UAF eCampus Reports |
The University of Alaska Fairbanks eCampus annual report is produced each year to chronicle UAF eCampus activities.
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2020-21 Annual Report

6,620

STUDENTS

Up 10% from FY20

650

COURSES

Total of 1,329 sections

63,399

STUDENT CREDIT HOURS

Up 33% from FY20

STUDENT SERVICES

STORIES FROM OUT-OF-STATE STUDENTS

Every student has a story. A new video series features UAF students (and graduates) from around the country and the world.

Explore the UAF eCampus YouTube channel.

ALASKA ADVANTAGE

In fall 2019, UAF launched the Alaska Advantage Program to provide Alaska’s high-achieving high school students an in-state, high-quality and affordable option for dual enrollment. A year later, UAF partnered with the University of Alaska Southeast, increasing course options. In its second year, the program has grown from 29 school district partners to 36 school districts and two private school partners. In academic year 2020-21, Alaska Advantage served 509 high school students who earned 3,795 student credit hours.

Fall 2021 enrollments are at a record high with 388 high school students enrolled in 2,037 student credit hours.

More About Alaska Advantage

Student Credit Hours Earned by High School Students

  • SCHs

CORPORATE PARTNERSHIPS

Our new corporate partnership program provides UAF’s great online courses and programs to the Alaska business community and outside organizations offering employee education benefits. In the first six months, we developed relationships with several Alaska Native organizations, statewide businesses, and national tuition management organizations (TMOs) that manage tuition benefits for America’s largest employers. This program provides convenient opportunities for workers to upskill or change careers, helping employers to retain their best people and to modernize their workforce.

Current Partners

  • Alaska Municipal League
  • Anchorage Economic Development Corporation
  • Foundation Health Partners
  • Bisk
  • Bright Horizons
  • EBG/Beneplace
  • Edcor
  • ISTS (International Scholarship & Tuition Services)
Faith Fleagle smiling at Exam Services check-in station.

UAF EXAM SERVICES

UAF eCampus Exam Services added a number of new services this year. We now proctor exams for federal employees (including TSA, Border Patrol and FBI agents) via PSI True Talent and proctor Journeyman exams for professionals within the following industries:

  • Boiler
  • Electrician
  • Explosive Handler
  • Lineman
  • Plumber
More About Exam Services

DEPARTMENT SUPPORT

edX logo

edX PARTNERSHIP

UAF joined the edX consortium in 2020 to increase access to its world-leading Arctic research. edX, a trusted global learning platform, has more than 34 million learners. UAF is known as AlaskaX on the platform. The online courses are four to eight weeks long and are available for free. Learners can also pay for a certificate that verifies course completion.

Explore AlaskaX

11

UAF COURSES ON edX

Within the first year, UAF instructors and instructional designers developed 11 courses including two certificate programs (three courses each).

12,860

STUDENTS

Thousands of students have found AlaskaX courses to be valuable and many have gone on to enroll in credit-bearing courses at UAF.

135

COUNTRIES

UAF’s courses reached students all over the world. To accommodate Spanish-speaking students, instructor Franz Meyer included Spanish language captions.

Drawing of a salmon by a nine-year-old edX student.

— Muriel Losey, a nine-year-old student in the Salmon, People, and Place edX course

The course far exceeded my expectations. It expanded and challenged my thinking. And it gave me language, tools and connections for continuing my learning.

— Gary Heck, Strategy Consultant from Chicago, IL, and student in Arctic Security Fundamentals edX course

ONLINE PROGRAMS RANKED AMONG THE BEST

UAF’s online bachelor’s degree programs were again ranked among the best by U.S. News & World Report in 2021. Additionally, the online Master of Arts in Justice Administration was ranked 21st in the country, the university’s highest ranking for an online program to date, and the online Bachelor of Business Administration programs earned a top-50 spot in the new-this-year ranking for undergraduate business programs.

All included, U.S. News & World Report ranked UAF on the following lists for 2021:

  • Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
  • Best Online Undergraduate Business (Specialty)
  • Best Online MBA Program
  • Best Online Education Programs (Graduate)
  • Best Online Criminal Justice/Criminology Programs (Graduate)

See rankings.


NEW PROGRAM PAGES

In coordination with UAF Admissions, all degree program pages on the eCampus website were refreshed in early 2021. The primary purpose was to infuse search-engine-optimized language into the content, helping prospective students to find the right program online.

Screenshot of the Associate of Arts program page on UAF eCampus website.

2,271

PEOPLE INQUIRED ABOUT UAF’S ONLINE PROGRAMS

Over the last year, the number of overall inquiries for online programs increased more than 35%. The online programs that get the most inquiries are:

  • Bachelor’s Degree Completion (9.4% of all inquiries)
  • BA or BS in Biological Sciences (8.9% of all inquiries)
  • BA or BS in Psychology (8.8% of all inquiries)
  • MBA in General Management or STEM (7.3% of all inquiries)
  • BBA in Business Administration (4.9% of all inquiries)

GROWING NUMBER OF COURSES

On a daily basis, UAF eCampus instructional designers work with instructors and departments to develop brand new courses and improve existing courses.

During the 2021 academic year, demand remained high as we adapted to a full school year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We added 229 new classes to the list of eCampus-supported courses.

  • Number of eCampus Courses Offered

NEW ONLINE PROGRAMS

This year, the UAF eCampus team helped academic departments onboard four new online programs, including UAF’s first online Bachelor of Science degrees — one in Biological Sciences and one in Psychology.

See UAF’s full list of online programs:

Arctic and Northern Studies
Justice Administration
MBA (General Management)
MBA (STEM)
Security and Disaster Management
Special Education

Arctic Security
Business Continuity
Cybersecurity Management
Strategic Leadership

Accounting
Special Education

Biology (B.A. and B.S.)
Accounting
Applied Management
Bachelor’s Degree Completion
Business Administration
Communication
History
Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Justice
Political Science
Psychology (B.A. and B.S.)
Sport and Recreation Business

Applied Accounting
Applied Business
Early Childhood Education
Information Technology Specialist
Paralegal Studies
Associate of Arts
Associate of Science

Accounting Technician
Applied Business Management
Early Childhood Education
Health Care Reimbursement
Information Technology Specialist
Medical and Dental Reception

Administrative Assistant
Bookkeeping Technician
Financial Services Representative
Medical Billing
Medical Coding
Medical Office Reception
Supervision and Personnel Management

FACULTY DEVELOPMENT

CANVAS PILOT

Since 2013, UAF eCampus has been investigating alternatives to the Blackboard learning management system (LMS). After evaluating several options, the Statewide eLearning Committee launched a pilot program of Canvas across UAF, UAA and UAS. Canvas is an industry leader in cloud-based LMSs and also meets accessibility guidelines.

For the fall 2020 semester, 11 courses with 278 students used Canvas. Participating departments included art, civil engineering, education, fisheries, social work and veterinary medicine. In spring 2021, the Canvas pilot increased to 55 courses from 22 departments with nearly 1,000 students.

At the end of the pilot, participants were asked to evaluate Canvas based on course navigation, tools, ease of use, accessibility and more. Both faculty and students gave favorable feedback. Read a summary. 

More About the Canvas Pilot

“When I started my courses, I had trouble figuring out Blackboard but Canvas was straightforward and understandable! I love Canvas, and I really hope others get to have the same experience I have had. It’s so easy to navigate!”

— Student in the spring 2021 Canvas pilot

CANVAS ADOPTION

In spring 2021, UAF Provost Anupma Prakash encouraged all UAF faculty and instructors to transition from Blackboard to Canvas. This is after a successful pilot program demonstrated the following:

  • Canvas has lower bandwidth requirements (1/3 less than Blackboard), making it more available in rural areas.
  • It provides a robust mobile learning experience.
  • It is more accessible for diverse learners.
  • Students are provided a modern online classroom, aligning with UAF’s strategic goals.

To assist faculty and instructors with the transition to Canvas, UAF eCampus unveiled a suite of new support services that included open labs, start-to-finish course design workshops, à la carte training opportunities on a variety of teaching and student tools, and a 24/7 Canvas hotline to support all users. 

Canvas Resources for UAF Instructors

START-TO-FINISH COURSE DESIGN

To support the growing number of instructors developing online courses, UAF eCampus hosted three “Barn Raisings”—virtual events that lay out a set of tasks and deadlines to help instructors get their course online and ready to go in three days.

These workshops ranged from 15 to 21 hours each and brought together a diverse group of more than 30 instructors who focused on quickly building a strong product— either a hybrid or a fully online course—for their students.

Schedule & Checklist

Graphic of a barn.

DIY VIDEO SERIES

COVID-19 precautions meant instructors often needed to record and edit their own video content from home, which can be a daunting new skill to learn. To make the learning process as painless as possible, we created a series of videos featuring best practices and tools that can help level up course content.

Watch DIY Videos
601

FACULTY SUPPORTED

UAF eCampus offers a wide variety of development opportunities for all faculty, instructors and TAs. More than 600 people took advantage of at least one service this year. Find resources at iTeachU.uaf.edu.

NoLo & OER: SAVING STUDENTS MONEY

Our Innovation Quest is a three-month, incentive-based program encouraging UAF instructors to transition their courses (online and face-to-face) to a no- or low-cost (NoLo) status through the adoption of open education resources (OER). To earn the “NoLo” designation, course materials and textbooks must not exceed $40.

This student-centric approach has an immediate impact. Based on enrollments and a $100 average textbook cost per course—a standard established by the Open Textbook Network and currently used at many institutions across the country to estimate savings—UAF students saved up to $120,000 in fall 2021.

NoLo Courses at UAF

UNDERSTANDING ACCESSIBILITY AT UAF

During the week of spring break, UAF eCampus partnered with UAF Disability Services, UA Human Resources and a student with a visual impairment to host lunch-hour presentations about accessibility.

More than 100 people attended the sessions live. You can still access the event online, including recorded presentations.

Accessibility is an integral part of our department’s Inclusive Practice goals. We spend an average of $12,000 each year to caption instructional videos, help instructors earn Quality Matters reviews for their courses, and serve on statewide committees—all in an effort to proactively improve course accessibility.

Our Commitment
Science equipment
Most of the instruments, glassware and materials that are used for at-home labs by Organic Chemistry I students.


SPOTLIGHT ON ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I

In fall 2020, Tom Green, professor of chemistry, developed a fully online section of Organic Chemistry I (CHEM F321). His course provides online students with hands-on experience in custom home-based labs, remote access to research-grade equipment, and robust 3D modeling software.

Green developed this fully online lab course as part of his CITE Fellows project. Unimpressed with commercially available lab kits, he said, “I was a little disappointed in the curriculum that lab supply companies address. These lab activities do not reflect what organic chemists actually do.” While there are a few other chemistry lab courses available online, none follow the basic structure of a rigorous organic chemistry lab: devise and follow a procedure, make direct observations, record data, analyze the results, and report the findings.

Enrollment in the course has more than doubled from fall 2020 to fall 2021!

More Insights

TRAUMA-INFORMED PEDAGOGY

Trauma-informed pedagogy is an approach to teaching and learning that recognizes the whole person not just in and outside of the classroom, but through the experiences and challenges that may impact the learning space.

In November, the 2020 Faculty Learning Community on Trauma-Informed Pedagogy hosted a two-day workshop for all UAF faculty, staff and graduate students interested in applying trauma-informed practices to their teaching. 80 people attended the workshop, which covered:

  • Theory of trauma-informed practice
  • Reframing common trauma responses
  • Power, relationships and intersectionality in trauma-informed pedagogy
  • How to operationalize empowerment in education

Silhouette of head and shoulders with a calm mountain scene inside.


COURSE QUALITY MATTERS

To earn course certification, faculty analyze and update the design of their course guided by the Quality Matters rubric. Eight areas include 42 elements to review. The most rigorous elements include clearly identifying how learning objectives are measurable and align with desired course outcomes. Faculty review and address usability and accessibility of course materials, design and ease of use.

Six instructors had three outside peers review and certify a course during FY21.

Quality Matters logo

Course

Instructor

BA F343: Principles of MarketingTammy Tragis-McCook
ES F331: Mechanics of MaterialsCheng-fu Chen
HSEM F412: Emergency Planning and PreparednessScott Kuykendall
HSEM F456: Leadership in Dangerous ContextsCameron Carlson
HSEM/MBA F632: Project ManagementToni Abbey
JUST F610: Ethics in Criminal Justice ManagementFrank Boldt

See the full list of UAF Quality Matters-certified courses.

YOU MAY HAVE SEEN US…

ON TV

The first UAF eCampus commercial began airing in Washington state during August 2020 and was later added to California and Texas markets.

EARNING AWARDS

UAF’s Learning Inside Out Network (LION) was the recipient of the 2020 University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) West Region Engagement Award.

Co-founded by partners at UAF eCampus, UAF’s Writing Program, Blossom House, and correctional centers across the state, LION connects learners in the university, correctional and reentry communities.

“LION is a collective, community-based response to the ongoing situation of limited access to education opportunities in carceral institutions across the state,” said Kendell Newman Sadiik, UAF eCampus faculty development manager and LION co-founder. “It is about wellness and innovation in education as well as access.”

Watch the acceptance video:

UAF’s Alaska Advantage Program was also the recipient of the 2020 University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) West Region Outstanding Administrative Process or Service Award.

AT STANFORD

Madara Mason smilingMadara Mason, UAF eCampus associate director of teaching and learning, attended the Teaching and Learning Studio in 2020 through the Innovation Fellows Program at Stanford’s d.school. During this week-long intensive, she connected with innovators in the field of higher education to explore existing and emerging pedagogies that leverage learning-in-community facilitated by technology.

IN AN APP

CircleIn attempts to make peer learning more accessible to online students by letting them organize with classmates to create digital flashcards, share and highlight notes, ask questions about content and assignments, and interact with teaching assistants. UAF participated in a National Science Foundation-funded study on CircleIn beginning fall 2021, all UAF students have access to the tool.