You are Here: Designing and Developing a Student Onboarding Package for Online Courses
Concurrent Session 7
This session will prepare attendees to create a universal course front-end for their program’s unique needs by adapting the UW Colleges Online model for online courses. This session will explore the research, design, revision, and implementation of this model and walk attendees through an example course utilizing this front-end format.
Are you looking for ways to guide your students through their first online course? Are you interested in how student onboarding can impact retention and the student experience? We will be sharing how University of Wisconsin Colleges Online prepares and supports our new and returning online students throughout each of our courses.
As part of campus discussions related to UW Colleges Online’s retention efforts and how to best onboard our students for online courses, we recently implemented a research-based solution for improving the week-one student experience in all course offerings. Our campus compiled data sourced from inquires to our student support team, questions posted by students in discussions within select freshman level courses, surveys of our instructors, and input from our online advisors and instructional design team. We then used that data to determine applicable trends and guide the development of new front-end materials to be implemented consistently across our course offerings. We also used this opportunity to address concerns expressed by our advising staff, and meet a range of Quality Mattersâ standards, in order to retain and best serve our students.
Our students need assistance in a number of different areas:
- How to navigate our Learning Management System, including the design of individual courses
- How to resolve issues with required technology
- What to do when accessing their course for the first time
- How to complete the mandatory UW Colleges Online attendance activity
- How to locate and use the course syllabus and schedule
- How to access academic resources
We address these student needs by adding a uniform set of modules and design elements to each course that:
- explains how students can get started
- verifies course attendance
- establishes instructor presence
- introduces our learning technology
- communicates academic policies
- provides helpful resources
- guides students through the remainder of the course
This session will prepare attendees to create a similar universal course front-end for their program’s unique needs by adapting the UW Colleges Online model for online courses. This session will explore the research, design, revision, and implementation of this model and walk attendees through an example course. The walkthrough will explore the structure of our final implementation and explain how we resolved concerns introduced during the design stage of this project. This session will encourage attendees to think about the unique student needs of their institutions and consider a similar design and revision process.
The main session outcome is to prepare attendees to adapt the UW Colleges Online model for course frontend materials by creating an outline structure relevant to their unique programmatic needs.