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Module B ButtonTopic B1.4: Orienting Students to Online Learning

College-Maintained Orientation Materials
Most colleges and universities offering online courses also provide students with plenty of information about what it takes to enroll in an online course and how to be a successful online student. They also provide their faculty with checklists and orientation materials that they may need to orient their students in more detail. The materials below represent just a small portion of what is available to online students:

Introduction to Online Learning (Prince George's Community College): a PowerPoint slide show that accompanies face-to-face orientation sessions. Among the pieces of advice offered to prospective online students is that they should plan on spending at least six to nine hours each week on an online course, that the successful online student has both student skills and technology skills, and is not a procrastinator. A good self-assessment for students pondering whether online learning is right for them are directed to articles about online learning, and a Successful Students Checklist.

Test Drive a Web-based Course: Another approach to orienting online students to their first course is being taken by the College of Southern Maryland (La Plata, Maryland). Students can logon to Test Drive a Web-based Course and "try out" a web course before they register. Built inside the course management system WebCT, this demonstration of a web-based course allows prospective students to tour a typical web-based course, and offers students advice on successful learning online.

Checklist for Online Faculty (Prince George's Community College): PGCC is one of a host of colleges and universities offering their faculty training and advice on how to teach online courses. Its Checklist for Online Faculty guides faculty who are planning to teach online in the preparation of their online course materials.


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