Providing Essential Student Resources in a Robust Orientation Module

Presenter: Eyde Olson, Instructional Designer, Center for Transformative Teaching

Contact info: eolson2@unl.edu

What

An orientation module provides general course and university-wide resources and information that students will find helpful during the first week of the course, throughout the course, and in their other courses. My CAS mini-team has created an orientation module that is available for you to use in your courses. It is titled “Canvas Orientation and Student Resources,” but feel free to revise that title.

It can be used in any format: F2F, online, Hyflex or blended. It can be used for any discipline or any semester whether the term is spring, summer, or fall.

The “Canvas Orientation and Student Resources” module provides information about how to get started in Canvas including getting set up for mobile devices. It provides links to Canvas tutorials. It provides information about accessibility and links to the SSD office. It has a comprehensive page about academic integrity at UNL including the Student Code of Conduct. The student resources page is especially robust as it has a big selection of academic resources and student resources. The technology requirements and tips page is particularly helpful for students because it provides all sorts of help for dealing with issues with Canvas, lectures, browser, and where to go for help. The tips for success page provides information about Netiquette, email etiquette, study strategies, and discussion posts.

Why

A robust orientation module, such as this CAS orientation module that is available for you to use, is a great example of a small thing that has a big impact. It provides valuable resources for your students to help them get started right at the beginning of the course term and then throughout the course.

Benefits:

  • Removes barriers to student learning by having easy-to-find resources all in one place
  • Provides mini-tutorials that help students learn how to use such Canvas tools as the discussion board, quizzes, how to submit assignments
  • Provides helpful resources for students to access throughout the individual course and all through their academic career
  • Helps to get your students started off right in the first week
  • Saves you time because your students will ask you fewer questions because they can reference the orientation module

How

To download or import the “Canvas Orientation and Student Resources” module into your course:

  • Go to Canvas Commons in the Global Navigation Panel. Search under Eyde Olson. Click on the module item. Then, import/download the Canvas Orientation and Student Resources module into your course.

How to use the orientation module in your course:

  • Place it at the top of your Modules especially during the first couple of weeks of class.
  • Reference and link to it in many places:
    • your pre-course announcement
    • your welcome announcement
    • your course tour video
    • reference it whenever students have
    questions that are answered in the orientation module
  • You might want to incorporate it into learning activities or small-stakes assessments the first week such as a question in your Getting Started quiz or in a Discussion assignment.

Recommended Resources