Excellence Awards

2017 Minnesota eLearning Summit Excellence Awards Call for Nominations

Submit Your Nomination − UPDATE: DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JUNE 23, 2017

The Minnesota eLearning Summit committee is pleased to announce the second MN eLearning Excellence Awards Call for Nominations. The Excellence Awards will recognize teachers, faculty, administrators, and staff engaged with exceptional elearning experiences, practices, or projects. The awards are open to individuals or teams who are affiliated with Minnesota-based E−12 or higher education institutions. Self-nominations are welcome.

Finalists and winners will be announced at the awards ceremony during lunch on the first day of the MN eLearning Summit, Wednesday, August 2. Award winners are expected to register for the conference and need to be present to receive the award.

Nominations should identify the award category for which the entry is submitted and include background information about why the submission is worthy of receiving an award. Nominators are encouraged to include other documentation or attachments that best illustrate the nominated projects (e.g., web links, screenshots, images, PDF, Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files). Links to video or audio files and letters of support can also be submitted.

Award Categories


Given to organizations or individuals who demonstrate exceptionally creative methods or technologies to address important student needs. The drive for creative and continuous improvement is paramount to innovation. A nomination to this category should demonstrate a break with conventional processes to address needs and go beyond marginal improvements. This innovation can be within a course, a program, or project at the individual, institutional, or community level.


Given to organizations or individuals who demonstrate exceptional collaboration within a course, department, institution/school, or system of institutions. Collaboration denotes communication among learners, instructors, administrators, internal and external experts/mentors, researchers, or community members. A nomination to this category could include creative collaboration within a course, department, or institution; collaboration could also involve external agencies, corporations, K−12 schools or school districts, colleges and universities, or consortiums. Especially welcome are nominations for collaborations between secondary and post-secondary institutions and systems.


Given to organizations or individuals who, through their work, construct or reflect an extraordinary impact on teaching and learning or other desired outcome. High, significant, or extraordinary impact on teaching and learning, service to students, institutional effectiveness, and leadership are paramount to this award category. A nomination to this category should be able to be replicated by others either internally to the nominee’s institution or externally. It should have wide influence and scope. Additionally, it should be worthy of being considered an effective practice with broader implementation.

Ideas for Submissions

You should consider submitting a nomination if you or a team on which you have been a member have:

  • Used a collaborative approach to develop curriculum for use across departments or institutions or in partnership between K−12 and higher education
  • Incorporated technologies you believe impact learning effectiveness in the online or blended course
  • Built a community of learners or learning circles in eLearning that can be considered a best practice for replication
  • Launched an online course everyone said couldn’t be done and have results to prove its effectiveness
  • Used a technology platform in unique ways to plan projects and effectively communicate within your institution
  • Developed customized learning paths in a course or have “gamified” aspects of your course
  • Played a critical role in the development of a strong accessibility plan at your institution
  • Completed an eLearning pilot project that can be replicated across disciplines or institutions for greater impact and reach
  • Implemented a particularly useful technology integration or innovation that assists faculty and students in the teaching and learning process

2016 Minnesota eLearning Summit Excellence Award Winners


Advanced Chinese for High School Students: Elissa Raffa, Minnesota Online High School

Elissa Raffa award photo

Collaborative Online International Learning Program Pilot (COIL): Amanda Rondeau, University of Minnesota

MN eLearning Summit COIL award winner Amanda Rondeau


Using Differentiated Feedback to Promote Student Learning in an Introductory Statistics Class: Vicky Cai, MN State University, Mankato

MN eLearning Award Winner Vicky Cai

Online Anatomy and Physiology I: Jane Sprangers, Hennepin Technical College

MN eLearning Summit Award Winner Jane Sprangers


Minnesota Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum: Jon Voss, Intermediate District 287; Marc Johnson, ECMECC

MN eLearning Award Winner Jon Voss

Elevator: Jamey Hansen, University of Minnesota

MN eLearning Award Winner Jamey Hansen

Special Recognition

Creation and Production of Two Coursera Specializations: Connie Buechele, University of Minnesota

MN eLearning Award Winner Connie Buechele

Impact of Training and Course Reviews on Faculty Satisfaction and Online Courses: Nima Salehi, University of Minnesota

MN eLearning Award Winner Nima Salehi

Technology for Creativity: Brad Hokanson, University of Minnesota

MN eLearning Award Winner Brad Hokanson

SIG: Instructional Technologies and Learning Spaces: Robin O’Callaghan, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

MN eLearning Award Winner Robin O’Callaghan

Captioning Collaboration: Rita Resendiz-Abfalter, Anoka Ramsey Community College

MN eLearning Award Winner Rita Resendiz-Abfalter