Fall 2016 Newsletter

Welcome back!

To all of our online instructors teaching this fall at UALR — welcome back! At the office of Scholarly Technology and Resources, we look forward to helping you prepare for your classes, and to give you a jump start, we’ve assembled a list of the top five things to remember as you get started:

Semester Quick Start Guide

Quick Start Guide image1. All online and hybrid courses will be made available automatically to students starting August 17. There’s no need to manually make your online and hybrid courses available. Note that students won’t have access to the course before the first day of classes, regardless of the course availability status.  If you’re using a Blackboard course shell for your face-to-face sections, you’ll still need to make the course available by following these instructions.

2. Copy your courses as soon as you can. You can follow the instructions on our website to copy contents from a previous semester. If you need to copy from a colleague’s course, you can have the instructor of record or department chair request course copy access by filling out our course access request form.

3. Merge sections before the first day of class.  If you’re teaching multiple sections of the same course, you probably want to merge them together, especially if you have been assigned a UALR Online section.  Follow these steps to merge your course before the first day of class to ensure that all students can access the course.

4. Create an archive of your Summer 2016 courses. Though these courses will continue to appear in your course listing for six semesters, you can ensure that they’re preserved for future reference by exporting a copy to your desktop. If you need a copy of a course for the upcoming semester, but can no longer access it from your account, please fill out our archive request form, and we’ll do our best to locate it for you.

5. Find help when you need it! Should you find yourself confronting a problem with your online course, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If your students are experiencing technical issues or having trouble accessing their courses, they’re welcome to reach out to us as well.

Learn more:  Blackboard Basics – Semester Quick Start Guide

Training this month

Faculty training image

Need Help with Blackboard?
STaR will be conducting the following training sessions in DKSN 101:

Blackboard Collaborate, Aug 29 10am-12pm
Teaching Online, Aug 29 1pm-2pm
Blackboard Basics, Aug 30, 11am-1pm
Grade Center, Aug 30 1pm-3pm

STaR Open Lab

Aug 19 10am-2pm
Aug 26 10am-2pm
Aug 31 9am-4pm

UALR faculty are invited to stop by the STaR Open Lab for assistance with online, hybrid or web-enhanced course development. STaR staff will be available to answer your questions about course design and Blackboard tools for your upcoming online courses.

Learn more:  Training and Professional Development

Blackboard logo

Do your students need help with Blackboard?
Let us show them the basics!

The STaR Office will hold Blackboard orientation sessions in DKSN 101 for students interested in training on how to log into the system, upload assignments, use the discussion forum, and take exams. There are no fees to attend, and students don’t need to bring a laptop or make an appointment. Just show up from Aug 16 through Aug 18, and again, Aug 23 through Aug 25.

Learn more: Blackboard Student Orientation

New this fall

Blackboard Collaborate graphicAnnouncing: Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

If you’re looking for a video conferencing tool that’s easy to use for both you and your students in your online courses this fall, be sure to check out the new Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, available now in your Blackboard course shell.

Collaborate Ultra’s HTML5 interface provides a full suite of conferencing tools — like application sharing and virtual whiteboards — directly in your browser.

There’s no need to download java applets or install special launcher programs, so accessing your synchronous session is easier for everyone!

You can find more information about Collaborate Ultra and how to use it in your course by visiting the Collaborate page on our website. Be sure to check out our training schedule and sign-up for one of our demos to get started using Collaborate Ultra in your online course!

UALR Online_stack logoNew online programs: This fall, we are pleased to announce several new certificate and online degrees available through UALR Online, providing students enrolled in our totally online program with more learning opportunities in a

wide range of academic studies and disciplines. Kudos to our faculty experts who work closely with our instructional designers and others to provide innovative programs with academic excellence and universal inclusion in mind.

Learn more: UALR Online Degrees, UALR Online Explained

Student Orient 201610New home for Blackboard Student Orientation:
The Blackboard Student Orientation has a new home! Now located on the myOrganizations tab in Blackboard, the orientation course provides students with introductory information about interacting with their online courses without them having to log out of the system.

If you require your students to complete the orientation, be sure to update your instructions to reflect its new location! And remember, students can find information about Blackboard at any time on the UALR Blackboard Student Support website.

Learn more: Blackboard Student Support

Course development with Quality Matters faculty

Quality Matters recognitions

Join us as we congratulate our recent Quality Matters (QM) certificates of distinction. This recognition denotes the dedication of our faculty across a variety of disciplines to create exceptional course content for online learners.

As a nationally acclaimed standard, the QM rubric is based on research principles and best practices that bring faculty experts and instructional designers together to create innovative learning objectives and organized course content.

Using the QM rubric, faculty experience a rigorous outside peer review that includes a subject expert evaluation to acquire the certification. Through these efforts, students experience an enriched environment and online community.

The following UALR faculty have recently achieved the Quality Matters recognition for their courses:

Gerald Driskill, Organizational CommunicationsQuality Matters logo
Jane Evans, Wellness Promotion
Temekis Hampton, Leadership and Management
Jamie Jones, Ethics, Legalities, and Advocacy
Elizabeth Lee, Research and Evidence, and
Integration of Concepts
Stacy Moak, Juvenile Law and Process
Bennie Prince, Sport Law
Kilby Raptopoulos, Proseminar
Gregory Shufeldt, American National Government
Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm, International Relations

Learn more:  Quality Matters at UALR


Quality Matters image

Develop new online courses with our Quality Matters workshop

If you are developing a new online course to be taught next year, we encourage you to attend our upcoming Applying for the Quality Matters Rubric Workshop (APPQMR) in September.

The workshop introduces faculty to the QM rubric, a nationally acclaimed set of standards and best practices used for exceptional course design.

While the workshop is not required for online courses, it does provide training toward course QM certification and options to become a QM Peer Reviewer for other institutions.

Once you begin, you’ll discover new techniques to develop your course content, align objectives and goals, and organize materials that will engage students and encourage successful online learning experiences. You will also have the opportunity to work with our instructional design team to create innovative content and increase learner performance.

How do I begin?

1. Attend the Applying for the Quality Matters Rubric Workshop (APPQMR), confirm completion, and apply for funding consideration.
2. Faculty and instructional designers collaborate to develop the course for online.
3. Teach your course for one semester.
4. The course is submitted for an internal Quality Matters course review.
5. Next, the course is submitted to Quality Matters for an external course review and revisions.
6. Course receives official QM certification and course developers, “those selected for funding” may receive compensation.

Is funding available?

Funding is available to interested faculty who have not previously gone through the QM review process. Funding is not available to faculty who have previously been funded. However, you may apply to create additional courses under the QM rubric and collaborate with the instructional design team.

How do I apply?

Watch for our September Quality Matters Rubric Workshop (APPQMR) announcement or check the STaR training calendar to register.

Who can I contact for more information?

Contact our Quality Matters coordinator, Sean Orme, smorme@ualr.edu, 501.682.3149 for more information.

Learn more: Online Course Development, Quality Matters at UALR,
Quality Matters Peer Review Information

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