Required online course orientation

Success and retention rates for online classes are disproportionately low compared with face-to-face classes.This intervention is designed to assess students and provide students feedback about readiness to take classes online and pair with resources for improving preparation for taking courses online. Qualitative data gathered in the course of the Faculty Inquiry groups indicated that faculty who teach online often have students who are completely unprepared for the expectations of an online courses and a lack of some of the basic knowledge for successfully navigating the environment for online courses.

Initially, the Online Student Preparedness module was piloted with faculty who volunteered to have the Online Student Preparedness module implemented within their course.Students were notified of the requirement and had access to completing the Online Student Preparedness module well before the semester began.However, if the student had not gone through the process before, they were required to complete the Online Student Preparedness module before they were able to enter their online course.


While progress has continued on this intervention

  • the number of instructors implementing the required orientation to online increased by 60%
  • Qualitative data from students indicated that the orientation was highly helpful
  • The materials and content was revised based on student and faculty feedback
  • Initial data indicated an impact on course retention


The college is implementing a new course management system- Canvas.  The orientation to online classes will have to be re-developed, as it will no longer work with the course management system.


  • Take advaantage of the enhanced functionality of Canvas to develop a new orientation to online courses.
  • Explore the online course preparation resources being developed through the California Online Education Initiative to determine what resources can be used entirely or adapted into the college orientation.


ID 15831

To contact this college about this intervention, take note of the ID above, ID #15831, and then fill out the intervention contact request form

Please note that for security purposes, contact information can only be provided to known contacts at active Achieving the Dream institutions.

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