What is AAR?
AAR is the means by which student contact hours are collected and assigned to instructors for the purposes of meeting Florida State (the 12 Hour Law) and Federal (effort reporting) requirements to document the amount of time instructors spend on instructional activity as opposed to research or administrative time. AAR is required to be completed campus-wide by all academic units offering courses.
Specifically, AAR consists of four primary functions:
- Identifying the instructor(s) of a course,
- Allocating contact hours relative to the amount of time the instructor(s) spent in contact with students to the instructor(s) for inclusion on their effort report, and
- Identifying the employee record.
- Identifying if faculty are paid out of fund 143 as a salaried expense or by lump sum payment for Self-Funded (Off-Book) courses.
The University is committed to accurate and timely collection of instructional data specifically, course instructors and contact hours. Doing so allows the University to meet its regulatory requirements, to better substantiate budget requests, and to ensure future award funding through accurate effort reporting.
The AAR System
The AAR System is used for the identification of course instructors, the assignment of contact hours allocated to that course to the instructor(s) who taught it, and the correct employee record.
AAR Coordinators are individuals whose responsibility it is to complete the AAR for their respective department each term. AAR Coordinators are able to enter or modify instructors assigned to a course and distribute contact hours to among the section’s instructors, as required. AAR Coordinators are responsible for identifying errors where they exist and making changes to AAR to ensure the data is accurate.
AAR Coordinators must have completed online training to be granted the security role necessary to access the system. Departments are required to have at least one qualified AAR Coordinator, and are encouraged to have more than one person with the required training on staff.
View only access is available to select Department administrators, faculty, and others on a case-by-case basis. FERPA training is needed for view-only access, and Institutional Planning and Research (IPR) must approve the role.
How does the AAR System Interact with other University Systems?
AAR depends on a number of other systems and processes to work effectively. In order to complete AAR accurately and in a timely manner, it is essential to understand how information comes into the system and how information in AAR affects other processes once it is entered.
Course Scheduling / Section File
The course scheduling system is the first step in the AAR process. The AAR System takes existing information entered by Departments into the course scheduling system when determining what courses will be taught and what instructors will be assigned for any given term. This information is included in the Section File, which then is imported into the AAR System.
As a result, it is extremely important that Departments ensure that information entered into the Schedule of Courses is as accurate as possible. A close working relationship between the AAR Coordinator and the individual(s) who enter information into the course scheduling system is also beneficial to resolving discrepancies later on in the process.
The Graduate Information Management System (GIMS)
The Graduate Information Management System (GIMS) is used by graduate coordinators to and graduate students to manage information on their graduate programs. AAR imports information on faculty committee assignments from GIMS.
Changes needing to be made to faculty committee assignments must be made through the department’s graduate coordinator in the GIMS system. These changes will not be allowed in the AAR Module. Changes to graduate student section numbers (specifically the transition between 7979, 7980, and 6971 sections) will be made in the Section File by the Registrar in coordination with the Graduate School. AAR coordinators needing to make changes to these section numbers will need to coordinate with their graduate coordinators and the Registrar.
The Effort System
The need to have correct information in AAR is a direct result of the need to ensure accurate effort certification reports. Contact hours entered into AAR are used to calculate maximum effort in the Effort System. Effort certification reports also serve as the only part of the process where faculty are required to review their instructional activity.
AAR directly feeds the effort system by using the contact hours attributed to each instructor to determine the maximum percent effort shown on the instructor’s effort report. Excess hours assigned to the instructor beyond the maximum as calculated by AAR are reported as extra instructional activity on the effort report.
The AAR Timeline
The AAR System will be “opened” to campus for each term by the Office of Institutional Planning and Research (OIPR) following the conclusion of the drop/add period. This is to ensure the maximum amount of stability in the Schedule of Courses prior to entering AAR.
Upon conclusion of drop/add, OIPR will send a notification to departmental AAR Coordinators informing them of term-specific deadlines, system changes/updates, and any other important notices pertaining to AAR. At this point the system will be open for use.
Once the AAR System is opened, Departments should begin verifying instructors assigned to courses, allocating contact hours to them, and selecting the correct employee record. There are two deadlines during the course of a term that are designed to help Departments monitor their progress entering AAR throughout the term.
Base count deadline: The first AAR deadline is to complete AAR for base count courses will be approximately six weeks after AAR is opened. The date of the deadline will be sent to AAR Coordinators at the beginning of the term by OIPR and can be found by following the link in the ‘Useful Link’ section on this website.
Head count deadline: The deadline to complete head count courses and any remaining base count courses is at the end of the term prior to the closure of the AAR System. AAR coordinators will be notified of the date of this and other deadlines by OIPR at the beginning of each term.
Following the Base Count deadline, an email notification will be sent to all AAR Coordinators notifying them of all base count courses that were not marked complete as of the deadline. This is to allow coordinators to see what courses in their department have not yet been completed and to identify whether there are any discrepancies with the courses OIPR has listed in AAR as complete.