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This online faculty manual is provided as a guide to assist faculty in teaching web enhanced, blended, and online courses. It is not a policy and may be subject to change.

Table of Contents

Faculty Conduct

All faculty are expected to practice the values outlined in the UAB Strategic Plan and ethically conduct teaching and research as described in the UAB Enterprise Code of Conduct, the Policy Concerning the Responsible Conduct of Research and Other Scholarly Activities, and the Title IX Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence Policy. See below for required statements on Title IX for course syllabi.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

In an effort to protect the privacy of UAB students, faculty are expected to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This is a federal law regarding the privacy and handling of students’ educational records, and it protects specific rights of students. Read more about FERPA, what information can and cannot be disclosed, sample scenarios, and other resources on the UAB FERPA webpage.

Academic Integrity Code for Students

To promote academic integrity among UAB students, the university requires all students to adhere to the Academic Integrity Code. This policy supports UAB’s academic mission and the expectation for UAB students to maintain and promote academic integrity in all academic work. This policy defines academic misconduct and outlines UAB’s process for addressing allegations of student academic misconduct.

To educate students on the code, the university requires all students to complete an online Academic Integrity Code course in Canvas. If a student does not fully complete the course and all assignments therein, a hold is placed on the student’s account preventing them from being able to register for classes for the following semester.

If you suspect an instance of academic misconduct, please follow the procedures outlined in the Academic Integrity Code. To read the code and the answers to some common questions, visit the UAB Academic Integrity Code webpage for Faculty.

Artificial Intelligence

To learn about artificial intelligence (AI) and syllabus statements regarding use of AI, see the UAB Task Force Report on AI (pdf) for a starting point.

Copyright and Fair Use

An overview of copyright and fair use can be found on the UAB Office of Scholarly Communications website. The information contained in the pdfBest Practices for Online Course Design has no legal standing, however, it provides a guide for using copyright materials made by others in learning, teaching, and research.

Please direct copyright related questions to Jeff Graveline, Associate Dean for Research and Instruction, UAB Libraries, (205) 934-6364.

Intellectual Property for Ownership for Distance Education

Faculty teaching distance education courses retain the right and responsibility to revise course materials to reflect course assessment, changes in pedagogical philosophy, advances in the discipline, and other matters that warrant course revision.

Ownership and use of intellectual property created by UAB employees, including faculty (including Credentialed Course Instructors), are governed by the University's Patent Policy and Copyright Policy. In most cases, both UAB and an instructor who has designed materials for a course taught at UAB have the right to use the materials. In addition, use of intellectual property may raise issues under the UAB Enterprise Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy, which applies to all faculty and staff. A list of frequently asked questions has been designed to address some commonly occurring concerns of faculty members as well as other paid teaching instructors.

Course Format Definition/Instruction Types

For detailed scheduling guidelines, please visit the University of Alabama at Birmingham Registrar's Scheduling Guidelines page. Once there, navigate to the 'Fields & Options' section, and click on the accordion labeled 'Schedule Type' to view the relevant information.

State Authorization for Reciprocity with Other States in Distance Education

Alabama is a member of NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements), and UAB is an approved SARA institution. The term “state authorization” refers to the authorization that UAB must obtain from states other than its home state of Alabama to operate in those states, including through distance education. Generally speaking, every state has the right to regulate educational institutions operating the state

For students, the SARA initiative seeks to provide greater access to academic programs, lead to better resolution of student complaints, increase the quality of distance education, and increase opportunities for student clinicals, practicums, and internships outside of Alabama. See the UAB State Authorization page for more information.

Also provided are Professional Licensure and Certification General Disclosures on whether an educational program would be sufficient to meet the educational licensure requirements in a particular state. See the Professional Licensure and Certification General Disclosures page for more information.

Instructor Support and Services

See the Instructor Support and Services page.

Faculty Training and Professional Development Opportunities

See the Faculty Training and Professional Development Opportunities page.

Course and Instructor Recognition

  • Quality Matters University-Wide Initiative

    In direct alignment with UAB’s Forging the Future Strategic Plan and direction regarding education, a Quality Matters (QM) Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) has been approved.

    Instructors who wish to begin the course certification process, should visit the eLearning Quality Matters page.

  • Provost’s Awards for Transformative Online Courses (TOCA)

    The Provost’s Awards for Transformative Online Courses (TOCA) recognize online courses developed by faculty members of the UAB community that exemplify best practices and innovation in online education.

    "Transformative" courses are defined as those that enhance the student experience through the use of innovative teaching strategies, fostering an interactive learning community that maximizes student engagement and outcomes.

    Instructors wishing to apply should visit the TOCA Awards webpage.

  • Additional Awards for UAB Faculty

    UAB recognizes faculty for excellence in teaching, research, and service. See the Faculty Awards website for more information about the various faculty awards.

Online Course Showcase

An Online Course Showcase page has been developed to highlight a few of UAB’s high- quality online courses. The courses selected for this showcase employ many Quality Matters standards and Universal Design for Learning principles. This provides current and potential students as well as faculty with an opportunity to see examples of well-designed online courses. Additional courses will be added in the future. Access to these courses is publicly available on the Online Course Showcase page.

Online Course Development Process

UAB’s Digital Mass Communications and Content Policy requires that course content be “administered through a local system of oversight.” See the Online Course Development Process page for more details.

Course Publishing

Canvas courses must be published by the instructor prior to or on the date classes begin for students to access and participate in the course. See detailed instructions on how to publish a course in Canvas.


See the UAB eLearning Syllabus page.

Instructor Presence in Online Courses

Instructors of online courses have noted that instructor presence contributes to student success. See recommendations for incorporating instructor presence in online courses.

Online Proctoring Services

UAB offers different proctoring solutions to help increase academic integrity for online exams. These solutions include live proctoring and automated proctoring. Instructors are encouraged to review these proctoring options and select the solution that works best for their courses.

Teaching Assistant Access to Canvas Course Shell

By default, Teaching Assistants (TAs) have access to course grades. However, some Schools/College may restrict access. Additionally, access to other parts of the course may differ depending on the permissions set by the Schools/College. All TA requests are completed by the Schools/College Canvas Administrator (Note: Canvas Support cannot add individuals to courses). Requests for enrolling undergraduate students as TAs may require approval from a Department Chair or Schools/College Associate Dean.

Faculty Academic Technologies and Support

See the Faculty Academic Technologies and Support page.

Student Resources

You can import each of these resources into your course from Canvas Commons.

  • ProctorU Student Preparation – This module includes educational materials, a quiz on ProctorU, and a practice proctored test.
  • Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor Student Preparation – This module includes educational materials, a quiz on Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, and a practice proctored test.
  • UAB Academic Integrity Code Module – This module includes the information from the Academic Integrity Code course that students are required to take when they enter the university.
  • Time Management Activity – This interactive page allows students to see how much time they have to devote to schoolwork and provides them with resources for improving their time management skills. This is a page that can be added to a module.
  • Online-Learning Readiness Assessment – This interactive page allows students to assess their readiness for online courses and read tips on how to prepare for online learning. This is a page that can be added to a module.

Additionally, UAB provides a variety of other Student Academic and Support Services that you may share with your students.

eLearning Glossary

Below is a list of various terminology used in this manual or within Canvas and Banner.

  • Banner – Banner, or BlazerNET as it is called at UAB, is an online portal for students to register for classes, view their accounts and financial aid, and to access their grades and transcripts. Faculty use Banner/BlazerNET to submit final grades, email their class roster, program Canvas Automated Alerts, etc.
  • Canvas – Canvas is UAB’s approved learning management system.
  • Course shell – A course shell is the course site within Canvas.
  • Cross-listing – Cross-listing is combining two or more course shells in Canvas so that students in both courses interact in the same shell.
  • Kaltura – Kaltura is a media management system used to host video and audio files. Students and faculty may also record media with Kaltura. Kaltura is known as My Media and Media Gallery inside the Canvas environment.
  • Non-Q section – Courses with a section code that does not begin with a Q are on campus courses. Some on campus courses may be taught in a blended or web enhanced format.
  • Q section – Courses with a section code that begins with a Q (BUS 102-QX, SPA 101-QL, etc.) are online courses

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