Policies

Welcome! Here you will find helpful information to support your online teaching experience.

Policy on Access to Blackboard Assessment/Accreditation Data Covering Prior Academic Terms

Policy on Access to Blackboard Assessment/Accreditation Data Covering Prior Academic Terms

We in eLearning & STaR recognize the importance to academic units to be able to complete academic assessment/accreditation using various sources of data. During any current/active term, requests to have access to Blackboard shell data (including graded content), can be done via the eUpdate process within the Office of Records and Registration. eUpdates will not allow access to courses (and course data) after a term ends.

To provide needed access for an official departmental assessment/accreditation covering prior academic terms, the following process has been approved by the Office of the Provost:

  • A formal request can be sent via email by the chair to the dean
    • Indicate that the request is for official assessment or accreditation needs
    • Name of the person needing the access and their Net ID
    • Which course section(s) the person should have access to
      • Example: “all course sections for Biology covering spring 2020 to fall 2020”
  • The dean then forwards their approval to Dr. Erin Finzer (esfinzer@ualr.edu)
  • Dr. Finzer will review the request and if approved, will forward her approval to STaR and to the Registrar
  • At that point, STaR will provide access to the appropriate person

Policy on Virtual Learning Environment Integration

To ensure the integrity and security of data housed within the virtual learning environments supported by the department of eLearning, any third-party application that exchanges data with an eLearning-supported system must be submitted to the department of Scholarly Technology and Resources (STaR) for evaluation before it can be registered and enabled on the production environment.

Policy on Faculty Access to Blackboard Course Shells

An “instructor of record,” is the faculty listed on the official university course schedule as the instructor for the course. An individual cannot be issued access to a course as the instructor until that individual’s hiring paperwork has been received by Human Resource Services and has been entered into Banner. Once assigned to a course, the instructor of record gains access to their Blackboard course shell(s) as early as 90 days prior to the start of the semester. Those course shells are available for a two-year period from the current semester (i.e. six semesters).

Note – In some cases, academic departments will list more than one instructor of record for a course (e.g. team-taught courses). The same information above regarding access applies.

Please also see the eLearning policy on Learning Management System Data and Termination – Policy on Access to LMS Data and Termination.

Policy on Student Access to Blackboard Course Shells

Students must be officially registered for a course in Banner in order to be granted access to the course shell in Blackboard. Once registered, the student will be automatically placed in the course by a script that pulls enrollment data from Banner. The intention is that all students will have access to their courses within the learning management system on the first day of classes.  Additionally, faculty who choose to provide earlier access can provide access usually up to one week prior to the start of the course.

Students have access to their Blackboard course shell(s) and materials during the official dates of the semester in which the course falls. Students are encouraged to archive course content before the semester ends. Students lose access to their Blackboard course shell(s) and materials 30 days after final grades are due for the semester. Semester dates can be found here.

Exceptions

  • Incomplete Grades – Students receiving an incomplete grade will have continued access to their Blackboard course shell and materials for ad additional 90 days for undergraduate courses or one year for graduate courses per UA Little Rock Grades and Grading Systems Policy 404.13
  • Grade Appeals – Students filing a grade appeal must file within the allotted time as specified by UA Little Rock Grade Appeal Policy 501.6. The Offices of eLearning and Scholarly Technology and Resources (STaR) will provide student access to the course shell and materials during the grade appeal process for approved grade appeal applications.

Policy on Course Shell Archiving and Management Procedures

This policy describes best practices for retaining course content, archiving practices and limitations within STaR, and advancing semester deletion requirements to maintain the Blackboard server.

Policy on Access to Learning Management System Data and Termination

Information for Exporting and Archiving Courses

You may export or archive previous courses from the Blackboard course list. Courses are available for a two-year period from the current semester or the last six semesters. If you need access to a course that is no longer available, you can request a copy of the course from our archives by filling out the archive request form on our website. If you need access to a course in which you were not the instructor of record, please email star@ualr.edu for assistance. Remember, when you archive your courses, they must remain saved as a zip file should you wish to import them into a blank course shell for future use.

Learn more: Exporting and Archiving Courses

Policy on Grievance Procedure

Complaint Resolution

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock seeks to resolve student complaints in a fair and expeditious manner. All students, including those participating in distance education, are encouraged to seek informal resolution at the department level when possible. After exhausting the department or informal complaint process, students may file a formal complaint with the university. To file a formal complaint, please complete this form with as much information as possible.  Distance education students from outside of Arkansas will also follow the University’s student complaint process and then appeal to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education if needed.

Complaint Process Report

The SHEEO Complaint Process Report is a compilation of web links and/or explanations, for all agencies within the US (including Puerto Rico and Washington, DC), of the existing process(es) that students can follow in order to lodge a complaint against an institution authorized by that agency.

Policy on Asynchronous Course Content - 9U Sections

The following policy is intended to provide guidance to Online Campus programs regarding asynchronous courses and ensure that established and consistent standards are followed for Online Campus programs. 

Asynchronous means that the course is offered 100% online and no face to face or synchronous meetings can be required, including the administration of exams.  To be considered an Online Campus program, all courses in the program must adhere to this format unless the exception requirements noted below are followed. Individual instructors may not vary from this asynchronous schedule. Online course offerings are identified in the official schedule of classes as 9U sections. 9U sections are considered asynchronous. 

Policy Exception: 

An exception to this policy can be made as long as the student is notified prior to enrollment in the program. 

  • The program will be responsible for notifying the student (prior to enrollment) and the Online Campus Coordinator if synchronous course sections will be required for the program.  Our office will add a note to your program page hosted on our Online Campus website that certain courses may require synchronous attendance (ex: https://ualr.edu/online/programs/msw/). 
  • The program is also responsible for ensuring that there is a note on the course schedule, such as “course has some synchronous sessions as listed in the syllabus.”  Chairs or admins can input this note on SSATEXT in Banner.  Please do not delete the standardized text. 

Recommendations for instructors wishing to offer synchronous course content for programs not falling with the exception listed above:

When the Online Campus launched in 2015, students joined UA Little Rock Online to obtain: 1) a reduced rate for their education and 2) flexibility. 

  • In order to continue to draw students to the Online Campus, our office has always recommended instructors offer optional (i.e. not mandatory) synchronous course sessions that students can participate in, if they are available (due to work or other responsibilities). 
  • We also recommend those optional synchronous sessions be recorded and offered as a way to provide accessible content later for students unable to attend an optional synchronous session.
  • Justification: Implementation of these two recommendations over the years, have received positive feedback from students in respecting the need for flexibility in their lives as well as the option to sit in a live/synchronous session if available.

Please note that Scholarly Technology and Resources (STaR) is always available to support how to design optional synchronous sessions into an asynchronous course. Please contact them at star@ualr.edu

Policy on Library Privileges for UA Little Rock Online Students

This policy covers information about library privileges for the UA Little Rock Collections and Archives, Ottenheimer Library, the Center for Arkansas History and Culture, and the Sequoyah National Research Center, as well as, other university libraries and the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS).

Policy on Student Campus Designation

The policy of the Office of eLearning is that a student may only switch between the UA Little Rock Main Campus and UA Little Rock Online/eLearning Campus once within a calendar year. Students may not be concurrently “identified” as majors in both the “Main Campus” and “UA Little Rock Online/eLearning Campus.”

Policy on UA Little Rock Online Registration/9U Course Sections

Online course sections designated as “9U_” are reserved exclusively for students actively participating in an approved UA Little Rock Online degree or certificate program. Students must be identified on the UA Little Rock Online/eLearning Campus AND declared in an approved program to be eligible for 9U_course registration.

Policy on Course Evaluation Information

eLearning & STaR provide course evaluations as a courtesy to academic departments. Course evaluations are sent out towards the end of each semester, and results are only shared with department chairs. Our office will not release course evaluations to individual faculty members.  

Course evaluations do not identify students in any way.  Links to complete the course evaluations are sent to students’ UA Little Rock email address and a message is also posted on Blackboard, which allows students to complete the evaluations for all courses they are enrolled in. Students do not need to be within Blackboard in order to complete course evaluations.

Policy on Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock joined the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) in 2015, in order to better serve online students and access valuable university resources benefitting faculty and administration. As such, the university abides by policies and procedures outlined in the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education (“Interregional Guidelines”); a document created by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC), of which the HLC is a member-regional accrediting organization.

Guidelines

  1. Online learning is appropriate to the institution’s mission and purposes.
  2. The institution’s plans for developing, sustaining, and, if appropriate, expanding online learning offerings are integrated into its regular planning and evaluation processes.
  3. Online learning is incorporated into the institution’s systems of governance and academic oversight.
  4. Curricula for the institution’s online learning offerings are coherent, cohesive, and comparable in academic rigor to programs offered in traditional instructional formats.
  5. The institution evaluates the effectiveness of its online learning offerings, including the extent to which the online learning goals are achieved, and uses the results of its evaluations to enhance the attainment of the goals.
  6. Faculty responsible for delivering the online learning curricula and evaluating the students’ success in achieving the online learning goals are appropriately qualified and effectively supported.
  7. The institution provides effective student and academic services to support students enrolled in online learning offerings.
  8. The institution provides sufficient resources to support and, if appropriate, expand its online learning offerings.
  9. The institution assures the integrity of its online offerings

Policy for Chair Access

  1. Any chair is able to request to be added in the “viewer” role to a Blackboard course section for their department; this role does not provide access to the gradebook or to edit course content. The viewer role allows them to see what the students see in terms of content and communication. Their name appears in the course along with everyone else that semester (meaning everyone will know they are there). Chairs normally ask for this role as a way to periodically monitor things (same as standing in the back of a face-to-face class to check on things), or if there is an issue (e.g. complaint about the class). To be added to a course section as a viewer, simply email star@ualr.edu with the details of the course(s) and section(s). Once added, they will receive an email confirmation from STaR.

  2. Any chair is able to request to be added in either the “instructor, teaching assistant, or course coordinator” role to a Blackboard course section for their department; this role does provide access to the gradebook and ability to modify course content. [Please note that most chairs want the “instructor’ role unless that impacts workload guidelines within their academic unit]. These roles also allow them to manage all aspects of content and communication. Their name appears in the course along with everyone else that semester (meaning everyone will know they are there).  Based on these roles having grad book access in Blackboard, eLearning & STaR agreed to turn access for these roles to Records & Registration in order to ensure accountability.  To be added to a course section as either an instructor, teaching assistant, or course coordinator,  simply complete an eUpdate request at https://ualr.edu/records/schedule-change/.  Once the request is processed, that will place the chair on the official schedule, which will trigger them automatically being added to those Blackboard course shells in the proper role. The contact person for Records & Registration is Maegan Hendricks (scheduling coordinator) mdhendricks@ualr.edu.