eLearning Processes

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

Process for Access to Blackboard Assessment/Accreditation Data Covering Prior Academic Terms

Process for Access to Blackboard Assessment/Accreditation Data Covering Prior Academic Terms

We in eLearning 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 eLearning and to the Registrar
  • At that point, eLearning will provide access to the appropriate person

Process for 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 eLearning for evaluation before it can be registered and enabled on the production environment.

Process for 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 process for Access to Learning Management System Data Upon Termination.

Process for 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 will provide student access to the course shell and materials during the grade appeal process for approved grade appeal applications.

Process for Course Shell Archiving and Management Procedures

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

Process for Access to Learning Management System Data Upon 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

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.

UA Little Rock Online Campus Model

UA Little Rock Online Campus Model

UA Little Rock offers students the option of attending asynchronous courses at a reduced rate of tuition through the eLearning Online Campus.  The following is intended to provide understanding on eLearning Online Campus operations.  The process to join the eLearning Online Campus is separate from any UA Little Rock curriculum change process.

Process to join the eLearning Online Campus

eLearning is limited to full academic degree and certificate program offerings. Programs accepted into the eLearning Online Campus must meet the following criteria and agree to follow the model:

  • The academic program must submit a request via eLearning to ask for provisional approval from the Office of the Provost to be added to the eLearning Online Campus. An authorized department/school official must complete the UA Little Rock Online Provisional Approval Form. Once processed, if provisional approval is granted by the Office of the Provost, then the normal curriculum process (which has both internal and off-campus components) will start.
  • Once all approvals have been obtained, eLearning will authorize campus offices to build the program on university systems, allowing relevant 9U sections to exist and function.
  • For quality assurance in compliance with federal regulation on regular and substantive interaction, eLearning Online Campus courses required in the major for the program (e.g., MCOM) must be badged by eLearning at the silver level prior to offering the program on the eLearning Online Campus.
  • A separate process (internal to eLearning and Records & Registration) exists to add minors to the eLearning Online Campus.

eLearning Online Campus Course Section and Delivery Method 

  • 9U sections are restricted to students enrolled in UA Little Rock eLearning Online Campus. 9U course sections do not have a scheduled day or time or physical location.
  • All courses required to complete the program must be offered in an asynchronous format.
  • “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 eLearning 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 format for their eLearning Online Campus courses.
  • eLearning Online Campus students cannot be required to visit the physical university campus for any reason; however, they are allowed to visit if they choose to.

Model Exception

  • An exception to this model is rare and can only be made for academic program milestones (e.g., required fieldwork, doctoral comprehensives, theses, and dissertation defenses).
  • All exceptions must be approved prior to the program joining the eLearning Online Campus by the Office of the Provost and documented by eLearning.
  • The academic program is responsible for notifying students of any approved exception prior to student enrollment in the program.
  • eLearning will add a note about the approved exception (e.g., https://ualr.edu/online/programs/msw/) to the eLearning Online Campus website.
  • The academic program is responsible for ensuring that there is a note on the course schedule about the exception (e.g., “course has some synchronous sessions as listed in the syllabus.”).  Any meeting times must be listed in the schedule comments.

Requirements for Programs to Remain on the eLearning Online Campus

  • In order to remain on the eLearning Online Campus, the program must continue to follow the eLearning Online Campus model.
  • Academic programs that agree to exist on the Online Campus agree to work with eLearning to ensure that their department/school promotional material/website content accurately reflects the eLearning Online Campus model. eLearning coordinates with academic departments/schools to ensure that the marketing-structured UA Little Rock Online website mirrors the same content relevant to the academic program.

Information and Process for Library Privileges for UA Little Rock Online Students

This 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).

Process for Student Campus Designation

  • Process for Student Campus Designation

A student may only switch between the UA Little Rock Main Campus and eLearning Online Campus once within a calendar year. eLearning works closely on matters of student campus designation with the Office of Records and Registration. A student cannot be identified on both the “Main Campus” and the eLearning Online Campus at the same time. As an example, a student cannot be a fully-online student participating in an eLearning Online Campus program also have another major in an academic program that is not part of the eLearning Online Campus.

Process UA Little Rock Online Registration/9U Course Sections

  • Process for 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 eLearning Online Campus AND declared in an approved program to be eligible for 9U_course registration.

Course Evaluation Process Information

Updated Fall 2021

University course evaluations play a vital role as part of the evaluation material used for annual review of faculty and continuous focus on teaching excellence. As such, the university takes its commitment to quality course evaluations seriously. As of fall 2021, university course evaluations have been centralized under eLearning using the Qualtrics QClassroom survey tool. The Office of IT Services (a partner of eLearning) published the following story about this university change.

Distribution of Course Evaluations with QClassroom

Qualtrics QClassroom is a stand-alone program used exclusively for course evaluations that operates independently of Blackboard and other course delivery systems. Evaluation surveys and collected data are all accessed through the QClassroom interface.

What courses are evaluated?  Beginning Fall 2021, Qualtrics QClassroom will be used to issue course evaluations for all courses listed on the schedule, regardless of modality or delivery method. The only exceptions will be for courses that do not need to be evaluated (e.g. dissertation hours).

Course and roster information is queried from the university’s student information system and loaded directly into the QClassroom tool. Evaluation results are associated with the primary instructor listed for each course on the official class schedule.

When are courses evaluated?  Each term, eLearning will generate a course evaluation using Qualtrics QClassroom two weeks prior to the day before grades are due, when they close at 5:00pm.

History

eLearning creates course shells in Blackboard for every single course and its sections each semester; no matter their modality. Historically, eLearning has utilized the Blackboard Enterprise Survey software tool to provide course surveys as a courtesy for online courses. Before the pandemic, the demand from academic departments for course shell surveys continued to increase until it became an integral role for eLearning; even though the office was not mandated to support this process. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of the Chancellor directed the creation of a COVID-19 Course Evaluation Task Force as a critical function, given that face-to-face courses were not meeting. This task force also examined ways to determine how course evaluation management could be improved for the university. As a result, the following university leadership groups participated in the demonstration of QClassroom: Provost’s Leadership Council, Faculty Senate Executive Committee, Online Campus Advisory Board, Office of IT Services, and eLearning Blackboard Support Division. Shortly after, eLearning was tasked with purchasing and collaborating with IT Services to integrate and implement Qualtrics QClassroom.

Academic Department Input on Course Evaluation Questions

Just like with the old Enterprise Survey course evaluation tool, academic departments can work with eLearning to create department-specific questions for their course evaluations completed using Qualtrics QClassroom. Note that the “department-level” is the most granular level eLearning will provide for questions. For departments not wanting specific questions, eLearning worked with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee during the start of the pandemic to obtain generic questions. If your academic department would like a set of department-specific questions, please email courseevaluations@ualr.edu .

Access to the Qualtrics Evaluation tool

Evaluation surveys and collected results are both accessed directly within the Qualtrics QClassroom tool, though faculty, staff, and students have different avenues for accessing the system.

Faculty and Administrative Access:  In the past, eLearning was only able to logistically provide results to department chairs, and those chairs (or administrative assistants) would be responsible for dissemination to individual faculty. The UA Little Rock QClassroom survey tool provides greater access to completed course evaluations allowing direct dashboard access, and based on the increased capabilities of the QClassroom tool, eLearning will not provide results directly to campus. The dashboard will be the sole point of access.

Evaluation results are distributed through department-specific dashboards accessible on the university’s QClassroom website. You can find more information about how faculty use QClassroom on the Course Evaluations page.

Student Access:  Evaluations are available for students approximately two weeks leading up to the due date for final grades for any particular term, and students can access their surveys in either of two ways available to them:

  1. Automated email notification generated by QClassroom sent to their university email account. The evaluation is mobile-friendly and can be completed without logging into Blackboard.
  2. Students can log into Blackboard and click the Course Evaluations button to access the evaluation dashboard. This shows the list of their courses being evaluated for the current term and a progress indicator for each that shows whether the course evaluation has been completed.

You can find more information about the QClassroom student experience on the Blackboard Student Support website.

Increasing Response Rates

  • Email notifications are sent to students at the beginning of each evaluation period, and students who have not completed the evaluation within three business days prior to the due date will be automatically sent another email (from within Qualtrics QClassroom) reminding them of the pending evaluation; a feature eLearning was not able to provide previously.
  • Faculty are encouraged to remind their students that course evaluations are available to be completed as an additional method of increasing the response rate
    • Faculty teaching face-to-face classes can also encourage students to complete their course evaluation during class using their mobile phone.
    • Please note that for some students, the emails re: course evaluations might go to the students’ spam folder, so a reminder to check that folder is helpful.
  • eLearning has created a subcommittee within the university’s Online Campus Advisory Board (a body with representatives from each academic college) to continually address methods of improving response rates for course evaluations administered online.

Why did UA Little Rock centralize all university course evaluations within eLearning moving forward and what benefit will Qualtrics QClassroom bring to our university?

  • eLearning can manage this process for all of Academic Affairs as an official office function, centralizing the importance of course evaluations in one place.
  • Centralization of the course evaluation process eliminates any departmental/college costs for conducting their own course evaluations (i.e. staff, scantron sheets, etc.) and reduces instances where a course is not covered based on error (e.g. adjunct not knowing to do them).
  • Centralization speeds up the time for academic departments to have access to course evaluation results; an important reality, especially at the start of each spring semester for annual reviews.

Please contact email courseevaluations@ualr.edu with any questions.

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

Process 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 eLearning.

  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 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.