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Online Distance Learning Module Induction

Cloud created by:

Jackie Stafford
2 June 2014


To develop and support a one week orientation programme for a Blackboard (Bb) online distance learning module.



Key Participants:

Tutor Moderator

Student group-new to online and distance learning [6-10]



Socialisation-a study group of students who could navigate around the Bb site and be geared up ready to start the module study following this ‘zero week’ induction.






Access Student Handbook

Students would be able to navigate to link.

Student struggled to find link.


Icebreaker introduction

All students engaged within first three days of opening discussion.

Chaser emails required following limited engagement in first four days.

Study implications:

-time management issues


-skills required

Shared fears useful to identify with one another and opportunity to identify skills required.

A few students confident that they would be able to stick to study plans.


Students would be new to Wikis and how to populate/edit.

Student s embraced the editing tool and concept.

Survival Guide Wiki

Some ideas that would be useful as module study commenced.

It took a while but eventually a framework for study support that students could add to.


Ground rules:

Tutor will:

  • ·         define the requirements of the forum at the offset.
  • ·          check that the student group have a balanced task input.
  • ·          support the progress and discussion for successful completion within the timelines set.
  • ·         at times post questions to challenge discussion within the group.
  • ·         check that the students responses to their peers is appropriate.


Student actions:

  • Share stories on best study practice
  • Reflect on their own experience
  • Design-consider how the study information can be pulled together for future reference
  • Evaluate-each other’s opinions for inclusion in a ‘ Survival Guide’
  • Support one another in the options chosen
  • Team work
  • Peer assess-input levels
  • Manage workload


Level of participation

Students user participation online [Appendix 1]



As an induction task this intervention prior to commencement ofstudy does not engage the total study group. 

Timeliness of engagement is critical to student retention and start up.

The framing and interaction of student activities can be developed further to introduce an initial Collaborate session.  This emphasises the difference between asynchronous and synchronous participation.

Engagement with students required to participate with wider technology audio use initially possible videocasts.



Extra content

Jackie Stafford
14:04 on 2 June 2014

Embedded Content


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