FinAid Engagement Requirements

Academic Activity in the First Two Weeks

UNLV, like all higher education institutions who accept federal funds, must confirm student attendance within the first two weeks (14 days) of class. Specifically, UNLV must show who has completed an academic activity within those first 14 days, and must return federal funds for students who do not attend. This page offers guidance on several simple options using UNLV-provided tools to make this process easy for UNLV faculty.

The Spring 2020 engagement dates are January 21 to February 3.

Most of the options can be integrated into your existing teaching practice and may offer pedagogical benefits too. Whichever academic activity you choose, it must be done within the first 14 days of class. If you already have one or more of these items happening in WebCampus within the first 14 days of class, you do not have to create any other options. However, please verify that your activity meets the criteria listed in the appropriate instructional option below. Faculty are encouraged to consult with the Instructional Technology Services in OIT if they would like assistance with designing and implementing one of these solutions in their teaching practice.

View Engagement Requirements WebCampus GuideSubmit a WebCampus Help Request

Whether you are creating a new WebCampus activity for the first time or using an existing one that’s tried and true, the title of the item must include “FinAid Engage”. Click on the Instructional Option below to view more details, including the minimum requirements for each.

Instructional Options

Graded Discussion Post

Time/Work Required Faculty Varies - The creation of a discussion board is simple, but managing discussions in large enrollment courses may become unwieldy.
Student Varies depending on the nature of your discussion topic and your requirements for the post. A student must contribute at least 1 post to the discussion in order to be counted.
Scoring/Settings
  • Varies depending on your preference. (If you do not want this to count towards the students’ final course grade, this can be set up as a graded discussion worth 0 points.)
  • Name/title must include FinAid Engage
Benefit to Student Evidence suggests that online discussion boards are often an extension of the classroom and contribute to improved learning outcomes.
Examples Introduce Yourself Directions for students: Introduce yourself to the rest of the class. You should include information about your background, why you are taking this class, and/or something unique about yourself that you would not mind sharing with the class. If your class is large or you have difficulty learning the names of your students, consider having them add a picture to the post.
Notes

Although set as graded, you do not need to score students’ submissions for this to count towards the attendance requirement. Caution: Discussion boards may become unwieldy in large courses.

For your convenience, we have created a FinAid Engage Discussion: Introduce Yourself discussion that can be imported into your courses from Canvas Commons. It is currently set up to be worth 0 points so that it will not impact your student’s final grade. But, that can be edited after it is imported into your course.

For instructions on how to import this item into your course, please refer to the Import Pre-Built Item Into WebCampus from Commons section of our Financial Aid Engagement Requirements WebCampus Guide.

Submit an Assignment

Time/Work Required Faculty Varies - you must design the assignment and it must be manually graded. Assignments can vary widely - as can the time needed to grade them.
Student Varies depending on your requirements for the assignment.
Scoring/Settings
  • This must be worth at least 1 point (if you do not want this to count towards the student’s final course grade, be sure to enable that setting when creating the assignment.)
  • Must require that the student submit something in WebCampus
  • Name/title must include FinAid Engage
Benefit to Student A well designed assignment can yield good learning outcomes. Faculty may benefit from having students write about their 3 main expectations for the class - offering insights into what students believe to be important.
Examples
  1. A one-page journal entry or learning log reflecting on the week’s readings.
  2. A short student bio and what they expect to get out of the class.
Notes
  • The assignment must be worth at least 1 point.
  • The assignment must be submitted in WebCampus by the student.

Quiz/Test

Time/Work Required Faculty Varies - While there’s a modest initial time investment in building the quiz in WebCampus, you gain time by having WebCampus do all the grading. You can also have a single question (or as many as you like).
Student Students would need to complete the quiz within the first 2 weeks of class.
Scoring/Settings
  • This must be worth at least 1 point.
  • Must be a Graded Quiz/Test
  • Name/title must include FinAid Engage
Benefit to Student Varies – but a well-designed assessment can give you useful insight into where students may struggle in your discipline. For example, you might want to see the depth of knowledge that students have in a particular discipline to see where they stand.
Examples
  1. A one item multiple choice quiz asking students to confirm that they will follow the code of conduct for class.
  2. A quiz on class policies for your syllabus. This can include multiple choice questions such as how to contact the instructor, grading policies, late work policies, how absences impact their final grade, etc.
  3. A pre-assessment to test students’ knowledge on specific course concepts
Notes
  • Do not manually enter grades for students who did not submit the quiz via WebCampus.
  • If you want this engagement activity to be excluded from the final grade, do not use this option.

For your convenience, we have created a FinAid Engage Quiz: Class Code of Conduct item that can be imported into your courses from Commons. It is currently set up to be worth 1 point and contains 1 question asking students to agree to follow the classroom and academic code of conduct outlined in your course syllabus. With this option, no other action is required. Once the student completes the quiz, a score of 1 will automatically appear in the gradebook.

For instructions on how to import this item into your course, please refer to the Import Pre-Built Item Into WebCampus from Commons section of our Financial Aid Engagement Requirements WebCampus Guide.

Student Response Systems (clickers)

Time/Work Required Faculty High (unless these devices are already integrated into your teaching practice) - if you only use it to take attendance, it is minimal but more questions mean more work and it takes time to integrate the use of the clickers with the course content.
Student Students would need to purchase clickers or sign up for the service on their mobile device.
Scoring
  • Must be worth at least 1 point
  • Name/title must include FinAid Engage
Benefit to Student Well-designed clicker questions can improve student engagement in class and can also guide class conversations by informing your pedagogic strategy (where are the students struggling, what concepts did they miss, etc.)
Examples
  1. Polls to assess students’ understanding during a lecture.
  2. Using clickers to track student attendance.
  3. Demonstrate in real time the diversity of student opinions on a sensitive topic.
Notes

Not recommended unless you wish to use the clickers throughout the semester. Students must purchase the clickers. For more information on clickers, please visit our Clickers at UNLV page. Some departments may already be using clickers, meaning that your students might already own the device. Check with your department chair.

Import Prebuilt Survey

Time/Work Required Faculty Very minimal - You would just need to import the survey into your WebCampus course via Canvas Commons. It will automatically be graded once the student completes the survey.
Student Very minimal - This survey contains only one question that asks the student to identify which state they reside in while taking the course.
Scoring/Settings

This prebuilt survey has been set up to award a student 1 point upon completion.

Benefit to Student

None directly; this survey will help gather geographic information for the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

For your convenience, a one-item survey (FinAid Engage Survey) inquiring about the student’s geographic location has been prebuilt and can be imported into your course(s). This information is gathered as part of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA). Note: With this option, no other action is required. Once the student completes the survey, a score of 1 will automatically appear in the gradebook.

For instructions on how to import this item into your course, please refer to the Import Pre-Built Item Into WebCampus from Commons section of our Financial Aid Engagement Requirements WebCampus Guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do all these solutions involve WebCampus (Canvas)?

WebCampus is the supported Learning Management System (LMS) at UNLV. It is widely used across campus and all classes appear in WebCampus, even for faculty who do not use it. These options integrate into most existing courses and enable relatively easy reporting.

When should the student process be completed?

Students must complete an academic activity (attend class, complete work online, etc.) within the first two weeks of class.

When should the faculty process be completed?

Faculty must complete the recording of a student’s academic activity in WebCampus within the first two weeks of class.

Can I use another technology to collect and submit this information?

For the pilot, we ask that you use one of the options offered above. In the future, UNLV may consider other technologies to capture, track and store this data.

Can I take attendance on paper and turn that in?

No. Student interaction is required in WebCampus for proper recording.

What should I do if a student has an emergency at the beginning of the semester and has to miss the first two weeks of class?

Faculty must decide how to handle these situations on a case-by-case basis. If you are unsure of how to approach a situation, please speak with your department chair.

How does the data get from WebCampus to Financial Aid?

Data is automatically extracted from WebCampus and provided to Financial Aid.

Who reports on this data?

For now, Financial Aid will use it as part of meeting federal reporting requirements. Advising may also use the data as part of an early warning initiative.

Who should I call if I need assistance with WebCampus?

You should call or contact the IT Help Desk with any questions. You should also refer to the FinAid Engagement Requirements WebCampus guide which offers a more thorough exploration of your options.

What courses are in the pilot program?

The following courses are participating in the pilot program:

  • Biology 100- and 200-level
  • Business 100- and 200-level
  • Mathematics 100- and 200-level
  • All FILM
  • All GRC
  • All EED

Who can I contact with questions about the pilot program?

You can reach out to one of the following FinAid Engagement Project Team Members: