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2023 Provost’s Transformative Online Course Award (TOCA) Winner

Dr. Scott Boyar, a Professor of Management in the Collat School of Business has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 Provost’s Transformative Online Course Award (TOCA). Register to attend Dr. Boyar’s virtual presentation to faculty and staff on Friday, March 1, from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

The Provost’s Award for Transformative Online Course recognizes online courses developed by full-time faculty members of the UAB community that exemplify best practices and innovation in online education. "Transformative" courses are defined as those that enhance the student experience through the use of innovative teaching strategies, fostering an interactive learning community that maximizes student engagement and outcomes.

A hand holding a digitally connected globe.


The award includes a cash prize (subject to composite fringe benefits) and a plaque suitable for display.


  • Only courses developed by full-time UAB faculty may be nominated and must have at least 80% of the instruction in the course occurring online.
  • All nominated courses must have been taught at least two semesters prior to being nominated and have evidence of impact on learner outcomes.
  • A course may only receive an award once in a five-year time period.

TOCA Selection Criteria

The award shall be based solely on course excellence as demonstrated by:

  • Course alignment with Quality Matters Standards. Additional information on Quality Matters is available on the UAB eLearning Quality Matters page.
  • Incorporation of strategies into the course that support/promote faculty-student engagement.
  • Incorporation of innovative teaching strategies into the course to achieve desired student outcomes.
    Note: In this context, innovative teaching strategies are defined as the use of new evidence-based processes, tools, and methods that are designed and incorporated into a course to positively affect student learning and achievement of course outcomes.
  • Utilization of strategies to create an interactive learning community.
    Note: In this context, a learning community is defined as the vehicle through which learning occurs online. In learning communities, strategies are used that require members’ dependence on each other to achieve the learning outcomes for the course. A learning community is defined as a group of individuals who are interested in a common topic or area and who engage in knowledge-related transactions as well as transformations within it. (Kahn, T. (1999, May 1). A New Model of Education: Designing Virtual Communities for Creativity and Learning.
  • Use of evaluation data (e.g., student evaluations, student feedback, etc.) to demonstrate impact on student outcomes and its use to improve the course.

An updated Application Assessment Rubric will be available soon.

Award Review Committee

The TOCA review committee is composed of previous recipients of the award.

2024 TOCA Timeline

  • Friday, October 11, 2024: Submission of Nomination Form and Letter of Support due.
  • Friday, October 18, 2024: Notification to eligible nominees.
  • Friday, October 25, 2024: Nominee’s acceptance email due.
  • Friday, December 6, 2024: Nominee’s complete application packet due.
  • Friday, January 10, 2025: Committee review completed.
  • Friday, January 24, 2025: Awardees selected and notified.
  • Spring 2025: Awardee(s) presentation to faculty and staff.

TOCA Nominations

Courses may be self-nominated or nominated by a faculty member, student, or staff member of the UAB community. Courses may be nominated by completing and submitting the following items:

  • Completed docxNomination Form
  • Letter of support by nominator. If self-nominating, please provide background on course and testimonials if available.

Completed nomination packet must be emailed to UAB eLearning by end of day, Friday, October 11, 2024.

Nominations will be reviewed for eligibility requirements and those meeting the requirements will be notified by end of day, Friday, October 18, 2024.

If nominee accepts nomination, they must notify UAB eLearning by end of day, Friday, October 25, 2024.

TOCA Application Packet

Nominee must complete and submit the following items:

  • A faculty-written assessment (one - three pages) of how the course meets each of the selection criteria, as described above.
  • Letters from students (one - three letters) who have taken the course, describing how the course affected their learning.
  • Supporting document (three - 10 pages) including student feedback and evaluations of the course.
  • Completed docxCanvas course access form.

Nominee must submit completed application packet to UAB eLearning by end of day, Friday, December 6, 2024.

TOCA Recipients

  • Scott Boyar – Collat School of Business
  • Jennifer Edmonds – Collat School of Business
  • Lauren Rast – College of Arts and Sciences
  • DeReef Jamison – College of Arts and Sciences
  • Elizabeth Barstow – School of Health Professions
  • Brenda Bertrand – School of Health Professions
  • Eta Berner – School of Health Professions
  • Christopher Edmonds – Collat School of Business
  • Malinda Blair O'Leary – College of Arts and Sciences

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

UAB encourages those making awards, and those naming selection committees for awards to keep in mind the diversity, equity, and inclusion values and goals of both the UAB strategic plan and of the Strategic Diversity Plan. We strive to make sure everybody counts, every day, and that we actively seek varied perspectives in our decision-making, including when recognizing our faculty with awards.

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