Are Your Students Ready to Learn Online? Strategies for Facilitating Online Learning Readiness at Your Institution

Concurrent Session 1

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

This workshop shares best practices and tools for developing an online readiness assessment tool.  Facilitators from the University of Memphis will share strategies for curating resources and will discuss assessments that may be used to determine how to best prepare students to learn online. Participants will take the role of instructional designer to analyze and develop an assessment module.   


Leonia Houston is an Instructional Designer for the University of Memphis, experienced online instructor and eLearning specialist with over eight (8) years experience working in higher education. She received a Bachelor of Accounting ('07) and Master of Science in Instructional Design ('08) from Mississippi State University. She has been involved in technology professional development and service to faculty and preservice educators at the University of Memphis since 2009, and has served on several campus advisory committees centered around faculty development, student success and technology innovations. She is member of several organizations dedicated to research on the implementation of technology in education and has presented at a number of local, regional and national conferences around the country.

Extended Abstract


The University of Memphis created Smart Start after the successful use of the SmarterMeasure Readiness Assessment tool. Smart Start is a three tiered initiative designed to address the instructional needs of adult learners returning to school. It is designed to inform students about their academic preparedness to complete online courses at the University of Memphis and it provides current and prospective students with targeted resources to address possible deficiencies prior to the completion of an online course or program. Smart Start includes a readiness assessment, open access preparedness course and online orientation. This initiative was created out a need to streamline content that was specific to our student population and overall online student demographic. In this workshop, we will discuss the rationale and strategies our institutions have used to create readiness tools for our online students. We will further share current outcomes from students who have utilized our Student Readiness tools. Participants will leave the session with tips for getting started with their institutional online readiness solution.