As the institution begins to incorporate more online and hybrid courses, the need to prepare students for this more self-driven modality is critical. Rather than bar entry, the readiness course assesses the student’s ability to succeed in an online course, provides and orientation to online courses at the institution, and provides resources for the student to prepare for their online class.
This course featured many features for students to learn more about themselves as online students and about the online modality in general. Related, students also were provided resources to assist them in any online or face-to-face courses (e.g., MS Office tutorials). The course featured:
- Self-enrollment with directions for faculty to share with students
- Badges and a certificate for successful performance
- Three modules related to online learning, institution-specific systems, and student support
- Course timing to be completed within 2 hours
- Modules were setup to require students to access and succeed prior to moving into the next task
- Modules included text-based content, video tutorials, assessments based on objectives, and links to resources available to all students.
The course begins with a student readiness assessment designed in Articulate 360 that requires students to answer questions developed from open resources, evidence-based research, faculty input, and student support office support. Students receive a score at the end explaining their readiness for online as not ready, almost ready, or ready. In each case students are provided links to public or institutional resources to help them earn a higher readiness assessment. The full interaction is linked here.
My role in this courses was to complete the course from design to deployment within the institution. I worked across the institution to gather experiences from faculty and students regarding online courses at the institution. This information, combined with research and best practice, allowed for the creation of the course.
The course will eventually become a module for all online courses where students can present an LMS generated certificate to the faculty member or earn one by completing the readiness portion of the course. In addition to inclusion in online courses, the assessment instruments will be linked to system-wide rubrics to allow our institutional assessment program to capture student performance and offer recommendations for future development.