Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are the most common questions our students ask about Distance Learning, divided into the following categories for ease of reference:
Additionally, you may find the following FAQs from other units helpful in answering specific questions:
About Distance Learning at UNF
In a distance learning course, at least 80 percent of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time or space, or both. Most of UNF’s distance learning courses are 100% online, but students should check the course schedule carefully when registering to determine if any in-person meetings are required.
Distance learning provides flexibility and convenience for students to access distance learning courses from any location and at any time of the day. The difference is in the delivery of the course (online verses in the classroom) and not in the course content.
Students who are new to online learning are encouraged to review the Distance Learning Readiness webpage to help determine if online learning is right for them.
Students should have some general computer knowledge before starting a course.
Information Technology Services has a Student Technology Toolkit webpage with technology information students will find helpful.
Online courses at UNF will be taught using the Canvas learning management system.
Information Technology Services has a Canvas Student Support webpage to assist students with Canvas. To try a Canvas course, and to gain experience with Canvas, students are encouraged to self-enroll in the Understanding Canvas: A Guide for Students.
As a distance learner, you will be more successful if you have or acquire the following skills: at ease with technology, self-motivated, solid reading and writing skills, self-disciplined, and effective time management skills.
Most distance learning courses are "asynchronous", which means students can log into their course any time during the week to do course work. Just like in traditional courses, students will have assignments that must be completed on time. Sometimes, “synchronous” participation in a distance learning course is required. Synchronous participation may include activities such as face-to-face meetings or use of a virtual classroom, virtual chat, or similar mechanism to facilitate interaction.
Unless it is specified in your course syllabus, you will not be required to meet with your professor in-person during the course of the semester. Some instructors include introduction blogs in their courses, so all course participants (instructors and students alike) can “meet” and get to know each other. Occasionally during the semester, you may have to chat online with your professor. Please note that your professor will be constantly interacting with you through your online course. Please make sure to read your syllabus carefully and make note of any possible online or on-campus meetings.
No. You will study, read, and work on assignments at your convenience (online classes are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week). Please check your course syllabus for assignment and exam due dates which you need to abide by.
Yes. The university offers a couple of different options for tutoring:
In most courses, you will submit your assignments in Canvas. Check your syllabus for specific information about assignment due dates, requirements, and submission information.
Students will take exams online in Canvas. Some exams will be remotely proctored; be sure to check your syllabus for specific information about exam dates and proctor requirements.
To be successful in a distance learning course:
- stick to the schedule on the course syllabus, designated by your instructor
- check Canvas frequently for announcements, assignments, readings and discussions,
- actively participate in discussions
- by reading all discussions posted by your classmates and by your instructor, and,
- posting your own responses and questions,
- practice excellent written communication skills, and,
- enjoy the flexible and collaborative learning environment of a distance learning course.
Distance Learning Course Quality
Fully online courses are the same difficulty level as traditional face to face courses. You need to read textbook chapters just like you would read them in a classroom, submit assignments, and discuss the course (online versus in the classroom). Depending on the course, there may be a semester project or team-based activities. Taking a class online requires discipline, time management, and being actively aware of specific due dates.
Yes. UNF programs and courses are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC.) Additionally, some programs have individual accreditation through specific disciplinary accrediting bodies. For more information about university and disciplinary accreditation, review the Accreditation website.
Distance learning courses have the same learning outcomes as traditional courses, and all distance learning courses transfer in the same way as traditional courses.
Distance learning courses are taught by the same experienced faculty members who teach face-to-face courses.
Yes. We have a number of fully online programs offered at UNF. For a complete list, view the DL Programs
Distance Learning Degree Programs at UNF
Registration & Cost