The 10 Strategies for Onboarding Students in Online Learning

Let's Get Ready for Online Learning: Student Onboarding

10 Strategies for Onboarding Students for a Successful Online Experience

Whether it’s the beginning of the school year, or the beginning of a new course sometime during the year, the first few weeks can be a challenge. Getting to know students and establishing a classroom culture takes time. But what do they need to know about their online workspace so they can be productive and efficient? 

Establishing the rules of engagement for an effective learning environment needs to take center stage. Developing norms and key working agreements is always a part of the mix. Without spending hours and hours on class rules, here are 10 strategies that can help you establish a classroom culture. These guidelines will help you to provide protocols for a productive learning environment, and establish the key working agreements and norms of the classroom. From device checkout to hardware and software troubleshooting – going through these policies and procedures can take time. Not to mention the expectations for online interactions, social responsibility, and safe online search strategies.  

The Challenge of Practice

For students, transitioning between face-to-face and online learning experiences can be a challenge without guidance. How to checkout devices, rules for online interactions, and troubleshooting are often issues that come to the forefront and take time away from the intended lesson. Teachers often spend countless hours talking through the policies and procedures or repeating themselves over and over.

The challege of practice is to create an interactive journey where students are engaged in the learning. A good onboarding experience provides the tools and resources students need to be successful, while fulfilling the learning targets. The goal of any successful onboarding unit is to provide a roadmap for success in the blended classroom. 

Here are your strategies for success! 

10 Strategies for Onboarding Students in Online Learning

  1. 1. Start with the End in Mind
  2. What do you want students to know, understand, or do - and what learning activities will help them get there?
  4. 2. Assess Needs and Interests
  5. How do you assess the knowledge and skills of students? How are you connecting student interests and goals to the learning?
  7. 3. Be Inclusive
  8. How are you building learning activities that embrace learner variability and support all learners?
  10. 4. Establish Protocols for Experiences
    What protocols are in place to guide the interactions of students with the content, each other, or within the online learning spaces?
  12. 5. Build Capacity
  13. How are you empowering students with guidance around troubleshooting, problem solving, or asking questions? 
  15. 6. Define the Process for Engaging Asynchronously and Synchronously
  16. What are the norms and platforms to communicate with the teacher, peer students, or the outside world? 
  18. 7. Engage and Motivate
  19. How are you incorporating proven models and the elements of best practices in educational technology? 
  21. 8. Define Mastery
  22. Where are you empowering students with voice and choice by personalizing the learning around processes, products, and platforms to demonstrate competency?
  24. 9. Monitor Progress
  25. Where will students be asked to monitor their own progress? What are the expectations for formative and summative assessments? How will students set goals and reflect? 
  27. 10. Evaluate Effectiveness
  28. How do we know that students are ready for online learning? 

Successful onboarding programs can take many forms. From creating an interactive syllabus to adding several folders of procedures, protocols, and processes in an LMS -- there are many ways to present the information in a way that guides the learning.

Join us on the journey as we review the strategies, tools, and resources you can tap to create your own onboarding unit. Move through the 10 Strategies and create your own tick-list for an Onboarding unit to positively launch your students' experience in their digital workspace. 

Click NEXT to learn about Strategy 1 - Start with the End in Mind



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