Spring 2016 Newsletter

The STaR Office welcomes you to the spring semester. We have included some information we hope you find useful in kick-starting your semester.

In this newsletter:

About Scholarly Technology and Resources (STaR)

Our mission is to support teaching and learning in the online environment.
We provide:

  • Opportunities for training and professional development
  • Instructional design and course development servicesB
  • Assistance with creating engaging content
  • Blackboard administration
  • Technical support for faculty and students

Our support team is ready to answer questions related to Blackboard, UALR’s learning management system, or any of the supporting tools such as Collaborate, our web-conferencing solution, and Kaltura, our streaming media server.  Our instructional design team is available to assist faculty with design and delivery best practices.

We encourage faculty to include our student support contact information in their syllabi, invite their students to contact us, visit the Blackboard Student Support website, or come see us for assistance.  All students are enrolled automatically in a Blackboard Orientation which can be accessed by logging into my.ualr.edu and clicking on “Courses”.

Blackboard Faculty Support

Help Desk

Resources and Assistance Available

  • Blackboard “How To’s” (video/print tutorials for Bb Tools)
  • One-on-One Appointments
  • Face-to-face & Online Training
  • Open Lab Wednesday, 9 AM to 4 PM

Blackboard Student Support

Help Desk

 Resources and Assistance Available

  • Blackboard “How To’s” (video/print tutorials for Bb Tools)
  • One-on-One Appointments
  • Online Blackboard Student Orientation

Additional Services for Faculty

Instructional Design Assistance

In addition to answering questions about goals, methods, materials, and assessments in the online environment, our instructional designers will provide guidance for designing and delivering a high quality course.  We can also assist your college or program with creating a customized course template designed to best practices.

Quality Matters Resources

As subscribers to Quality Matters, we have access to the QM rubric, course review management system, and discounted trainings. Our instructional designers have received specialized QM training that is incorporated into our course development process.  For more information about QM, please contact Sean Orme, our Quality Matters Coordinator, at 682.3149.

STaR Studio

The STaR Studio provides a space for faculty to produce, create, and edit multimedia content with one-on-one assistance from our STaR staff.

  • Computer lab—two computer stations with content authoring software (Adobe Creative Suite 6, Adobe Captivate, Camtasia, Articulate Storyline, Articulate Replay)
  • Studio productions—“live” in-studio shoots for interviews.

Important Semester Reminders

Are Your Courses Available?

Ready, Set, Log In!

Women with laptopThe spring semester is here and it’s an exciting time for students who will soon be logging in to their online courses. While Banner sets courses to become available on the first day of classes, instructors must first make them available in their Blackboard course shells before students are able to access and view their syllabi and other online course information.

As a best practice, it’s a great idea to check the availability of your courses in the course Control Panel, Customization, Properties, Make Course Available option.

Learn more: How to Make Your Course Available

Merging Course Sections

course merge tool graphicCourse Merge Tool Reminder

The course merge tool lets you select your most up-to-date course section as the Parent (Primary) course. Select additional sections of the course as Child (Secondary) sections. Then follow the prompts to list each of the child section enrollments in the parent course.

Add New Content to the Parent Course

Be sure to add any new content to the parent course as this is the only course where your students will see content.

Removing the Child Course

You may also remove a child section from the parent by deselecting the course’s check box and following the prompts. This will leave the child course students enrolled in the master course and mark them as unavailable.

Remember, the course merge form is no longer required or available to merge your course sections.

Learn more: Step by Step Instructions for Merging Your Course Sections

Reminder: Merge Your '9U' Sections!

‘9U’ Merge Info

If course shells labeled with a “9U” section number appear in your list of courses when you log in to Blackboard, please be sure to follow these instructions to merge them with the appropriate courses.

These “9U” sections are reserved for students specifically enrolled in the UALR online program. Though “9U” sections are listed separately on the schedule to reserve seats for these online students, you’ll want to make sure that they are merged with the section of the course that you’ll be using to teach this semester.

If you have questions or run into trouble when merging these courses, please email star@ualr.edu

Available Course Archives

Archive Reminder

file cabinet graphicPlease remember, that as we move forward with this semester, you will only be able to archive courses for the last two years. As of Jan. 4, spring 2016 through spring 2014 will be available for archiving.

This means that in the future only six semesters from any given current semester will be listed in the Blackboard course menu.

Save Zip File

Archived courses can be saved to your computer and restored in Blackboard should you need to access them again. Keep in mind course content must remain in the Zip file in order to be restored to the Blackboard LMS.

What if the Archive is Unavailable?

If you need to access course content that is no longer available, you may request a copy of the course from our archives. To submit a request for these archives email us at star@ualr.edu. Please allow 5-business days to process the request.
If you need access to a course in which you’re not the instructor of record, you will need permission from that instructor or from the department chair or course coordinator to access an archive.

Learn more: How to Export and Archive CoursesHow to Import Course Packages

Flash Media Sunset February 1

bbvideo playerLast Call for Flash to Kaltura Media Transfers

Video streaming from the Flash Media server via the bbvideo/watch/ player will no longer be accessible in courses after Feb. 1, 2016.

Kaltura Media is associated with the course alpha-number, (ABCD 1234), the bbvideo/…/watch/ player tag, (watch/x1y2) and your NetID.

Kaltura Media Management

Because media is associated with NetIDs, faculty members are the administrators and managers of their media content on the Kaltura Media Server. To locate your media from the My Media gallery and place it in your course you will need to create a Mashup Item in your content area or module. Remember you may also share your media in other courses where you are the instructor.

Learn more: Kaltura Media Mashups
Flash to Kaltura File Management

Please see the links above for more information about creating your course Mashup Items.

What if I need assistance?

Over the fall semester we have contacted faculty to confirm Flash to Kaltura media transfer requests. If you have not been contacted or you’ve delayed in responding to the file transfer information spreadsheet request, please contact us as quickly as possible to allow time to process your media transfers to Kaltura.


Merlene Love, STaR, 501-569-8504.
Brad Sims, for faculty in the College of Educational and Health Professions, 501-569-8509.

News and Updates

Quality Matters Distinction

Quality MattersCongratulations to Our Quality Matters Course Recognition Faculty

Congratulations to our faculty who achieved the Quality Matters (QM) recognition for their online courses over the fall semester.

Faculty and instructional designers collaborate to create online courses based on the QM rubric. The rubric is based on proven research, nationally recognized best practices, and instructional design principles.

The following UALR faculty and courses recently achieved Quality Matters Recognition:

Dr. Bennie Prince, Sport Law
Instructor, Denise LeGrand, Calculus II
Dr. Elizabeth Lee, Research and Evidenced Based Nursing, and Integration of Concepts
Dr. Jane Evans, Wellness Promotion
Dr. Gregory Shufeldt, American National Government
Dr. Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm, International Relations
Dr. Gerald Driskill, Organizational Communications

Learn more:  Quality Matters

Kaltura Tutorials for Students

Kaltura Media imageDo your students use Kaltura Media?

The Blackboard Student Support site now features Course Media tutorials to help your students navigate and understand how to use Kaltura Media. Here they will find steps for uploading media, creating webcams, and producing screen captures.

With this Blackboard partner tool, students may share their original media, create self-introductions, screen captures, or share applications. Media may also be used to create course community through communication and collaboration. If you plan to have students create media, please include this helpful information for your students.

Learn more: Kaltura Media for Students

Blackboard Student Orientation

Student Orient 201610Getting Students Acquainted with Blackboard
Be sure to let your online students know about this week’s orientation sessions.

Bb Student Orientation Workshops – January 11 – 14

Join us for additional workshops for students interested in training on how to:

•    Log into the system
•    Upload assignments
•    Use the discussion forum
•    Take exams

There are no fees to attend, and you don’t need to bring your laptop or make an appointment. Just show up! All sessions will be held in Dickinson Hall 101. Each session is about 25 minutes.

Monday 11:00 a.m.,  11:30 a.m.  Noon,  12:30 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday 11:00 a.m.,  11:30 a.m., Noon, 12:30 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m.,  4:00,  4:30 p.m., and 5:00, 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., Noon – 12:30 p.m., 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., 4:00, 4:30 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., Noon – 12:30 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:30 p.m.

Learn more: Accessing UALR’s Online Systems

Training and Professional Development Opportunities

Spring Blackboard Training

Our instructional designers will host several training and professional development opportunities throughout the semester.

Whether you’re new faculty or just interested in a refresher, please visit our training calendar and click the links to register for sessions that will work with your busy schedule.

Learn more: Training and Professional Development

Posted in: Blackboard News, Featured, Newsletter

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