Prelock Online Teaching Award

Purpose of Award

The award recognizes and rewards superior online synchronous and asynchronous teaching, provides models of excellence for fellow faculty, and encourages all faculty to continue to improve and advance their online teaching pedagogy.  It is named in honor of Provost Patricia Prelock, an early adopter at UVM of online teaching.

The award recipients will receive a certificate and a letter outlining their accomplishments to aid in their professional development and a taxable cash award of $1000.

The awardees may be asked to assume a leadership role in promoting online instruction at UVM and serve on the award selection committee.


  • Award for Excellence in Synchronous Remote Teaching: for courses (credit or non-credit) that require meeting synchronously on a regularly scheduled (not ad hoc) basis at which all students are expected to attend.
  • Award for Excellence in Asynchronous Online Teaching: for courses (credit or non-credit) that do not have any scheduled meeting times—all work and interaction can be done on the students’ own schedule.


All faculty, credit or non-credit, who have taught a fully-online course either synchronously or asynchronously.


Nominations for the award may be made by

  • Students who have taken the course
  • Faculty members
  • Department heads or staff who have access or experience with course materials.  Nominators may request course access from the instructor.
  • Self-nominations are also accepted.

Submit a nomination

Award Criteria

Selection will be made based on how well the course exemplifies the following criteria:

An Effective Learning Experience: How was it made clear to participants what they were supposed to be learning? For example, were there objectives for the overall course, as well as for each week? Were these objectives clear and easy to understand? Did the assessments (such as tests and quizzes) relate to these objectives? Did the activities in the course support the achievement of these objectives?

Imaginative Approach: In what ways did this course take an imaginative approach to design? What tools or techniques were used in fresh and innovative ways that kept the course engaging, easily digestible, and fun?

Staying Organized: How was this course organized? Was it easy to find what learners were supposed to do each week? What was the syllabus like and how did it help learners? What made the instructions for assignments clear, logical and easy-to-follow?

A Course for Everyone: How did this course support the needs of learners who learn in different ways? This includes providing content in multiple formats, such as text, audio, short and relevant video, hands-on exercises, group work, experiments, or real-world projects. How did the instructor provide choices or options for meeting course requirements?

Being Social: How did the instructor make an effort to humanize the course by both sharing elements of their personality and providing an opportunity for students to connect with both the instructor and each other on a personal level? How did the instructor actively foster positive communication between students, reply promptly, and show responsiveness to student feedback?

Selection Timeline

  • February 28 2022:  Call for nominations opens.
  • September 1, 2022:  Nominations due.
  • Fall 2022:
    • Initial review is based on the strength of the nomination.
    • Final review is based upon evaluation of the course space within the LMS and/or letters of support from other class participants.
  • November 15, 2022: Award winners announced.

For more information

Contact the PACE Online Learning Team at