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Developing Orientation Materials

Page history last edited by Beverly Fite 14 years, 1 month ago

Carol Buse: 

Here is a questionnaire that my group developed for a class in my PhD program.  Don't know how/if we could use it - except put it out as an exercise for students to critique using sound criticism from literature or...????

 

Outsiders Online Course Self Assessment.doc

 

Carol, I think this is great for the orientation materials module.  Get a pre-assessment of where your students are before they begin the course.  Get to know the audience to whom you are teaching.  Thanks for sharing!

 

Beverly Fite

I believe the hardest hurdle in students being successful in an online course is a very good orientation foundation.  Getting the information to the student is paramount, but compelling the student to read it is sometimes almost impossible.  The below article (in part) discusses contacting the student by mail or email (students when enrolling are given a email address at the school and automatically added to the CMS) so they could obtain information on where they should go first to get the information necessary to get started with the orientation and course.  Just because there is a link on AC home page to distant learning, I get email and phone calls every semester asking me “where do I go to get started.”  So, I am looking at some other schools on the Internet to see have they not only get initial information to the students, but how they can compel the student to actually look at the orientation information. 

 

Paraphrased articled referenced below:

 

In addition to the educator’s innate desire to see students succeed, Parker (1997) claims that we can positively affect retention rates by implementing orientations to help make students aware of what will be required of them and of the support services available to help them through those requirements.  Awareness is freedom.  By giving students the knowledge they need to succeed, we free them to become responsible for their education and to take ownership of their college experience.  The earlier we foster this awareness, the more successful students become.  And students who are successful rarely drop out.

 

 

New students received communication by mail, school email and/or the CMS email in order to ensure that they had all the tools necessary to complete the tutorial.  Upon successfully logging in to the SPU online learning environment, they saw that they were enrolled in their courses.   Once they selected the course to enter its site, students were welcomed with information.

 

Success is also about the development of life skills such as the knowledge of requirements, policies, and procedures, and seeking out of available resources.   In addition to the educator’s innate desire to see students succeed, Parker (1997) claims that we can positively affect retention rates by implementing orientations to help make students aware of what will be required of them and of the support services available to help them through those requirements.  Awareness is freedom.  By giving students the knowledge they need to succeed, we free them to become responsible for their education and to take ownership of their college experience.  The earlier we foster this awareness, the more successful students become.  And students who are successful rarely drop out.1

 

The rest of the article talks about all the links on the home page of their CMS, but again how do you force a student to read the information, or even glance at it?  I label documents with titles like “Read First, VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION.”  Since I get several questions in the first week of class that were directly addressed in the “Read First” document, I know they did not read it or just skimmed it.  In our first online training session for instructors at AC, there was a “lock” that would not let the student proceed with the course until the completed the tutorial.  That was in WebCT, so I am not sure Angel has that same capability.  Just some thoughts.


 

Comments (1)

Carol Buse said

at 4:43 pm on Jun 16, 2010

Beverly,
Another idea is to give them a quiz over the orientation material. I've done that before and I tell them they have a quiz over it. Most students do well on the quiz and then they know what is expected of them, too.
Also, one semester I made the quiz where they retook it until they made a 100. They couldn't continue with the course until they did.

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