Friday, February 22, 2013

Please complete the distance learning survey

Dear students:

If you've heard the buzz, you know your Unity College faculty and administration are considering adding opportunities in online and distance education.

This might include (but is not limited to):
  • Having online courses of our own that you can take while on break or during term time
  • Requiring more online material out of class time, such as the "flipped" classroom ideas used in Dr. Phillippi's General Genetics class, where you study the course lectures on video in your own time and work on problems in class
  • Allowing Unity College credit for partner institutions' online courses (after a quality control check). An example might be these Teacher Education courses here:
  • Allowing students to take an exam for credit after taking a non-credit-bearing course online, such as these ones here
  • Creating online or partly online certificate, bachelor's and even master's degree programs in important new areas such as sustainability science
  • Being able to "attend" Unity College from away, or while in another country.
  • Other (countless) possibilities with new technology
Some of these options would allow you more choice, more time to do a job outside of school, or save you some money on tuition. But on the flip side, this is "Americas Environmental College" where we do our best to be "hands-on and minds-on." We also must protect the academic integrity and employment value of the Unity College degree.

So we want to know what best to do.

Of course, we want to hear from you about what you think about all this. We'll be holding some focus groups around campus later this term, and some of you will be invited to join, but all of you are invited to fill out our survey.

The survey can be found at

Please fill it out and tell us what you think. We'll use these data to help us decide what best to do, and what the priority is.

NOTE: the survey is intended to be anonymous, but some of you are the only student or one of only a few students in a very small major, particularly the old (pre-2012) majors. If this is you, and if you don't want it to be possible to identify you, check the "Prefer not to answer" option.

Thanks for helping out.

Mick Womersley
Chair of the Distance Learning Task Force

Dear students:

A short follow up: Many thinks to the many students that already completed the survey.

One minor glitch: If you have a private Google account, you'll need to sign out and sign into to your UC account (UC username and email password) to complete the survey.

One student asked why we need to know what major the survey respondents are. The answer is, if students from any particular major were more (or less) enthusiastic about distance learning options, we might use that knowledge to prioritize our efforts. But, if you know you're the only student in a small major, or one of the last students in a pre-2012 curriculum revision major, and you wish to remain perfectly anonymous, you may click "prefer not to answer."

You might also like to tell us we should concentrate efforts in a non-major area (e.g., general education, computer science, math, or English), or in some kind of completely new programming. Use the open-ended question at the end of the survey.

Thanks again.


Link to survey:

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