2012-2017 Strategic Plan for 
Distance Learning 

UNF's Distance Learning Goals & Action Items

General | Faculty Training and Support | Course and Program Development
Quality Assurance | Student Support Services | Technology Infrastructure


1. Increase the number of quality distance learning courses, curricular strands, certificates and, degree programs. Goals1


        Action Items  

  • Develop a handbook for distance learning at UNF that provides guidelines, recommendations and best practices from the literature.
  • Develop and implement a minimum of ten distance learning certificates and degree programs by 2017.
  • Increase the number of distance learning courses to 20% of total course offerings by 2017, in support of the UNF 2012-2013 Work Plan.
  • Develop and implement two general education courses by the Fall of 2014 as a pilot.
  • Develop at least one distance learning path through general education courses by 2017, thereby allowing for the possibility of a fully distance learning undergraduate degree at UNF.
  • Increase the number of full-time faculty teaching distance learning courses to ensure the ratio of full-time faculty teaching distance learning courses is adequate to support the mission of the institution and to ensure the quality and integrity of its academic programs. 
  • Develop frameworks and processes to promote academic integrity in online courses.
  • Develop options for proctored testing for distance learning courses.


2. Revise the current distance learning policy to support planned growth.

        Action Items

  • Develop policy to address distance learning course development.
  • Develop policy for faculty training.
  • Develop policy for course review.
  • Develop policy around intellectual property rights.
  • Develop a plan for the expenditure of distance learning fee revenue to support the development of courses, programs, and to strengthen faculty and student support.


3. Facilitate the development and monitoring of distance learning programs and the alignment/provisioning of the resources they entail.

        Action Items

  • Develop an assessment plan for distance learning that regularly collects data from students and faculty regarding quality of distance learning offerings and support needs.
  • Develop data reporting tools to monitor growth and trends in distance learning offerings.

4. Educate the campus community about the potential of distance learning delivery.

        Action Items

  • Develop an educational campaign on the effectiveness, value, and potential of distance learning. 
  • Conduct town hall style meetings to gather input and address concerns about this initiative.
  • Provide regular updates to the campus community on the progress of the distance learning initiative.
  • Refine and expand the distance learning website.
  • Develop award and recognition mechanisms for distance learning courses.
  • Develop communication channels for ongoing input and conversation related to distance learning and its role at UNF.
  • Facilitate conversation with deans and chairs about the potential value of web-enhanced delivery and recognition of the additional faculty effort required to implement effectively.
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Faculty Training and Support

5. Require all faculty who teach distance learning courses to complete an approved distance learning training program by fall of 2017. Goals2 

        Action Items  

  • Develop a tiered teaching online certification program for faculty that differentiates between distance learning course development and course delivery.
  • Develop flexible options for certification that will provide greater access for full and part-time faculty.
  • Develop mechanisms to support the development of a faculty learning community related to distance learning.

6. Provide the necessary training programs, services, and additional support staff needed to assist faculty in the development, design, delivery, evaluation and on-going maintenance of new and existing quality distance learning courses.

        Action Items

  • Examine current faculty support model to ensure alignment with evidence-based practice in the delivery of distance learning. 
  • Develop and implement a long-range staffing & resource plan for distance learning.
  • Identify processes to support the development of faculty mentors in each college.
  • Provide ongoing opportunities for faculty development related to distance learning.
  • Identify administrative responsibilities for distance learning
  • Identify and provide library resources to support the development and delivery of distance learning
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Course and Program Development

7. Develop a university policy on copyright and intellectual property rights as related to the development of online instructional materials. Goals3 

        Action Items

  • Review national practices for course ownership.
  • Facilitate conversation with faculty and General Counsel to develop recommendations for course ownership.

8. Broaden access to distance learning courses and programs in response to student and community needs and in alignment with the larger institutional mission and state workforce development goals.

        Action Items

  • Create a process to incent and support interested departments in moving degree programs, certificates, or curricular strands to distance learning delivery.
  • Provide central support to help interested departments identify needs and required resources for proposed distance learning programs and certificates.

9. Develop and implement a review process for courses, certificates, and degree programs to be transitioned to or developed for delivery via distance learning.

        Action Items

  • Implement review of all new distance learning courses pre- and post-delivery using the Chico State Rubric for Online Instruction.
  • Identify and implement a review process for distance learning certificates and degree programs
  • Identify and develop processes to foster innovation in distance learning courses.
  • Develop a process to support course refresh.
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Quality Assurance

10. Implement course development and review procedures to ensure the quality of distance learning course and program offerings. Goals4 

        Action Items

  • Develop an ongoing distance learning course review process designed to ensure evidence-based practice in distance learning course design and delivery and review courses for continuous improvement.
  • Develop and implement a process to regularly gather student feedback regarding distance learning.
  • Develop and implement both formative and summative evaluations of distance learning to measure its effectiveness, faculty and student satisfaction, the impact of distance learning on enrollment and retention, support needs, and technical reliability.

11. Maintain institutional norms for academic quality and integrity.

        Action Items

  • Ensure that academically qualified persons provide appropriate supervision of distance learning courses including the course presentation, management and assessment. 
  • Identify and provide a range of options for proctored testing.
  • Identify and provide a range of options for secured identity verification.
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Student Support Services

12. Offer a full range of student support services for distance learning students. Goals5 

        Action Items

  • Develop an orientation/success course for all online students to take as a prerequisite to online learning. 
  • Initiate discussion with campus student service providers to define and implement procedures to make those services available to distance learning students. 
  • Identify and provide library resources to support distance learning students. 
  • Identify and disseminate required technological skills, knowledge, software, and hardware for student success in distance learning courses and programs. 

13. Provide a full range of technical support services for distance learning students.

        Action Items

  • Examine current student support model to ensure alignment with evidence-based practice in the delivery of distance learning. 
  • Develop a specialized support model for distance learning students. 
  • Investigate the need for extended technical support services to accommodate distance learning. 
  • Develop a module to be included in every distance learning course with links to support and technical services. 
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Technology Infrastructure

14. Provide robust and dependable systems to support the delivery of distance learning. Goals6

        Action Items
  • Identify and implement opportunities to continuously improve the capability of the university’s platform for online course delivery and its ancillary systems. 
  • Regularly review the current LMS and other available systems to ensure platform best meets the needs of our faculty, students, and university. 
  • Keep LMS and delivery tools current. 
  • Identify and disseminate required software, and hardware for faculty success in providing distance learning courses. 
  • Establish at least one classroom in each college appropriately equipped for interactive audio/video distance learning delivery. 
  • Identify hardware and software solutions that promote academic integrity. 
  • Provide a virtual lab environment to make software resources typically available only in an on-campus computer lab available to students and faculty from remote locations. 
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To the extent that any of the above items have a direct and substantial impact on negotiable issues, implementation would be subject to compliance with the collective bargaining process.