UNAD Florida

DISTANCE EDUCATION

 

DISTANCE EDUCATION FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT

UNAD Florida was established to provide online learning.
Courses are provided using an online educational platform for which there are specific requirements:

 

Technical Requirements

  1. Equipment requirement
  2. Internet Access requirement
  3. Software Requirements and Resources

Online Education Requirements

  1. Technical Competences
  2. Personal Competences
  3. Online Competency Assessment

Resources

  1. Institutional Email
  2. Educational Platform Credentials
  3. Support

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

The following list shows the minimum technical characteristics required for using UNAD Florida educational platform and virtual campus.

1. Equipment Requirements

The student must have access to an equipment (laptop or computer) with these characteristics:

  • Computer (PC or laptop) with:
    • Dual core processor at 1 GHz or faster
    • 4 GB RAM mínimum
    • 40 GB or higher of available hard drive space at the beginning of each term
    • DVD optical drive (needed in some courses)
    • 1024 x 768 minimum resolution display
  • Operating systems (any one of these):  
    • Windows XP (service pack 3 for 32-bit, service pack 2 for 64-bit), Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 or higher
    • MAC OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and higher

Note: Unix/Linux and other operating systems may function but are not officially supported. The performing will depends on the web browser software used.

  • Java capable Web Browser (any one of these):
    • Internet Explorer 9 or higher
    • Firefox 24  or higher
    • Chrome 32 or higher
    • Safari 5.1 or higher
  • Other Needs:
    • JavaScript and Cookies must be enabled
    • USB Port is highly recommended
    • Antivirus protection software, updated and used regularly

  1. Internet Access Requirement

Students enrolled in a Distance Education program are required to have access to the internet to be able to use the educational platform, educational resources, attend classes, submit assignments, share with classmates, and contact their professors. Therefore, having an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a must to have access to the internet. A high-speed connection with a connection speed of 1.5 Mbps or higher is recommended. DSL, Cable Internet, and Satellite connection packages usually fulfill this requirement.

 
  1. Software Requirements

Learning materials are provided to students in either Adobe PDF, Microsoft Office, Google files or  compatible formats. Therefor the equipment students use should have the proper software tools to be able to access and participate in the different learning activities: 

  • Adobe
  • Microsoft Office is commercial software which is not available for free.
    • Office 365: There is an option to use Microsoft Office via a web browser (instead of installed locally). This product provides Word, PowerPoint, and Excel while using a web browser.  It can be used on multiple equipments including PCs/Macs, tablets, and phones. It also includes 1TB OneDrive of cloud storage in the cloud for your files. This product Office 365 is available for a yearly or monthly fee at Microsoft.
    • LibreOffice: It is a free and open source office suite that is MS Office compatible. This tool can be downloaded and installed from http://www.libreoffice.org/download. Note: When using LibreOffice please be sure to save your documents in MS Office format or PDF format (not the default LibreOffice format) so files can be readable by professors and classmates.
    • Google Drive & Files: GMail is a free email service that includes Google Drive and Files. Google Drive offers a set of tools for word processings, spreadsheets and presentations which are similar to Microsoft Office. Google Drive is free and simple to use. Files can be downloaded in Microsoft Office or PDF formats.
    • GMail account can be create at www.google.com/gmail   
    • If you do not have Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) already installed in your equipment, you can use one of the following options:
  • Other Software: Certain courses may require the installation and use of other specialized software. If needed, the information will be explained in the course syllabus
 

ONLINE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

There are other technology-related requirements beside the hardware and software to successfully complete UNAD Florida's online academic programs  These requirements are focused on the competence to use  those resources.

4. Technical Competences

Students must demonstrate technical competence to use the technical resources and equipment by:

  • Using correctly a Web Browsing software
  • Competence in using productivity tools like word processors, slide makers and spreadsheets
  • Be familiar with electronic communication tools like e-mail, forums participation, chat and social networks, uploading and downloading files

5. Personal Competences 

Additionally to what was mentioned before, these are the personal competencies required to successfully participate in distance education programs:

  • Responsibility: In the virtual environment students are responsible for their own learning process.
  • Commitment: Students must be committed with the process, the activities and their work team to have a successful learning experience.
  • Honesty:  Plagiarism and other forms of intellectual fraud will not be tolerated in the University’s virtual environment. For more information, refer to the school’s Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy
  • Perseverance: For distance learning it’s essential that students can keep up with all the assignments in their due dates.

6. Online Competency Assessment 

Before enrolling students in an online course, UNAD Florida requests they take an online questionnaire for evaluating their readiness for online learning. The assessment questionnaire is available at http://bit.ly/2EqmGqw. This questionnaire qualifies students in one of two groups:  (a)  students with higher competences, who will only need an induction of the online learning model before starting a course, and (b) students with lower competences, who will only need an induction of the online learning model before starting a course.

The students who did not reach the level of competences necessary to study online, according to the result of the questionnaire, are not disqualified to continue studies at UNAD Florida. They receive a more in depth one-on-one training, guidance, and advising to help them prepare better for learning online. 

Additionally to the online learning readiness assessment, all new students take an introductory induction course to develop and reinforce technological, academic and time management skills needed for learning online. This course has a time extension of 24 hours distributed over a period of one week. The methodology is very practical and focuses on the skills of online learning mode and study habits strategies.

 

RESOURCES

7. Institutional Email

Online Students at UNAD Florida receive an institutional email account (@unad.us) to use it for all academic matters. Students are required to use the institutional e-mail addresses to communicate with professors and staff of UNAD Florida. The use of a different email addresses may not be considered as an official contact information.

Students are responsible for keeping their contact information accurate and current.  Students wishing to change their contact information should do this via the Student Portal using the “Change Profile”, by contacting Support at supportonline@unad.us or by contacting the Admission office.
Note: Students should note that the email address they used to apply to the UNAD Florida is the one maintained by the Register Office unless they have subsequently submitted a request to change it.

8. Educational Platform Credentials

Each student is assigned a designated username and password to log into the Online Learning Platform of UNAD Florida http://classrooms.unad.us.  

Students’ usernames and passwords are vital for the security of a student’s work.

The responsibility for all activities carried out under a student’s username rests solely with that student. The student must keep their password secret and do not share it with others.

While students credentials must be kept secure, students should note that the educational online spaces are neither private nor confidential. Neither students nor instructional personnel should assume privacy when communicating in the Virtual Learning Environment. UNAD Florida  may access and observe communications conducted in the Virtual Learning Environment for regulatory, accreditation, research, and other administrative purposes such as enforcing the Code of Conduct, including investigating allegations of misconduct, suspected misconduct, or other complaints.

9. Support

UNAD Florida  provides technical assistance and support to help students in their journey through out our programs and courses.  If a student is having difficulties with the technology involved in learning, there are different options to help them:

  • Support online is available to registered students through supportonline@unad.us or http://support.unad.us. To troubleshoot a problem, students are asked to include the following information:
    • The student first and last names
    • Provide a brief description about what happened when the error occurred.
    • Include any error messages received. Another option is for students to press the ‘print screen’ button (located on the upper right corner of most keyboards) and copy and paste the image.
  • There are several tools available for students to learn to navigate UNAD Florida’s online platform:
    • Free informative courses and videotutorials, without credit, are available for all students and instructors. These courses guide users through the operation of the online platform. These are not related to academic content, but are a tool to better understand the online platform.
    • Support forum: the support forum allows students and instructors to post a question or problem related to the platform at any time. Questions posted in the support forum receive a response within 24 hours.
    • Chats: for real-time support, students and instructors can use LiveChat, available on the virtual platform and on the University website, is a free online chat system that connects users with support staff technical and important departments of the University
    • Frequently Asked Questions, demonstrations, manuals are also available online.