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Project #63

University Studies Online General Education Pathways

The purpose of the University Studies Online General Education Pathways Project was to create clear online curricular paths enhanced by experiential learning opportunities focused on career development and civic engagement through the development of:

  1. Online pathways for the completion of SINQ, Upper-division Cluster, and thematically-linked Capstone courses in Environmental Sustainability (Natural Sciences), Family and Society (Social Sciences), Interpreting the Past (Humanities), and Knowledge, Values, Rationality (Humanities) cluster. 
  2. Experiential learning opportunities at the Junior level allowing for engagement with career or community projects. 
  3. Online UNST resources including SINQ-Cluster website and online Communities of Practice that provide space for continuing engagement with pressing community issues. 
  4. Online research support for UNST courses.


A more detailed description of the following is available in the End-of-Project Report.

Development of Online Pathways 

  • Created and documented online course creation processes 
  • Developed D2L course templates 
  • Implemented new online SINQ, Cluster and Capstone courses 
  • Developed and implemented an online experiential learning course 

SINQ-Cluster Website Development 

  • Determined requirements for a website
  • Selected website development tool
  • Developed a new SINQ/Clusters website using the selected tool 

Define Integration and Partnerships

  • Defined the partnership with the library including an understanding of the support tools the library is developing as support content for research projects and determined how to link into this area from the cluster website and from D2L
  • Determine a solution for integrating and/or linking the cluster website and communities of practice website and implement it - Funding to support further development of Communities of Practice is not currently available. We have integrated the video workshops and handbooks developed through communities of practice, but not the whole site.


The UNST Online Pathways Project developed 25 courses (3 SINQ, 16 Cluster, 6 Capstone) and partnered with another Provost’s Challenge project that developed 10 courses (#67) in order to offer students online general education pathways to complement their online degrees. These courses have the capacity to serve approximately 1,300 students per year. We have already put one of those pathways into use. 

As students move through UNST Online Pathways, they will encounter a similar look and feel across courses. Course templates make it clear to students that they are enrolled in a UNST course, feature a similar modular structure from week to week, and include links to UNST resources. We intend to reduce the confusion students may encounter as they move from course to course in the online environment. 

 Students also have a new resource in the revised SINQ/Cluster website which features a more comprehensive explanation of the sophomore and junior levels of the UNST program, an interactive list of clusters and associated minors, and an easy-to-navigate course list for each cluster. For each cluster, we feature particular pathways -- online pathways and those associated with particular minors. 

Faculty who participated in this project were both experienced and new to online teaching. Experienced faculty were able to bring existing issues to the table and work with our OAI partners to find solutions to problems or to try new approaches or technologies. Faculty who were new to teaching online experienced more intensive support as they worked toward revising a face-to-face course for the online environment. 

The course materials and activities that have been developed as part of this project will serve as models and resources as we move into our next set of course development projects. Our partners in the library developed modules that support student research in the online environment. These modules/tutorials are available to the entire university through the library web site. During Fall 2014, over 100 students used the tutorials and provided feedback for improvement.


For more information, please see the project End-of-Project Report, Project Artifacts and Final Expenditure Report.


  • Rowanna Carpenter - Director of Assessment and Upper Division Clusters, University Studies 


  • David Osborn - Communities of Practice Coordinator, University Studies Page 2
  • Mary Ann Barham - Director, Advising & Career Services
  • Annie Knepler - Writing Coordinator, University Studies
  • Meredith Farkas - Head of Instructional Services, Library
  • Claudia Weston - Interim Assistant University Librarian for Public Services
  • Seanna Kerrigan - Capstone Program Director, University Studies
  • Michael Taylor - Assistant Professor, Child and Family Studies
  • Tom Seppalainen - Chair, Philosophy
  • Joseph Maser - Assistant Professor, Environmental Sciences and Management
  • Anne McClanan - Professor, Art History
  • Zapoura Newton-Calvert , Capstone Instructor, University Studies
  • Jeanne Ellis- Internship Adviser, Advising & Career Services
  • Vince Schreck - Instructional Designer, Office of Academic Innovation
  • Samad Hinton - Associate Director of Course and Program Design



    Project Management Plan

    Project Plan

    Status Reports

     Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

    Original Proposal