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Academic Skills for Success

Academic Skills for Success

The Basics: Reading and Writing
Although technology has changed nearly every aspect of education, to succeed in college there are two “traditional” academic skills that everyone must possess: the ability to read and to write. Your courses at Unity DE are taught in the English language using a wide range of media and technology to engage learners but reading and writing remain essential to successfully completing most learning activities, projects, and assessments. Beginning students are expected to be able to read instructional materials, follow directions, and write in English at the equivalent of a 12th grade level.

What does it mean to be a college-ready reader?
In short, you will need to be capable of reading, analyzing, and applying ideas from a range of complex academic texts. Because your courses will be online and asynchronous (i.e. no mandatory videoconferences), many of the key ideas and concepts in your courses are presented through selected articles, textbook chapters, and other relevant texts.

In college, reading involves more than just basic comprehension—you must be able to read critically by evaluating the reliability of texts, identifying and responding to their arguments, asking questions, and comparing the ideas presented in one text with those presented in another. You will also be introduced to the technical and theoretical language of your chosen major or discipline. The ability to read, analyze, and apply the language of your discipline [or disciplines] will enable you to participate as a professional in your field beyond the classroom.

What does it mean to be a college-ready writer?
Most of your class participation at Unity DE will take place through the written word—from posting to discussion boards and writing reports to interacting with your instructors and peers, written communication is essential to completing an online degree.

A college-ready writer should be capable of writing for different audiences and in different forms. You must be able to write short essays, multi-page reports, argument essays, literature reviews, and research papers. You will be expected to incorporate ideas, arguments, and evidence from reliable academic sources and to document those sources through established referencing and citation styles [i.e., APA, Chicago, etc.].

In most courses at Unity DE, it is expected that written submissions will communicate ideas clearly and persuasively with supporting evidence from reliable academic sources. In many cases, the conventions of writing such as grammar, punctuation, word choice, and sentence fluency may be assessed by your instructor.

Learning Online: 21st Century Literacies for a Digital World
You’ve probably chosen Unity DE because we offer flexible, accelerated degree programs that enable you to study according to your own schedule. Taking classes that are fully online and asynchronous means that you can make decisions about when and where you want to study. But this also means that you will need to be comfortable with using a variety of web-based tools.

Unity DE degree programs are designed with a focus on solving real-world problems. The academic skills that you will need to succeed at Unity DE also happen to be the very same skills that you will need to succeed in the 21st century workplace. These skills are also called literacies. In the past, literacy might have simply meant the ability to read and to write proficiently. However, in a digital world, reading, writing, and consequently learning almost always involve the use of technology. Becoming proficient with modern technologies is a bit like learning a new language. You yourself might speak “Facebook” very well, or “Adobe Photoshop.” That’s why we use the word “literacy” to describe competence in many modern skills.

We use technology to gain as well as create knowledge at Unity DE. Therefore, you will need to possess and further develop the following literacies:

  • Develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology
  • Build intentional cross-cultural connections and relationships with others in order to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought
  • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
  • Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
  • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts
  • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments
Last Updated on May 3, 2024