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College of Arts and Sciences
Arts and Sciences Hall

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arts and sciences distance education initiative.

In the early fall of 2011, Dean Boocker formed a committee to explore the expansion of the College’s distance education initiatives.  The committee consisted of Randall Adkins, Karen Falconer-Al Hindi, Betty Love, Mary Anne Powell, Heather Giles-Woerner, and Bob Woody.  The committee identified the following four objectives:

I. Values and Vision Statement for Distance Education

The Committee recommends the following language to the College for adoption:

A. Values

Distance education and on-campus education complement one another; indeed, online instructional methods enrich the learning experience for all students;

Distance education programs provide depth and choice; robust distance education courses exemplify effective learner-centered pedagogy;

Distance education programs and courses take advantage of appropriate technology to provide engaging and high-quality learning experiences.

B. Vision

UNO’s College of Arts and Sciences shall offer rigorous, high-quality distance education programs and courses;

Distance education shall afford broader access to higher education through engaging, innovative programs and courses that will enable students to meet their educational goals.

II. Expectations of On-line Faculty

The committee recommends the modification and adoption of the document entitled Faculty Expectations originally developed by the Division of Continuing Studies at UNO. 

III. Expectations of On-line Students

The Committee recommends the following policy language:

The course syllabus establishes the standards for the course.  In a distance education course, students shall fulfill all course requirements as stated in the course syllabus provided by the instructor. 

Learning requires time on task.  Students are expected to balance personal and employment obligations in a manner that allows them to complete learning experiences. 

Course materials are critical to achieving learning outcomes.  In a distance education course, students are responsible for acquiring or accessing assigned reading or other course materials.

Completion of assignments in a timely manner is crucial to learning.  In a distance education course, students are expected to meet deadlines just as they would in an on-campus course.

Communication between student(s) and the instructor plays a central role in the learning experience.  Depending upon the requirements of the distance education course, students may be expected to spend time generating and participating in on-line discussions with the instructor and the other students. 

The learning objectives of some courses require group projects.  Students assigned to participate in group projects are expected to contribute substantively to the project’s outcome.

Asynchronous learning requires a high level of initiative and flexibility.  In a distance education course, students must monitor their e-mail and Blackboard accounts regularly and frequently in order to be full participants in and complete the requirements of the course. 

Academic integrity is central to the mission of higher education.  Students should be careful to understand, therefore, the policies, procedures, and possible sanctions (see The UNOmaha Undergraduate Catalog, 2011-2012, p. 56-57).

In terms of best practices for students the Committee recommends modification and adoption of the document entitled Student Expectations developed by Maricopa Community College.

IV. Recommendations for Disbursement of DE Funds (in priority)

Dean’s  Office (65%)

35% Salary (on-line part-time and summer courses contracted through A&S)

15% Providing Support (technology and training)

10% Incentives (competitive grants of up to $2,500 in support for development of new courses)

5% Dean’s Discretion

Departments (35%) encouraging faculty and rewarding faculty contributions