This is just a reminder that the deadline to submit course renewals for October is Sunday. Because the renewal window closes over a weekend any renewal application submitted after close of business on Friday will not receive the notice from NMLS to upload course material until Monday. If you are waiting until the last minute to submit a course for renewal the renewal application must be submitted and the fees paid in PULSE by midnight EST on October 31.
The renewal window for November courses opens on Monday. Providers are reminded that due to the holiday schedule, November is a relatively short month. NMLS will be closed on Thursday, November 11th for Veterans Day; the office will also be closed on November 25-26 for the Thanksgiving holiday; any course renewal submitted after mid-day on November 24th will not receive a response from NMLS until Monday the 29th.
As was discussed in the Oct 22 posting to the Newsletter, NMLS is now accepting applications for Late CE courses. Late CE courses are those courses that an MLO will be allowed to take to make-up CE requirements during a 60 day reinstatement period following the annual licensure renewal period. The new category of Late CE courses will be made available to MLOs beginning January 3, 2011.
Details regarding Late CE courses, including the reduced fees, are included in the Notice Regarding Intention to Make Available Late CE Continuing Education Courses in the NMLS Master Course Catalog which is posted in the NMLS Resource Center at: http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/courseprovider/Pages/Resources.aspx
The annual Renewal Period, a 60 day period in which MLOs must renew their license, begins on Monday. For many MLOs this will be their first time going through the renewal process and there are probably a lot of questions. Information on the process, including deadline charts and detailed directions for how to complete the process are available in the NMLS Resource Center at: http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/SLR/COMMON/RENEWALS/Pages/default.aspx
Also beginning on November 1, every MLO participating in NMLS will be required to complete the credit report authorization process through NMLS regardless of any prior state requirements. Specific details about the credit authorization report is posted in the NMLS Resource Center under Professional Requirements at: http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/profreq/credit/Pages/default.aspx
Between October 25 and December 1, 2010 NMLS will accept applications to have approved or soon-to-be approved continuing education (CE) courses listed under a new category in the Master Course Catalog titled “Late CE.” Late CE courses will be those courses that an MLO will be allowed to take to make-up a CE requirement during a 60 day reinstatement period following the annual licensure renewal period, or to fulfill a CE requirement in the event an MLO has left the industry and then chooses to return. The new category of Late CE courses will be made available to MLOs beginning January 3, 2011.
In preparing the policy and processes for how to manage Late CE courses, NMLS hosted two webinars with course providers, one on September 23, and another one on October 7th. NMLS appreciates the feedback that was provided during both of these sessions.
Specific details about how to submit Late CE courses, including the types of courses that can be submitted, the course naming convention, how course offering will be managed, and the reduced submission fee are included in the Notice Regarding Intention to Make Available “Late CE” Continuing Education Courses in the NMLS Master Course Catalog which has been posted in the NMLS Resource Center under Notices and Examples at: http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/courseprovider/Pages/Resources.aspx
The Functional Specification for Instructor-Led Online Courses is being updated to strengthen the requirements that all interaction between the instructor and the student is to occur within the learning management system (LMS) or on a blog which is easily accessible by NMLS staff. Recent audits for online courses have revealed that NMLS is unable to verify that interaction is occurring in courses. Specific changes include:
– Section 3.2.1 has been updated to include the definition of module.
– Section 3.3.5 has been updated to include a requirement that all interaction between the instructor and student must be within the LMS or an associated blog. Interaction may no longer be facilitated through e-mail or synchronous chat discussions. The reason for the change is to verify that the interaction between student and instructor is occurring. Additionally, discussion boards or blogs must be refreshed each time the course is offered so that students are not exposed to a history of long and often confusing activity.
– Section 3.4 establishes the requirement that all instructor-to-student interaction is to occur within the LMS.
Changes to the updated Functional Specification are effective November 1, 2010. Courses which have previously been approved under earlier versions of the specifications must be compliant with the new requirements by January 15, 2011. Courses that are submitted for renewal in January 2011 will be evaluated against the new specifications.
NMLS has new course application forms for online self-study courses (CE courses), and online instructor-led courses. The two new course application forms require the course provider to describe how the course has been designed and configured to meet the various technical requirements as outlined in the functional specifications. Given the wide variety of learning management systems being used in the industry, submitting the new form along with any course materials will help the course evaluators to understand, upfront, how the course was designed, which will result in fewer questions and a quicker review process. The new application forms are required effective October 25, 2010.
An application form for classroom equivalent (webinar) courses is currently in development and will be available in early November. The new application forms are located under the Course Approval Section in the Resource Center at: http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/courseprovider/Pages/Resources.aspx
Despite several notices warning about plagiarism, NMLS is continuing to receive courses for approval with content that is plagiarized. The most common sources of scraped content continues to be federal agencies, law firms, state web sites, and industry groups where content is being cut and pasted from a web site. Content from many of these organizations is often copyrighted so the taking of the material could be a violation of copyright law.
It should be noted that plagiarism is fairly easy to detect either by performing a Google search or through the use of readily available online tools. Please be advised that if course material is discovered to be plagiarized the course will automatically be denied.
NMLS requires that sources of content be cited even if it comes from a federal or state agency. Examples for how to cite sources and make reference to federal or state laws or regulations is available in the model course PowerPoint available under Notices and Examples in the course provider section of the NMLS Resource Center at http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/courseprovider/Pages/Resources.aspx The Purdue Online Writing Lab at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/ is also an excellent resource and provides examples for how to reference sources, including the wide range of electronic publications now available.