Sensitivity to the advising needs of online and/or distance students
  • Influence on the quality, extent, and development of the department’s online/distance program


A nomination letter (written in narrative form) may be submitted by students, faculty members, administrators, or alumni.

Departments may present one nomination to the Review Committee per academic year. All nominations submitted to the Review Committee must be initiated and supported by the department. Faculty nominated for the award may not serve on the Review Committee.

Nomination packets must include all materials described below, and should be formatted in 12-point Times New Roman or equivalent font; single-spaced; and 1-inch margins. Please follow this outline when submitting a nomination:

  • The standard cover page (Attachment A) with the appropriate signatures. (Not to exceed 1 page.)
  • A nomination letter addressing each of the Evaluation Criteria described above. The nomination letter should indicate why the nominee is exceptional as an excels in teaching through online and distance methods. (Not to exceed 3 pages.)
  • A teaching and learning philosophy statement provided by the nominee. This statement should include a discussion of the challenges, methods, and goals of teaching off-campus or online courses. (Not to exceed 2 pages.)
  • A separate one-page summary of the off-campus/online courses taught that includes the semester, location, and enrollment.
  • A longitudinal ICES profile from Measurement & Evaluation, CITL (Attachment B)
  • Two letters of support* from current or past students, preferably one current student and one alumnus. (See Attachment C for a sample solicitation letter.) (Not to exceed 2 pages each.)
  • Optional: two letters from individuals or organizations commenting on the impact of the candidate’s off-campus activities in their field or organization. (Not to exceed 3 pages.)

*NOTE: Letters from students should be solicited by the departmental selection committee, not the nominee. The nominee may be asked to suggest some names and the department should add some names.



Nominations should be submitted first to a departmental committee. This committee will select its final candidates to forward to the college. (The college may establish a limit for the number of candidates each departmental committee can submit.)

Nominations are only accepted from colleges and must be submitted to tab-awards@illinois.edu. The nomination deadline is 11:59 p.m. February 1. If this date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is 11:59 p.m. the next business day.


The campus selection process is overseen by the Teaching Advancement Board, and is advisory to the Provost. Recipient(s) and their nominator(s) will be notified by early March. Awards are presented at the annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence.

Previous Recipients
Award RecipientDepartmentAward Year
Florencia Giglio HenshawSpanish & Portuguese2022
John HartComputer Science2021
Dawn BohnFood Science & Human Nutrition2020
Shachar MeronAdvertising2019
Kathleen McDowellInformation Sciences2018
Eric SnodgrassAtmospheric Sciences2017
Anjale WeltonEducation Policy, Organization & Leadership2015
Cris MayoCollege of Education2013
Melissa WongLibrary & Information Science2012
No award given2011
Debra WoodsMathematics2010
Michael TwidaleLibrary & Information Science2009
Andrea EllingerHuman Resources Education2008
Linda C. SmithLibrary & Information Sciences2007
Geoffrey DahlAnimal Sciences2006
Dorothy EspelageEducational Psychology2005
Donald BriskinNatural Resources & Environmental Sciences2004
Neil PearsonFinance2004
Christine A. JenkinsLibrary & Information Science2003
K. Peter KuchinkeHuman Resource Education2002
Michael HutjensAnimal Sciences2001
Chrisann Schiro-GeistCommunity Health2000
Frederick BelowCrop Sciences1999
Anthony P. HalterSocial Work1998
Thomas G. KovacsArt & Design1997
Hans P. BlaschekFood Science & Human Nutrition1996
Betty MerchantEducational Organization & Leadership1995
Janice A. SeitzVocational & Technical Education1995


For more information about Campus Awards for Excellence in Instruction, contact the Office of the Provost at tab-awards@illinois.edu or 217-333-6677.