Spring 2015 Newsletter

Spring is Here!

We hope your semester is off to a great start. As you plunge into the new year and a new semester we would like to share with you some of the happenings here in the STaR Office.

Please take some time to read about our instructional design services, STaR Performers, our new Marketing and Communications Specialist, data-driven decision-making, and What’s New in Blackboard this Spring.

As always should you have any questions or need assistance you can stop by our office in Dickinson Hall 105, give us a call at 569-8954, or email us at star@ualr.edu.

Instructional Design Services

The STaR Office provides instructional design and course development assistance for all instructors using online learning technologies. Instructors are welcome to seek assistance at any time by calling, emailing or stopping by our office. We also provide a full-blown course development process and quality assurance resources. Please review the options below and contact our office should you have any questions.

help Assistance as needed – Contact our office at any time for instructional design questions or to obtain related training.
course design STaR Course Development Program – Instructors can sign-up to develop a course through our course development program. This program includes working closely with our instructional design team to develop a course based on best practices and internationally recognized course design standards. The program covers approximately 10 weeks and includes one-on-one meetings with an instructional designer and production assistance from a digital media specialist. While any instructor is eligible to go through the course development program, if funding is desired an application must be submitted.  Funding is not guaranteed.  Submit an application.
Quality Matters Quality Matters Course Reviews – Instructors can seek QM recognition for any course and receive a monetary stipend if funding is available. We encourage anyone interested in QM recognition to contact our QM Coordinator, Donna Kay (dxkay@ualr.edu) to discuss this option further.

STaR Performers!

Star Image“We are looking for UALR’s next STaR Performer! Are you or do you know someone who is doing something innovative or effective with technology in a course?

Whether it be in a web-enhanced, blended or fully online course, STaR is interested in hearing your success stories about using technology in the classroom.

We’ll share your stories in our STaR Performer series and may even ask you to join us for one of live “Best Practices workshops.”

Submit your story now!

STaR Staff Spotlight: Rachel Hook

Rachel HoodThe STaR team would like to welcome its newest staff member, Rachel Hook.

Rachel, a 2011 graduate of UALR’s School of Mass Communication, was hired November 17 to serve as the department’s marketing and communication specialist to help ensure that the university’s online programs and resources reach the eyes, ears and fingertips of students and faculty.

She has previously worked as an online news editor with Arkansas Online, the website of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and as a director of communications for the Arkansas Geographic Information Office. Rachel was also the executive editor of The Forum in the 2010-2011 school year.

Rachel welcomes your input about UALR’s online programs and invites you to share your stories with her about how eLearning has helped you succeed at UALR. Email her or give her a call at 683.7438.

Guiding STaR

Recently we undertook a project to realign our services and resources by seeking input from faculty. This input came in the form of a survey and usability study. Resulting data was then used to drive decision-making regarding realignment.

Recently we undertook a project to realign our services and resources by seeking input from faculty. This input came in the form of a survey and usability study. Resulting data was then used to drive decision-making regarding realignment

Learn more . . .
Click here to see the results of the survey and usability study.

What’s New Spring 2015

SafeAssign Integration

checked box imageSafeAssign has a new look and several updates to the report options. Now integrated with the assignment tool, SafeAssign allows submissions to be checked for plagiarism and graded with native Blackboard tools. Students will no longer need to submit assignments in multiple places.

Learn more…
SafeAssign Updates

Anonymous and Delegated Grading

anonymous profileWith new updates, layout, and workflow, grading courses with multiple or team instructors is much easier. The system generates grading subsets while keeping your students’ identities hidden.

Students are notified that submissions will be graded anonymously. Additionally, students may notice that since they may have multiple graders, assignment feedback may appear differently in MyGrades. Instructors will note new changes to the Create Edit Assignment page.

The Create Edit Assignment Page changes include:

  • New order for settings
  • Collapsed group default settings
  • Available anonymous, delegated, and grade center options

Learn more . . .
Anonymous Grading
Delegated Grading

Portfolios – Help us pilot!

portfolio imageDevelop, collect, and organize your work with Portfolios. Portfolios allow students to add artifacts such as assignment submissions to demonstrate accomplishment of a particular objective or show progress over a period of time. We are seeking interested faculty who would be willing to pilot this feature. Please contact STaR if you are interested.

Learn more . . .

Bb Grader App

grade imageThe new grader apps works exclusively with the assignments tool to grade assignment submissions in the CrocDoc Viewer while providing annotation options.

Other communication tools such as Blogs, Journals and Discussions are not supported.

Learn more . . .
Grader App

Posted in: Blackboard News, Featured, Newsletter

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