Provide highlights of your faculty members’ expertise, research, awards, and teaching philosophy with easy-to-comprehend language. FSU’s Webstars is an excellent example; Washington State University even provides brief video overviews of courses.
Students want to know who their peers will be, and posting plenty of student profiles and testimonials is helpful.
Make it easy for prospective students to contact faculty, students and academic advisors and others. Make sure help is readily available by phone, email, instant messaging, and live chat. For example, Berkeley College provides 24x7 visitors options for chats with help desk staff.
Admission and Application Requirements
Requirements need to be clear and easy to find; students prefer online forms rather than mail. For example, the University of Cincinnati provides Web Withdrawal, Faculty Web Grading, Health Insurance Waivers, Web Degree Audit, and a Course Applicability System that immediately shows students which UC courses are consistent with their current program.
Post tuition costs where everyone can easily find them.
A link to your institution’s financial aid services web pages should do the trick, but make sure the financial aid people know how to deal with fully online adult learners who expect professional customer service.
Students need an easy-to-find calendar that shows courses start and end dates and other due dates.
What sets you apart from your competition? What are your specialties? Are faculty members passionate about learning? Do the majority of your online graduates go on to good jobs or post-graduate study? Is your student body comprised of many knowledgeable professionals working in the field?
Providing user-friendly information gives a first and lasting favorable impression.