Proactively familiarizing students with the course and the instructor.
When thinking of an orientation, one for a college or a program probably comes to mind. However, orientations are an important component for individual courses too. Most students take multiple classes in a semester and each have unique structures, requirements, policies and expectations. This can result in an initial overwhelming feeling as students acclimate to their courses. However, there are many options available to help students feel more comfortable, in the task of building a clear, concise and welcoming course orientation.
There are many benefits for instructors and students. A course orientation:
In most cases, courses have some form of online learning and technology integration regardless of the delivery mode. Online platforms allow you to build and share interactive course orientations. Often this is a student orientation module within your online course that can be repurposed and updated each semester making it an efficient resource.
UB Learns: If using the UB Learns platform, having a student orientation tab on the course menu may be the way to go. This tab might be titled “Welcome,” “Start Here,” or “Course Information.” It sets the expectation for where students should start the course and what they need to know before day one, although this module can be referred to at any time.
Other formats: If not using UB Learns, creating a course orientation for students can still be done effectively by using a step-by-step guide in a different format such as a short document that is sent via email or posted on another course site.
There are a variety of resources that can be included in a course orientation, below are some suggestions:
Follow the directions in the Course Orientation Template to build your student course orientation module.
Now that you have created your course orientation, the next step is to either finish your course organization or begin unit planning.
For further information about course orientations, see the following readings.