The Other End User: Setting LMS Expectations Starting with Our Students

Concurrent Session 3

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

We didn’t realize the impact of a small, department initiative until Institutional Research called to determine the cause behind some impressive statistics. Join us as we chat about implementing and working to mandate an online student orientation for all incoming students.


Corri Nicoletti is a Technical Support Analyst at Lumen Learning. She focuses on technology integrations as well as LMS and product support. She is an innovative thinker who loves coming up with bright new ideas, working in collaborative environments, and helping faculty integrate, navigate and master educational technologies. Corri works closely with the Lumen team to provide support and optimize the use of Lumen's products for faculty and students alike.

Extended Abstract

What about the students?! It's too often that the responsibility is placed on faculty to both train their students in the use of the LMS and to integrate the learning management system into their course. It quickly became evident that each faculty member has a different approach, resulting in unique online learning spaces where design and implementation was out of our control. The need to offer an online student orientation to introduce students to this new environment was obvious but hindered by formal processes and policy to make it what do you do?! We will share our options and formats available to ALL end users as well as the Institutional Research statistics that are helping us to push this initiative forward.

Following an upgrade from Sakai 2.9 to Sakai 11, I led an initiative in Digital Education at Marist College to both apply and model best practice and use of key tools available to our faculty for content delivery. The most critical update was to lessons, a content authoring tool that integrated with various other system tools such as assignments and tests and quizzes. Compared to previous formats and options, Lessons offered several advantages to both instructors and students.  This tool allows faculty to choose how they wish to deliver course content by facilitating course structure customization.  Faculty can look forward to streamlining the learning pathway, guiding students to one location for task completion.  Students will be able look forward to improved course organization and simplified navigation.  Lessons works to minimize confusion by keeping content and activities in one place.

The second major motivation behind implementing a robust online student orientation was that it would provide students with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the online environment before grades or a critical assignment was at stake. Students have ample opportunities for engagement including sample content, assignments, forums, tests, and polls.

In preparing their yearly report, Institutional Research partnered with Digital Education to investigate what was the cause behind a significant increase in satisfaction. While our overall satisfaction with our learning management system was 89%, the satisfaction rate for the iLearn orientation was 100%. Unfortunately, at the time, the orientation was only offered to students enrolling in their first online course in select campus programs.

The assumption and benefit was obvious. Previously, generating excitement and increasing department and school support for implementing the orientation was difficult. However, this single statistic spoke volumes. Offering the orientation for all incoming students and transfers was an critical key to our future successes.

The presentation will include engagement options similar to that of our student orientation environment including access to a public version of what we currently offer. This will include opportunities to explore both our learning management system and student resources repository. Orientation features include sample quizzes, polls, assignments, interactive videos and more.