Implement a Course Orientation Module

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A Course Orientation Module serves as the orientation to an online course. Creating an Orientation Module is very similar to the events that can occur in first night of a face-to-face class. The purpose of this module is to help students learn the course routine, expectations, and organization as well as ensure that students are familiar with the learning management system and have all of the hardware and/or software required for the course. Providing this online orientation will provide learner support by helping students become familiar with your course. This strategy may also reduce the number of questions you receive regarding course routine, expectations and organization.

Alternative names: Module 0, Getting Started, or Start Here

Consider making the Course Orientation Module the assignment for the first week of your online course since this time period is drop/add.

Some activities to consider including in this module are as follows:

  • Send out a welcome letter to your students
  • Read the syllabus, schedule and course policies and then complete a syllabus quiz. (should this link to the syllabus quiz strategy?)
  • Complete the Learning Management System’s Orientation to become familiar with the tools they will be using
  • Complete a browser check
  • Post content providing the Campus Learning Management System Support contact information
  • Community building exercise (discussion introduction post)

Link to example artifact(s)

Link to scholarly reference(s)

Chico. (2009). Rubric for online instruction. California State University, Chico.

Henry, J., & Meadows, J. (2008). An absolutely riveting online course: Nine principles for excellence in web-based teaching. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 34(1).


Chen, B., Thompson, K., Sugar, A., & Vargas, J. (2015). Implement a course orientation module. In B. Chen & K. Thompson (Eds.), Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Center for Distributed Learning.

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