Course Information Form (CIF)
Course Information Forms (CIFs) allow faculty to publish detailed information about their 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, admitted and prospective students use the information to decide whether online courses fit their lifestyles.
Online sections also tend to fill quickly, and with limited online alternatives, it is critical to know before registration whether a course is a good fit for their schedules
Completing Course Information Forms (CIFs) is also critical for meeting UNM's distance education compliance obligations (see below under 'Legal Notice').
The CIF Process
Each semester, the Course Information Form (CIF) process begins early with the goal of publishing course details before registration opens. The timing is intentionally set to harmonize with the Office of the Registrar’s Schedule Build Timeline, also known as the DCL/ESR Deadline Dates. Generally, Spring classes are publicly viewable by late October, while Summer and Fall classes are publicized by late March.
Starting October 18, 2021, UNM Online will launch a CIF web application. It smooths the CIF submission process by giving Albuquerque Campus faculty who teach online full control of their course information that is displayed at online.unm.edu/courses.
The October launch means the new CIF web application will be used for Spring 2022 registration. Faculty preparing to teach online in Spring 2022 will log into cif.unm.edu to complete the guided form – one form for each online course section. Within minutes of submission, the form is published to the Schedule of Online Courses.
- receive an email prompt to complete the form one form for each course section taught online
- be directed to login to the web application at cif.unm.edu using their University NetID and password
CIFs are automatically saved and stored in the web application, allowing the information to be updated as needed.
CIFs are published following these deadlines: late October for the Spring semester, and late March for the Summer and Fall semesters. Fall 2021 course information is currently published to the Schedule of Online Courses. In mid-October, UNM Online will request Spring 2022 CIFs.
Getting Started with the CIF Web Application
UNM Online has created multiple resources for instructors working with the CIF web application:
- The video tutorial privdes a quick walkthrough of the CIF web application and how to create meaningful and effective CIFs.
- The PDF tutorial provides a quick walkthrough in a written and easily referenced format.
- The detailed CIF rubric provides full guidelines for completing effective CIFs including tips to optimize descriptions.
Virtual orientation sessions are also available throughout October 2021. These will be in small groups allowing time for participants to ask questions and try out the web application. Instructors who wish to participate can click here to RSVP.
Generic CIF Timeline
|Semester||CIF Distributed||CIF Completed||CIF Published||Registrar's Deadline||Registration Opens|
|by email to faculty from UNM Online||by faculty and submitted to UNM Online||to online.unm.edu/ schedule||for courses to be publicly viewable|
The Schedule of Online Courses features the courses Main Campus offers online, including detailed course information not available in LoboWeb or the UNM Catalog. The additional information is critical for UNM students preparing to register, prospective students considering enrollment options, and to meet higher education compliance regulations.
To be successful, 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, place-based meetings, or proctoring, are just a few options students weigh before registering for an online course.
Course information disclosure is also 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.
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.
Schedule of Online Courses
The most useful information about online education at the University of New Mexico is on the UNM Online website, online.unm.edu. It includes Getting Started tips, Student Resources, Legal Stuff, a Welcome to UNM Online overview, a Readiness Guide for prospective students, and a Faculty Support page. The Schedule of Online Courses at online.unm.edu/courses, is where the detailed course information is displayed.
Online courses can either have no scheduled meetings, scheduled online meetings, a very limited number of in-person scheduled meetings, or a combination of these. This means all mandatory meetings, either virtual or in-person, must be scheduled in Banner. Meetings that occur in an online course must also comply with distance education regulations.
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.
There are multiple resources for finding a faculty member’s assigned course designer. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact UNM Online by calling 505-277-9000 or emailing email@example.com. Contact the Center for Digital Learning by calling 505-277-1931 or by reaching out to Instructional Media Project Manager Rob Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. Please provide complete information about the issue you encountered, including the date, time, and course section (CRN and semester).