Monday, December 18, 2023

Kara Kehe, Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Sport and Recreation Management in Health and Human Physiology, knows how to make a great first impression on her online students. She shares strategies for designing a course orientation that sets student expectations and prepares them for an active applied learning experience.

Design to Promote Active Learning

Demonstrate care for the student experience

Your online students may not meet you in person, but they still sense your personality and passion through your course site. The way you organize your site and the attention you put into the first week’s activities can make a big difference in how your students perceive you and the value of your course. You want them to feel confident, motivated, and curious about what they will learn. To achieve this, consider your students’ backgrounds, prior knowledge, and unique perspectives. By tailoring your course orientation to their specific needs, you show them that you care about their success and that you have designed learning experiences that will help them achieve their goals.

Create a culture of active engagement

Kara starts her online courses with various pieces of helpful information for her students, including a compilation of frequently asked questions, help guides for course tools, strategies for success in her course, a screencast video showing students how to use her course site and what to expect during the semester, and an icebreaker activity that asks students to practice using digital tools they will return to during the semester. The orientation culminates in a course scavenger hunt to ensure students understand the information and expectations. 


"How I arrange the Getting Started activities has a big impact on what students expect in my course. If I emphasize our learning tools, then students know that they will be creating interesting, real-world projects. We can make assumptions that students today are comfortable with digital tools socially — but not professionally.”
  – Kara Kehe


View Online Course Model

Organize your course for success

Are you ready to enhance your online course? The Distance and Online Education Effective Instruction Guide suggests that how you organize your course orientation and learning modules has a big impact on student success. An easy-to-use course site clears away distractions and helps students focus on meaningful learning. Click the request a consultation button to get started!

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