LIT Online Learning Student Information and Policies

LIT Online Learning is committed to a high quality educational experience for all students.  Information and policies related to students in online courses are listed below.

Academic Integrity in Online Courses

Course Evaluations
Merging of Courses
Online Academic Advising
Online Attendance
Student Complaints and Grievances
Student Fees
Student Privacy
Student Verification
Technical Support
 

Academic Integrity in Online Courses
Students taking online courses through LIT are expected to conform to the same academic integrity standards as on-ground students. Academic Integrity information for LIT students is available in the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of the LIT Catalog and Student Handbook. To help provide academic integrity to LIT courses, instructors may employ one or more of the following tools:
  • Respondus LockDown Browser®
    • Respondus LockDown Browser® is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard. When students use Respondus LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading. Available for Windows, Mac and iOS. To learn more about this integration, check out the Respondus Lockdown Browser page.
  • Respondus Monitor
    • Respondus Monitor is a companion application for LockDown Browser® that uses webcam and video technology to prevent cheating during online exams. Respondus Monitor integrates seamlessly with learning management systems like Blackboard, and is ideal for online testing environments. To learn more about this integration, check out the Respondus Monitor page.
  • Blackboard Safe Assign
    • SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works. SafeAssign is based on a unique text matching algorithm capable of detecting exact and inexact matching between a paper and source material. Submissions are compared against several databases:
      • Internet: Comprehensive index of documents available for public access on the internet.
      • ProQuest ABI/Inform database: More than 1,100 publication titles and about 2.6 million articles from 1990 to present time, updated weekly (exclusive access).
      • Institutional document archives: Contains all papers submitted to SafeAssign by users in their respective institutions.
      • Global Reference Database: Contains papers that were volunteered by students from Blackboard client institutions to help prevent cross-­institution plagiarism.
      • For more information on this resource, click here.
  • Turnitin
    • Turnitin is web-­based plagiarism detection software owned by Turnitin.com, Inc., and is available to instructors at LIT via a Blackboard Building Block integration. Turnitin can be used as a deterrent, but can also act as an educational tool to teach students how to work with sources and to improve paraphrasing and quoting skills. The repository to which papers are compared for originality currently consists of three primary databases:
      • Both a current and an extensively archived copy of the publicly accessible Internet
      • Commercial pages from books, newspapers, and journals
      • Student papers already submitted to Turnitin
 
Course Evaluations
LIT Institutional Effectiveness has partnered with College Survey Services (CSS) to provide course evaluations for online courses.  Students in online courses will receive emails from LIT Instructors, LIT Student Success, and CSS during evaluation periods.  Please check your LIT Email regularly for information related to course evaluations.
Merging of Courses
LIT instructors may prefer to combine multiple course sections into a single merged Blackboard Learn™ course site. Merging course sections allows instructors to post materials only once for all enrolled students to see, rather than posting to each separate course site. Students with questions about merged course sites should contact the course instructor. Instructor contact information can be found at the LIT Faculty and Staff Directory.
Online Academic Advising
LIT recognizes that online students have unique challenges. To assist the online learner with success in their online learning experience, LIT has program advisors and an online academic advisor dedicated to fully online students. The "Online Academic Advisor" serves as a single point of contact for answering questions and providing student support. Students who would like to talk to an online advisor should email online.advisor@lit.edu.
Online Attendance
Students enrolled in online learning courses at LIT are expected to maintain ongoing course engagement in order to uphold positive academic standing with LIT. In an online environment, "attendance" is more than just logging into a course, or the Learning Management System (LMS). Online attendance is measured by your academic engagement with the course content, course tools, course instructor, and with other students in the course. The following is strongly recommended:​
  • First Week of Class
    All LIT online courses open on the first day of the term.  All LIT online students are expected to login to the LMS (Blackboard) via MyLIT and access online courses during the first week of class.
  • Throughout the Term
    As the term progresses, all LIT students are expected to maintain an ongoing online presence in their online courses by participating in course related activities. This may include, but is not limited to reading announcements, taking exams online, participating in group work, posting to discussion forums, submitting assignments and carrying out the requirements set forth by the instructor.
    Note: It is a good practice to login to online courses several times a week to stay informed of news, announcements, grades, assignments, and other important course information.
  • Federal Student Aid and Online Attendance
    Federal regulations require that online students establish attendance/participation in coursework each term to be eligible for federal financial aid. LIT verifies student attendance in accordance with this regulation.
    In an online learning context, logging into an online class is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate attendance by the student. Students must establish a record of participation in academically related activities in order to comply with this requirement.
    • Academically related activities include, but are not limited to:
      • physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students;
      • submitting an academic assignment;
      • taking an exam, an interactive tutorial or computer-­assisted instruction;
      • attending a study group that is assigned by the school;
      • participating in an online discussion about academic matters or
      • initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.
    • Students who have not established attendance/participation in online courses may have their federal financial aid eligibility adjusted. Please contact the LIT Financial Aid Department with questions related to federal financial aid.

Student Complaints and Grievances
LIT students, whether online or on ground, have the right to lodge a complaint or grievance.  LIT Online Learning, with assistance from LIT Student Success, ensures that all concerns and complaints of students are addressed fairly and are resolved promptly. Students should email online.advisor@lit.edu for assistance with grievances or complaints.
Student Fees
A Distance Education Fee of $20 per semester credit hour is assessed for online courses. Students registered for online courses only are not required to pay the Student Center Fee, Health Center Fee and the Recreational Sports Center Fee. Other fees are required by the Board of Regents or state statute and cannot be waived. The information found at LIT Student Fees can provide more information about course fees.
Student Privacy
LIT protects the privacy of students enrolled in Lamar Institute of Technology (LIT) distance courses and/or programs. LIT complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) concerning the control of access to confidential student information. LIT online students utilize the same means of verification of identity as do all LIT students, using a unique username and password to access the learning management system through MyLIT, a LIT Information Technology information system. Policies and user expectations related to LIT Information Technology Department information systems are located at https://lit.edu/information-technology/policies.
Student Verification
In addition to the secure login and password used to verify student identity when logging into MyLIT to access courses via Blackboard Learn™, the course management system used by LIT, instructors may also use one or more of the following methods and/or tools to verify student identity:
  • Blackboard Collaborate
  • Course Student Verification Task
    • LIT Instructors should include a student verification task in their introductory course materials requiring students to verify their identity by using a LIT Student ID Card, state-issued ID, or other official document.  LIT Instructors should use an appropriate student verification method for each assessment given. Students should check their course syllabi and syllabus addendums for individual course requirements.  Students who need a LIT Student ID Card should contact LIT Student Success at admissions@lit.edu.
    Proctoring at a Distance
    • LIT students taking online courses may face situations where other student verification softwares may be unavailable for online assessments. According to Policy 2.35 - Final Exams in the LIT Policies and Procedures Manual, LIT "does not operate under a student honor system; therefore, the proctoring of all examinations by a Faculty member is required." To help facilitate this endeavor, LIT allows students and instructors to complete a Proctoring Form to establish an agreement which will enable the student to complete the examination.  LIT Instructors may, at their discretion, establish a proctoring agreement with students on any course exam, not just a final exam. A sample of the proctoring form is available in the Distance Learning Instructor Handbook.
  • Respondus Monitor
    • As stated above, Respondus Monitor is a companion application for LockDown Browser® that uses webcam and video technology to prevent cheating during online exams. Instructors can use Respondus Monitor features such as Student Photo, Show ID, and Facial Detection to verify student identity. To learn more about this integration, check out the Respondus Monitor page.

Technical Support
LIT students have technical support for Blackboard Learn™ and related online learning tools available 24/7 through a Texas State University System shared services agreement with Sam Houston State Online. Students should contact LIT Blackboard Support at 409-951-5701 or Lit-BBsupport@lit.edu for technical assistance.