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Online Orientation: Getting Students to Use It!

#Twitter: 
#aln80453
Presenter(s)
Lynn Wietecha (Lawrence Technological University, USA)
Session Information
November 20, 2013 - 12:45pm
Track: 
Student Services and Learner Support
Areas of Special Interest: 
Institutional Initiatives
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
All
Session Type: 
Information Session
Location: 
Europe 8
Session Duration: 
35 Minutes
Session: 
Information Session 2
Abstract

Many students skip the online orientation. LTU has been able to increase participation by incorporating targeted design strategies and using LMS features in new ways.

Extended Abstract

At last year's Sloan C conference, I attended several sessions on Student Orientation programs. I was interested in how colleagues were building these support units. It soon became clear that many course developers and online programs had built rich orientations to prepare students for a successful online experience. Many presenters outlined the great deal of time and attention they spent to create these orientations, only to be disappointed to see how many students simply skip them. Audience members also voiced this frustration. AT LTU, we've found some creative ways to increase student participation in our orientation module and make it more relevant to student needs.

Our orientation module has helped ensure students get off to a great start in their online courses. Lawrence Technological University's online bachelor's degree programs are ranked sixth in a national survey released Jan. 15 by U.S. News and World Report. The survey rated online programs on factors such as best practices, graduation rates, student indebtedness, and academic and career support services offered to students. LTU's online bachelor's degree programs scored highest in the entire country for student engagement.
http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/rankings.

This presentation will share how eLearning Services at Lawrence Technological University, has redesigned its Module Zero, an integrated, orientation module, to be more targeted to specific degree programs and the unique needs of Online students in an effort to engage them early in their program. It will present how we surveyed faulty and OL students to seek their input in this redesign and actually used them in creating short, embedded videos. It will also demonstrate how we've incorporated LMS feature, such as adaptive release to guide students through the orientation and ensure they have the information they need to be successful in our online program.

Upon completion of this presentation, participants will . . .

  • Build a list of essential elements needed to orient students to a successful online course experience,
  • Gain strategies to incorporate into their LMS to promote completion of the orientation module,
  • Discover new ways to customize orientations to the unique needs of degree programs,
  • Have links to LTU orientation videos they can use in their own programs as needed.


Participants will be engaged from the session opening by completing a Poll Everywhere survey about common information found in Online orientations. Their results will be compared to the data from our surveys which were used to build our Module Zero.

Lead Presenter

Dr. Lynn Wietecha, eLearning Architect and Program Producer at Lawrence Technological University, is an instructor, designer and developer of online programs. Lynn works with faculty at LTU to develop and provide engaging courses that employ best practice strategies in content delivery, assessment and engagement. This year, US News & World Report rated Lawrence Tech sixth in the nation for undergraduate online education and first in the nation in student engagement for online undergraduate education. Last year, LTU was ranked eighth in the nation for online engineering programs (http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/rankings?int=...). Lynn has presented at ISTE, AECT and State level conferences and continues to research best practices in instructional design and evaluation.