Posted to: Earle Traynham, Provost & Vice President Academic Affairs
UNF has a mandatory residency requirement for First Time In College (FTIC) students. Academic Affairs also wants to make sure that students can meet their General Education requirements through DL courses. Unfortunately not all disciplines are well-suited for DL. Exactly what population of students needs a DL path through General Education? Surely, we are not talking about the residents of the dorms. Also, how many students are in that population?
Response from Earle Traynham, Provost, Academic Affairs:
I am not aware of any statement or policy or directive from Academic Affairs indicating a desire “to make sure that students can meet their General Education requirements through DL courses.” I thought that possibly the Gen Ed Council had addressed this issue, and asked the chairperson of the council. His response is as follows:
“The General Education Council has not discussed the possibility of establishing one or more DL pathways through our many gen ed curricular offerings. However, as of spring 2016, the general education curriculum will include DL versions of at least one course in each of the five state-mandated “Common Core” areas as well as in the four competency areas of that part of the gen ed curriculum specific to UNF. A small group of Gen Ed Task Force members have had one meeting with Len Roberson and Deb Miller to discuss how we can support those facu lty who do wish to develop and offer new DL versions of gen ed courses and those faculty who have already developed and/or are offering such courses.”
While I do not believe that Academic Affairs has stated that it wants to make sure that we offer General Education courses on-line, I would encourage the faculty to consider the advantages of doing so. First, Gen Ed courses are taken by more than FTICs, and students who are not living in our residence halls may prefer to take one or more Gen Ed courses on- line. Secondly, eve n students who live in UNF’s residence halls may, as a matter of convenience, prefer to take one or more Gen Ed courses on-line. I do not know how many students might fall into these groups. Other SUS schools, e.g. UF On-line, offer Gen Ed courses on-line. If UNF does not, we run the risk of having our students opt to take these courses at another SUS university and transfer the credits to UNF. I would much prefer that we do not simply concede this market.
I am well aware and appreciate that “all disciplines are not well-suited for DL.” The decision as to which courses we might offer on-line, and whether to offer a course on-line remains a faculty decision at UNF. Barring state mandates or BOG mandates, I anticipate that will continue to be the case.