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FAQ

Getting Started

Whom should I contact if I am interested in developing and teaching an online course?

Interested faculty must contact their department chair/lead staff. Respective units will conduct the search and hiring of qualified faculty to teach an online course.

Whom should I contact once notified that I will be teaching an online course?

For more information on teaching with FIU Online see the how it works page. 

I'm new to online teaching. Where do I begin and how do I get training?

We suggest that new faculty enroll in the Online Starter Kit: First Steps in Teching Online. However, regardless of your experience and skill level, FIU Online offers a comprehensive selection of webinars, workshops, and on-demand training courses. From pedagogy to technology, we will help you gain the confidence and skills you need to excel online. To learn more about training or to register please see the professional development page.

What preparation/requirements are required before starting development of my online course?

Please visit our faculty site prior to your first development meeting with your instructional designer.  However, we suggest that new faculty enroll in the Online Starter Kit: First Steps in Teching Online in our on-demand training page.

How is online teaching different from traditional classroom teaching?

Although similar materials can be used, the online learning process differs greatly from face-to-face instruction. Online requires that both the instructor and students actively participate throughout the length of the course. However, active participation does not occur synchronously. Students have more flexibility for the completion of work and faculty members have more flexibility managing the course. In an online course, the instructor typically plays the role of a facilitator overseeing and directing students in achieving the learning objectives for the course.

How many class sessions am I allowed to have on campus for my online course?

A course is considered online when at least 80% of the class meetings that would be held for a standard classroom course are replaced by online activities. It is important to note that if you are holding an on campus visit, a virtual alternative must be provided for students regardless of their physical location. Please review our Policy for On-Campus Visits  for further information.

Who is responsible for placing textbook orders for my online courses?

The professor or their respective department is responsible for all textbooks orders for online classes. FIU Online is not responsible for placing textbook orders. 

Will I be able to use another professor's course materials for my online course?

Yes. Faculty interested in copying another faculty member's course must receive written permission from the faculty member and should consult with their department chair. Once written permission has been obtained, provide it to your instructional designer.

What is the difference between my fully online and UTS web-assisted courses?

FIU Online hosts fully online courses while ETS  assists faculty with their web-assisted courses.  FIU Online and ETS are organized under separate departments; please contact the appropriate department to address respective issues you may have.  

What is an LMS?

An LMS is Learning Management System that hosts online courses. FIU Online uses Blackboard Learn.

 

Technical Assistance

What if I am unable to log into the LMS and/or I need a password reset?
Where can I find resources for using tools, software, and the LMS?

You can find faculty resources, tools, and training and development throughout our faculty website.

Who do I contact in an emergency if my instructional designer or their course developer is unavailable or unresponsive?

Please contact FIU Online Support Services. 

Why can't I upload my video & audio files directly into the course?

At FIU Online we utilize a streaming server for video and audio files. The streaming server mitigates technical difficulties and improves the viewing capabilities of the video. This prevents students from having to download the media before being able to view/listen to it. Additionally, video and audio files tend to be large; utilizing the streaming server assists in maintaining course size restrictions. 

Why can't my instructional designer update my ETS course shells?

FIU Online and ETS are organized under separate departments, thus FIU Online instructional designers do not have access to ETS hosted web-assisted courses. If you have a fully online course, your instructional designer will have access to assist with it. If you have a web assisted course or a hybrid course (meaning any course that has a face-to-face component), you must contact ETS for assistance with this course.

Whom do I contact if the system is down?

Contact your instructional designer or Support Services during regular business hours. After business hours and on the weekend, contact Support Services.

 

Administrative

When should I expect to receive my payment for teaching online this semester?

Please contact your department regarding payment as it may vary across the colleges and disciplines. 

If I am conducting an on-campus exam how do I accommodate out of state/country students?

If you are conducting an on-campus exam, you must allow for the use of either a virtual or in-person proctoring option for online students regardless of their physical location. Please refer to our Proctored Exam Policy for further details. 

How often is an instructor expected to log into their course and for how long?

Instructors should log into their online courses three or more times week and should take the necessary time to address student inquiries and work on evaluation and feedback. Student inquiries should be answered within 24-48 hours.

How can I retrieve or view my student evaluation results at the end of the semester?

Evaluation results are available approximately three weeks after the end of each semester. Instructors should contact their Department Chair or refer to OPIR.

Who should have access to my course?

Registered students, assigned instructional designer(s), assigned course developer, FIU Online support services members (when needed), and individuals authorized access by the faculty teaching the course and/or chair. 

Where should final grades be posted?

Final grades for students can be posted in the Blackboard Grade Center, but must be entered into student records by the instructor through the PantherSoft system. If you have trouble accessing or posting grades into PantherSoft, please contact ETS.

How long do the students and faculty have access to a Blackboard course after the classes end?
  • Students have access to their online course(s) for seven days after the last day of classes.
  • Faculty will have access to their online course(s) for the current and two previous semesters (e.g., fall, spring, and summer courses).
When do course grades need to be posted to PantherSoft?

Course grades are to be posted by the deadlines on the Academic Calendar.

 

Design & Development

When should my online course be developed?

This is handled on a case-by-case basis. Typically, courses are developed during the semester prior to the course offering. Please discuss options with your instructional designer. If you will be teaching a fully online course and have not yet been assigned an instructional designer, you can contact the Training and Learning Team to schedule a preliminary curriculum consulting meeting. 

How can I handle group work in online courses?

We have a few ways in which group work can be handled in your online course. Your instructional designer can share the commonly used tools. 

Can I show videos in an online course?

Yes, we even encourage you to use, make, and have your students make videos. If you have an existing video that you would like to use in an online course, we can digitize that and put it in a format for streaming online. Just as in a face-to-face course, we must follow copyright guidelines.  Additionally, FIU Online has tools that help you integrate video right in your courses. You can see more information on integrating video on our multimedia page. Instructional designers at FIU Online will be happy to work with faculty to integrate various video options into their courses.

How much time should I give students to take a multiple choice test? How many days should it be available?

The time per assessment depends on the level of difficulty per question; for example one minute per question if one minute is reasonable to answer the specific question. The availability period typically ranges from one to seven days. Consider your audience, their responsibilities, as well as the specific assessment type.

What can I do to prevent academic misconduct in my online course?

There are many ways to circumvent academic misconduct in your online course. Your instructional designer can recommend our best practices.

What games/activities can I offer in my course?

Please contact your instructional designer for suggestions and recommendations.

 

Student Assistance

Whom do my students contact if they are having technical difficulties?

Students can contact FIU Online Support Services.

What type of special accommodations should be made for students with disabilities?

For information regarding accommodations for students with disabilities, please contact FIU’s Disability Resource Center. 

A student registered late. When will he/she gain access to his/her fully online course?

Students will gain access within 24 hours of registration.

A student has already submitted a paper in Turnitin. He/she realized the wrong file was submitted. How can I allow him/her to resubmit?

The student can't resubmit and we cannot reset the submission for him/her. The student must email you (the professor) his/her paper and you must manually submit it for the student through Turnitin.

Will FIU Online give support to students who have issues with publisher-hosted material?

FIU Online only provides support for content created and hosted by FIU Online. If you have an issue with publisher-hosted material, please contact your publisher’s technical support.

 

Blackboard

What features does Blackboard have?

FIU’s Blackboard system has many features. View our on-demand trainings or talk with your instructional designer.

If I would like a new feature added to Blackboard whom should I contact?

Contact your instructional designer.