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Need to demonstrate Unity application in order to get Academic Licensing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by pbritton, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. pbritton

    pbritton

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    I am a little turned off by the extra steps needed to have Unity used academically. Recently I have been requested to justify and demonstrate proof of Unity application in the class in order to be granted an academic license.This process needs to be undertaken every time its up for renewal despite the fact that it has been actively used for the past 4 years. Unreal, Unity's biggest competitor does not require any such requirements. Using Unreal for academic applications is hassle free. This additional requirement(hassle) reminds of the time when Unity couldn't be taught because they required academic institutions to pay while its competitor was free. Its almost like the upper management doesn't understand the significance of Universities and colleges. Autodesk Maya and Max are not dominant by accident.

    These small obstacles in institutions that are very fickle or slow to movement can lead to decisions of abandoning the software because these requirements. It may seem trivial but administration in these institutions default to the path of least resistance and in this case it would be Unreal 4.
     
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  2. sxa

    sxa

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    Not had that happen here, yet. Is that the Unity License Grant Program?
     
  3. pbritton

    pbritton

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    Yep.
     
  4. sxa

    sxa

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    Disconcerting. After our first year on the Grant Program I contacted them asking if they wanted to see some of the work that had been produced, but noone could tell me of someone appropriate to send it to. The only suggestion was submit it to an education conference showreel, but by that time the students had left.
     
  5. MelissaOldrin

    MelissaOldrin

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    Hi all, thank you for letting us know that you're experiencing barriers getting Unity for your classrooms. Have you already received the edu grant licenses you need or are you in the process of getting it?

    Also, @sxa, I'd love to see your student work, current and past students!

    @cdomes
     
  6. pbritton

    pbritton

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    Hi Melissa we are in the process at the moment. I have taught at three college/university with this being my third and Unity inclusion in the classroom has been more red tape than its competition. The last two schools were unwillingly to deal with extra hurdles so we stuck with Unreal. The school I am at, had some issues initially because of the cost associated with it prior to it being free. This meant we defaulted to Unreal during that time. Unity should not undermine its presence in academia with these problems. It may seem trivial, but the people who make the decisions on what can be used are very fickle and the "Why can't we use this other software (Unreal 4)?" becomes a bit harder to justify when these hurdles don't exist with UE4.
     
  7. Owen-Reynolds

    Owen-Reynolds

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    Seems like the usual documentation. A course description would never list something as specific as Unity, but a syllabus would. Collecting some projects later shouldn't be a problem. Think of is as practice for accreditation. Or is this a school where there aren't course leads? Every time the course is taught, the temp teaching it is surprised by this rule?

    UnReal vs. Unity doesn't seem like a choice. Unreal is better for level design and lighting, but Unity is better for coding and every type of game UnReal can't do.
     
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  8. MelissaOldrin

    MelissaOldrin

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    @pbritton, so sorry to hear that the grant requirements are presenting as hurdles! Thank you for letting me know. I'm looking into removing hurdles to access. If you're still waiting to hear from Unity about your edu grant application renewal, I can help speed it up. If you're comfortable doing so, please email educationprograms@unity3d.com with your school and name, etc. and I can help.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  9. sxa

    sxa

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    Except it is. I run the computer lab, not one of the dozen-plus courses that might use that lab. Although I have to arrange the licenses, and provide the resources, we're not running a 'Unity course' we're providing a toolset for animators, filmmakers, medical artists, product designers, interior designers etc.
    I dont get told which students are using Unity, there's no copy submitted to me by anyone, and by the time that work is assessed and exhibited, even if I were to somehow discover which of the 200-odd bits of work might be based on Unity, the students are basically finished and leaving...
     
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  10. Owen-Reynolds

    Owen-Reynolds

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    Even if Unity was no-questions-asked free, your lab is still using space, machines and your salary. Someone needs to justify that, by proving it's serving students. Otherwise some admin is going to shut down the lab that has never been officially used. With documentation, you might prove the need for an assistant or two, paid for by departments using you. The university lab I had experience with was general-interest software, not supporting any courses. Student Services paid for it. The documentation was, I think, students attending the free 1-hour classes (Intro to Adobe Premier, and so on. They had to pay only if they no-showed). And I think a sign-in sheet for the lab, with what software you were using.

    Whatever documentation you have to do already, give some to UnityCo.

    In your case, how are the students learning Unity? Is there some common pre-req for these dozen classes? Are they all giving their own Intro to Unity lectures? If so, they can't be happy duplicating all that work. Have you met any of the instructors? How much do they know about how your lab works? Like what you can and can't provide -- maybe they assume you have expert TA's on hand at all times, and are teaching Unity yourself. Would the students enjoy being able to give you a final version of their work? What does the lab provide that a personal laptop with Unity doesn't? Without coordination, the lab feels like a Somebody Else's Problem field. Everyone can blame someone else for what the students aren't getting.
     
  11. pbritton

    pbritton

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    @MelissaOldrin The requested documentation has been submitted and I anticipate everything will go through. I just wanted to express the potential issues with the process. If I do run into any additional problems I will reach out using the email you provided. Thank you for you assistance.
     
  12. sxa

    sxa

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    That's a whole load of very silly assertions made on the back of what would appear to be zero insight into the situation. We're a university, serving students is what our computer labs are for. If there a dozen courses using a facility, what on earth makes you think it would be 'unofficial?' What makes you think there are 'admins' who would be stupid enough to shut down a working teaching lab without consulting the appropriate people first, or who don't know what facilities we provide? What on earth do 'assistants' have to do with anything, and seriously, where do you even think funds for that would magically appear from?
    Your experience of one generic university lab is poor insight into the entire workings of an entire faculty.

    So none, then.
    Which bit of 'no-one is going to volunteer that information' didnt you understand? It certainly appears you really don't have much insight into the dynamic between people who provide an infrastructure and those who use it. At an education establishment, management tend to be in the latter group, in case you hadn't realised.

    Another set of assumptions, and leading questions that ignore the described reality. Is it your belief that throwing enough of them into your posts will somehow change the facts I gave? I dont need to validate our situation to you, it is the situation. I know its the situation because Ive already been through the process.
     
  13. Baste

    Baste

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    @Owen-Reynolds, Universities work very differently in other countries.

    I studied for four years at a university, and I never informed anyone at any point about what software I was using. I just sat down at a computer and booted the software that was available.
     
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  14. Owen-Reynolds

    Owen-Reynolds

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    But space and money are still resources and it's going to be someone's job to see they aren't wasted. If you used, say, 3DS-Max are Photoshop at a public University computer lab, it may have been a classroom. But only for a few hours a day, then it's a public lab the rest of the time. The classes using it functions as sufficient record-keeping. We don't like sign-in sheets, if we don't really need them.

    I also used to tell students that, sure, they're just customers here. But Universities are very open about how they work, and it's a great chance to see how a large institution operates if you ask around. Once some of our interior locks were funny, so we started locking the whole building after 5pm. Everyone who needed to get in had keys. The problem was, the first floor had one of those classroom/public labs, and we'd taken a small slice of Student Services money to keep it open until midnight. We quickly stopped.
     
  15. Owen-Reynolds

    Owen-Reynolds

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    You've haven't really explained the situation. I mean, your second post said you once had things to submit that UnityCo didn't want. Then your 3rd claimed you never got any student work. That's fine -- you're in a tough situation and not intent on writing a complete job description for us.

    I'm getting the impression you just keep the computers running, and knowing or helping with Unity isn't in your job description. In that case someone else screwed up. A group picked Unity for the classes, possibly ran an Intro to Unity course, set up the lab, and forgot to read the licenses.
     
  16. sxa

    sxa

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    There is no Unity course. There is no official support for Unity, because none of the courses have Unity as a prerequisite. However, we have students, individually, who have used and are using Unity for their work. So the software is being provided for students who decide to work with Unity, whichever course they're on. Because there's such a thing as self-learning.

    And I decided to put it on the systems; its part of my job to work out what students might need, whether that's specified by a course or not.

    But what I do is infrastructure. Im not in the assessment chain so I do not see the work, do not get feedback about the work. I'm not in a position to chase down 200 students to find out what tools they might have used, or cajole 25 academics to do that for me.

    That's not in my job description. Realising we are going to have to deploy something like Unity, making an informed choice to decide on Unity, sourcing and deploying it, and making sure it is working, is.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
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  17. Owen-Reynolds

    Owen-Reynolds

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    I feel like you already see the problem. Unity's educational license is for a course. They want students using it on their own to put Unity Personal on their laptops. Two of their quotes: "Students who are using Unity outside the classroom to build or refine their skills are welcome to download the free and fully-featured Unity Personal". Which translates as "students blah-blah if it's not for a class blah-blah use the regular free one". Then for school employees: "licenses at no charge for in-class instruction".

    Bringing in courses that might use Unity, or students inspired by a dozen various courses, confuses the issue. For building support within the University, mentioning all that is great. But to UnityCo, it's a stand-alone lab with no other educational resources. It seems like they purposely excluded those from the licenses. If you want to make a pitch to UnityCo, it seems like you need to explain why the students can't use Unity Personal. Or at least double-check with them that the info on the website is current.
     
  18. sxa

    sxa

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    No, I already described my problem; I did so multiple posts ago when you first decided to make the sweeping generalisation that that my problem wasn't a problem.
    Here's the problem; its a very simple one. The problem is simply that there's no mechanism for me to get feedback on what tools our students have used. End of story.

    The fact that you've constructed a fantasy narrative about my circumstances in order to tell me what I should be doing differently is arrogant, insulting nonsense on your part. It doesnt change my problem, it doesnt negate the problem I said there was, it doesn't make you the authority on our circumstances. You are not displaying any insight here, you are not even close to comprehending the situation, its clear you have minimal experience of any similar situation, and your assumptions are inherently ignorant. So just stop. You're making up nonsense, pure and simple. End of story.

    So now you've gone from telling me you know position better than me, to telling me you know UT's position better? How surprising.

    Unfortunately for your theory, UT gave us those licenses knowing our use case. End of story.

    Irrelevant. We ensure there's access to the tools for all students, whether they have laptops or not. End of Story.

    I'll take my 'translations' from the UT staff I arranged the licenses with, thanks. End of Story.

    That's just more more inane assumptions in support of your narrative. I already 'made a pitch' to UT, which is why I have licenses. End of Story.

    Now, do yourself a favour; give it up, okay? You have nothing of relevance to my problem to contribute here.
     
  19. sxa

    sxa

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    (my italics)

    Doesn't say anything about being restricted to Unity courses, or excluding labs where students can do self-taught learning. And yet the fictional narrative becomes

    I guess UT are the ones who don't understand, though. Since you're clearly the expert, you really need to explain properly to UT's lawyers that what they meant is that they're trying to prevent any education site from allowing students access to Unity unless they're on a specific Unity course. That'll probably help you feel even more self-important than telling me what I meant.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  20. Owen-Reynolds

    Owen-Reynolds

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    The first post in the thread mentions needing to show Unity3D used in a class to keep an educational license. Which is a recent change.

    I just noticed sxa's 2nd post is a non-sequitur. It sounds like they're having trouble submitting that documentation, but they really said they asked if Unity wanted to see some student work. That's completely different, and of course UnityCo didn't have a place for unsolicited projects.

    The issue is that sxa is someone affected by this change -- not using Unity for a class, getting a license under the old deal, but not the new one. This seems like a good place for sxa to make a case why the lab with Unity on machines -- with no short courses or other support -- is a good deal for Unity.
     
  21. sxa

    sxa

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    @MelissaOldrin : could you let me know who I need to contact regarding extending our License Grant; our licenses are now expired and although Ive emailed the people orignally involved in issuing them, the person who last dealt with us seems to have left and Ive not had a reply back from anyone else.
     
  22. sxa

    sxa

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    Still no reply from anyone at Unity.
     
  23. MelissaOldrin

    MelissaOldrin

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    Hi @sxa, sorry for the wait! Can you please email support@unity3d.com. In your message, please include the email you used to request the grant licenses and the school you represent.

    There was a technical problem that was causing backlog in issuing grant licenses. We have it fixed now though, so there should be no hold ups.
     
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  24. MelissaOldrin

    MelissaOldrin

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    Thank you, please do reach out if you have problems!
     
  25. MelissaOldrin

    MelissaOldrin

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    @pbritton, did you receive the grant licenses you requested? We did have a backlog in issuing requests for licenses due to a technical problem. This has been corrected and there should be no hold ups. Please let me know.
    Melissa
     
  26. sxa

    sxa

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    Cheers, that's now all sorted
     
  27. pbritton

    pbritton

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    @MelissaOldrin Thank you very much for your assistance. We have obtained the necessary licenses with your help. Cheers to Melissa. :):D
     
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  28. MelissaOldrin

    MelissaOldrin

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    thanks for speaking up to us @pbritton and @sxa. And thank you for your patience as we worked through the request backlogs!