Strategies for Bringing New Student Orientation Online

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In a recent NACA Coffee & Conversations webinar, Meg Foster, instructor and academic coach, led a discussion in identifying strategies for bringing orientation programming online.  She laid out 9 tips as follows.

Tips for Building Online Orientation

Define the audience: 

Identify what audience you are targeting.  Are they new students, admitted students, prospective students and parents, distance learners, etc.?

Define the timeline: 

Determine a target date and create a weekly task chart to outline what needs to be done, who needs to be involved, and delegate tasks.  Consider what possible barriers might exist, i.e. who do you need to get approvals from?

Define the team: 

Identify who the team members are: faculty, advisors, technical trainers, financial aid, etc.

Define your message plan:

Create a marketing plan, both internal and external.  Figure out who is doing to write the specific language for the plan.  Engage the students from your campus marketing department to assist.  Identify which students are going through orientation and make sure they will know how and where to find necessary information.  Make sure the orientation programming is known to all departments campus wide.

Create your story:

Identify what your learning outcomes are, what you want your students to know, how you will create engagement. Examples for ideas to include are: academic information, general information, logistical concerns, testing and assessment.  Condense this all to fit an online program instead of an in person orientation.  Assign students to advisors to stay in touch via email or phone to help with registration  Some schools are coming up with incentives for online registration, such as offering prizes once registration is complete.

Decide on delivery: 

How will orientation be delivered and packaged?  Identify what your data needs are to help decide on delivery of information.  Some things to consider are use of videos, texts, animations, monitoring  student progression, posting quizzes and activities to serve as checks and tracking. 

LMS Resources for building orientation:

Go2Orientation has everything an institution needs to create and build an online orientation.  Here’s a link to their Quick Launch.  
Canvas an online platform to build digital learning environments
Brightspace by D2L is a learning designing software for learning and teaching
Blackboard a resource for transitioning to online learning for schools, teachers, parents, students 
StudentLingo online support with student success workshops 

Create Engagement

Create opportunities for facilitators, orientation leaders, student services, advisors, etc., to be engaged as a community.  Some suggestions are: virtual meet the professors, social distancing activities or clubs, virtual campus scavenger hunt, keynote speakers, virtual student resource fairs.

Branding orientation:

Personalize your orientation program using content that is researched based and ADA compliant.  Utilize visuals, videos, tips, etc. to make it engaging and connect students to institutions.  Make a program that is easy to update, change, maintain, and track & measure student progress.

And lastly, a great resource for online classes is ACUE, which provides teaching resources, credentials, and teaching pra

About Hoan

Hoan Do is a student success coach, author, and city finalist in NBC’s hit show, American Ninja Warrior. Recognized as the best youth mentor by the International Examiner, Hoan travels the world speaking at companies, colleges, and leadership conferences sharing practical strategies to develop resilience and mental strength. 

Hoan’s engaging style and ability to share important life lessons in a way that resonates with his audiences has earned him the Verizon Wireless Motivator Award.

Since COVID-19, Hoan has been facilitating engaging virtual programs and helping clients to increase excitement, participation, and results in their virtual meetings and online events. 

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