Starting Online Students on the Road to Success with Skills, Tools and Resources ...Destination Course Zero!

October 14, 2014 – 1:00pm ET- This webinar has passed. Register for the recording.

The flexibility of online learning appeals to students across the spectrum with different abilities: digital natives, non-traditional students, and international students. How can faculty and instructors ensure all students are on a level playing field with such a large array of students? How can online programs prepare students with various levels of comfort and skill?

To solve this problem, Wentworth Institute of Technology created and implemented an orientation course called Course Zero for new distance learning students to help them navigate what it means to be an online student. Course Zero helps students understand how to get their computer ready, understand what student services are available and how to access them, and practice using the course management system. This course is run by the online student coordinator to help ensure students have the preparation they need to successfully start their online courses and achieves several goals like:

  • prepare students for successful online learning
  • orient students to the learning management system, saving faculty and support staff time
  • provide a model online course for students and faculty
  • to welcome students to the Wentworth community and their cohort of fellow learners.

Using a modular approach for course design, Course Zero incorporates modules that were created by the institution as well as third party materials leveraging learning objects from Blackboard Inc. and Atomic Learning.

In this webinar instructional designers, online learning departments of institutions and instructional technologists will learn how Wentworth Institute of Technology provides students with support to master the skills and tools needed for online learning through a prerequisite course.

NOTE : If you have questions about your registration or if you have a disability, use assistive technology, or may need accommodation to fully access a webinar, please email us at at least a week prior to the day of the webinar and you will be contacted by someone from our webinar staff as quickly as possible to discuss your needs.

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Speaker Bio


Jonathan Small, Director of Online Learning
, Wentworth Institute of Technology is the Director of Online Learning at WIT, and previously led online learning programs at Bay State College and New England College of Business and Finance. In addition, he spent 6 years consulting with the Online Learning Consortium as a Workshop Project Manager.

Sarah Walkowiak, Instructional Designer & Facilitator Wentworth Institute of Technology Sarah Walkowiak, is an Instructional Designer & Facilitator at WIT, who led the design of the original course. She has 14 years of experience in instructional technology & design. Along with Jonathan, she will be presenting on this topic at the Online Learning Consortium’s fall conference in Orlando.