Maryland Faculty Online Advanced Search Button
Maryland Faculty Online Home ButtonHelp Button
Modules ButtonEvents ButtonResources and Activities ButtonCurriculum ButtonGlossary ButtonFeedback ButtonAbout MFO Button      

Module B ButtonTopic B1.1: Orienting Students to Online Learning

Online instructors may provide orientation information to their students by sending them an orientation letter via postal mail or email, by providing materials on the Internet in the form of a course web page, or by meeting with students face-to-face for an initial class orientation. Many colleges and universities provide general orientation information about web-based learning as part of their web sites. This topic examines some of these orientation methods.


Learning Activity I: Online Course Scenario

Before you orient your students to your online course, it's good to get some experience with what such an orientation should include. In this first activity, a type of scavenger hunt, you will get a taste of the online experience yourself, as if you were a student seeking information about your first online course.

1. You are a college freshman and you want to take your first online course. Choose one of the following courses: English Composition and Rhetoric, College Mathematics, or General Psychology.

2. Now, choose one of the colleges below where you can take your chosen course. Click on the link that will take you to your college’s web site.

Brevard Community College (FL)
DeAnza College (Cupertino, CA)
Northern Virginia Community College
The University of Idaho
Honolulu Community College
University of Texas at Austin
Pennsylvania State University
Maricopa County Community College (AZ)
Capital Community College (CT)


3. Your job is to search the web site for the information you need so that you can take the online course you chose. On a piece of paper, record the answers to the following questions about the course you chose:

  • What college or university did you choose?
  • Is the course provided completely online?
  • How much is the tuition? How much are any additional fees for the online course, if any? How much will it cost an out-of-state student to take the online course?
  • Is a course syllabus provided online?
  • What is the prerequisite for the course? Is there information provided for this prerequisite? (e.g., Course description, syllabus, or course outline)
  • What are the titles of any required textbooks? Can they be purchased online?
  • When is the course offered (start and end dates)?
  • Is there any required on-campus meetings? (e.g., for tests, orientation, oral reports, etc.)
  • Is the instructor’s name and contact information provided?
  • Can a student register online for the course?
  • Is the prospective student offered a peek into an online course?


4. After getting answers to these questions, go to the forum for Online Course Scenario and describe how difficult, or easy, it was to find this information.


Back ButtonNext Button




  Copyright © 2003 Maryland Faculty Online
Maryland Faculty Online Home Button