Course Information Form (CIF)

Course Information Forms (CIFs) allow faculty to publish detailed information about their online courses. Students find enticing course descriptions and clear requirements appealing and useful.

Faced with demands like employer commitments, care-taking responsibilities, medical issues, and location constraints, continuing and prospective students use the information to decide whether an online course is a good fit. Because online sections also tend to fill quickly, it becomes critical for students to plan for alternatives, if a preferred course is not a good fit.

Completing Course Information Forms (CIFs) is also critical for meeting UNM's distance education compliance obligations (see below under 'Legal Notice').

Course information is published to the Schedule of Online Courses. Instructors are encouraged to promote their courses by sharing this link: online.unm.edu/courses.

The CIF web application is at cif.unm.edu


CIF Requirements

To make registration decisions, online students depend on information not available in LoboWeb (my.unm.edu), and the UNM Catalog (catalog.unm.edu). Knowing whether a course requires web conferencing, meetings, proctoring, or other commitments are options students weigh before registering for an online course.

Course information disclosure is required to meet UNM’s requirements under the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). Compliance with SARA allows UNM to offer online education to students located across state lines.

Legal Notice

Students enrolled online must be made aware of material course requirements, including meeting requirements, before registration. As such, faculty must make the following listed disclosures: specific meeting times, required course materials and costs (textbooks, hardware, or applications), or testing requirements. Failure to distribute this information could create a “misrepresentation” as defined by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 34 CFR 688.71-75.

A finding of misrepresentation could result in the University of New Mexico being fined, audited, or reviewed by the U.S. Department of Education, with the potential for loss of its federal financial responsibility rating. Misrepresentation puts in jeopardy UNM’s participation in awarding federal Title IV financial aid, (grants, work-study, and loans). In the event that UNM Online identifies that proper disclosures were not made, the UNM Registrar’s Office may require an online course to be cancelled and rescheduled with the proper disclosures.

Meetings

Online courses may or may not have virtual meetings. For institutional compliance reasons, meetings in an online course are required to be scheduled into Banner and reported on the course information form. Doing so properly discloses the information to registering students.

The Process

The Course Information Form (CIF) process begins early with the goal of publishing online course details before registration opens. The timing is intentionally set to harmonize with the Office of the Registrar’s Current DESR Schedule Build Timeline. 

Following the timeline below, instructors teaching online will:

  1. receive an email prompt to complete the form one form for each course section taught online
  2. be directed to login to the web application at cif.unm.edu using their University NetID and password

The web application smooths the submission process by giving Albuquerque Campus faculty who teach online full control of their course information. Faculty log into cif.unm.edu to complete the guided form – one form for each online course section.

Within minutes of the submission, the information is published and publicly available at the Schedule of Online Courses. An orientation video and PDF tutorial on the web application are available.

Forms are automatically saved and stored in the web app. Faculty can update their information as needed.

CIFs are published following these deadlines: late October for the Spring semester, and late March for the Summer and Fall semesters. 

Generic CIF Timeline

SemesterCIF DistributedCIF CompletedCIF PublishedRegistrar's DeadlineRegistration Opens
 by email to faculty from UNM Onlineby faculty and submitted to UNM Online to online.unm.edu/ schedule for courses to be publicly viewable 

Spring

Mid-October

Mid-October

Late October

Late October

Early November

Summer

Early February

Mid-February

Late March

Late March

Mid-April

Fall

Early March

Mid-March

Late March

Late March

Mid-April

Tutorial and Rubric

UNM Online has created multiple resources for instructors working with the CIF web application:

  • The video tutorial provides a quick walkthrough of the CIF web application and how to create meaningful and effective CIFs.
  • The video tutorial is also available as a PDF tutorial.
  • The CIF rubric offers tips for completing effective CIFs, including optimizing course descriptions.

Support is also available by emailing cif@unm.edu.

 


FAQs for Faculty

YES. For record keeping, and to assure each section’s information is accurate, complete one CIF per section. It is especially helpful to list within the Course Description all of the associated sections, such as, for example: MSST 475.001 / MSST 575.001 / ARTH 575.001.

NO. UNM Online does not have the capacity to duplicate course information forms from past semesters. It is highly recommended faculty save their own copy of each completed CIF. This can be done in the CIF web application by printing the page as a PDF and saving it to your computer. When submitting multiple forms with similar information, copying and pasting from saved CIFs is very convenient.

YES. If it is not possible to fully complete a CIF before registration opens (Spring: early October; Summer and Fall: early March; current deadlines are displayed at the top of this CIF web page) faculty are encouraged to submit what they can as soon as possible, and edit their CIFs in the CIF web application. While revisions are always accepted, course information is most useful before registration opens.

YES. Help is available by emailing cif@unm.edu or by contacting the instructor's assigned course designer. There are also links to the video and PDF tutorials in the CIF web application.

There are multiple resources for finding a faculty member’s assigned course designer. Email cif@unm.edu. Contact UNM Online by calling 505-277-9000 or emailing online@unm.edu. Contact the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) by calling 505-277-1931 or by reaching out to Instructional Media Project Manager Rob Wolf at rwolf01@unm.edu.

Q: How do I report any problems I encounter in the CIF web application?

Report any issues you encounter in the CIF web application to cif@unm.edu. Please provide complete information about the issue you encountered, including the date, time, and course section (CRN and semester).

Resources