Access and Motivation

Image of laptop screen with WELCOME displayed on it
Be welcoming

This stage involves individual access and the induction of students into online learning. Online activities should enable students to find their way around the online learning platform and feel comfortable in the online environment. In the early stages when students join an online course they are still transitioning to the new online environment and may be nervous about how to behave or how to use the online course materials.

Approaches such as the following can be beneficial:

  • Be welcoming and reassuring: Using new technology can sometimes initially be scary to learners so signposting the guidance and support available (e.g. knowledge hub, faculty elearning teams) can help.

  • Provide clear guidance on expectations: Signposting what technologies will be used, and the expectations of these (e.g. rules of discussion boards; e-etiquette; 'how to' guides) will help your learners.

  • Provide an online induction: Online induction tutorials can help to familiarise students with the VLE and where everything is in advance of teaching. Videos can also be used to highlight how to navigate blackboard and and how to access online resources.

  • Make it fun: Using approaches like ‘online treasure hunts’ or quizzes (e.g. in your community area find out what is the 3rd discussion board question? In the programme handbook what is the 5th word on the 42nd line on page 3?) can encourage students to navigate around resources using elements of gamification. This can help build confidence with online tools.

This stage does not directly relate into building an online community, but you do need your learners to be confident in accessing online resources before an online community can be developed.

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