Streamlining Online Orientation: How To Prepare Students & Facilitate Continued Success

Concurrent Session 8

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

How can you prepare your students for online learning and continue that learning as long as they are enrolled? Learn how one institution is using a single online orientation platform to serve multiple purposes for new students, continuing students, and respond to just-in-time support.


Stephanie is an experienced eLearning innovator with more than 18 years of experience in higher education. She holds graduate degrees in curriculum and instruction and adult education and training. She has taught online at the community college and university levels in the areas of instructional design, instructional technology, and college success strategies. For more than 15 years she has worked in an area of eLearning in higher education. She is also the co-author of the textbook Life During College: The Online Learner's Guide to Success. Stephanie lives in Arizona with her family.

Extended Abstract

Recommendations for online programs such as the OLC Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Programs and the 21st-century Distance Education Guidelines include criteria to prepare students for the online learning environments. Like many rubrics, the criteria are broad to allow institutions to apply them how they see fit and are able to meet their needs. Finding a tool that accomplishes this and allows customizations for a branded, unique experience provides institutions the opportunity to easily meet standards of quality both internally and externally. 

Even prior to the huge influx of students moving to online learning caused by the pandemic, higher education institutions have needed to provide students with a thorough and engaging orientation. There are often multiple orientations for students - orienting students to online learning and new student orientation. Streamlining this process for students at a time when they are receiving mountains of information may seem undoable. Especially, when new student orientation is historically an hours-long event. How can this be accomplished to encourage and facilitate continued student success?

The presentation will describe how the institution successfully manages three orientation experiences and student success workshops using one platform. 

The presenter will use multiple engagement tools to guide the attendees through planning, implementing, and supporting students in online orientations. Participants will be polled at the beginning of the presentation to share their orientation needs. The presenter will continue to engage the participants throughout the presentation at key points throughout the discussion regarding how students access the orientations, experience design, user completion, and user data. Participants will leave with a plan to implement and modify the orientation process at their own institutions. Additionally, participants will receive access to a free and open learning management system orientation for students.