Onboarding: Strategy 1

The first in our series:
10 Strategies for Onboarding Students for a Successful Online Experience

1. Start with the End in Mind

Creating and organizing content for your online course begins by asking yourself what your intended outcomes are for students. What do you want students to know, understand, and be able to do so they can be successful in your classroom?

As you think about what to include in your unit, here are some questions to consider:

-How do you acclimate or orient students to an online space?
-What are the classroom rules? School rules? Guidelines for online behavior?
-What are the guidelines and expectations for discussion boards, collaboration, or interacting online? How do students access, login, or utilize resources?
-How tech proficient are students or will you need to provide resources for remediation? What are the steps for troubleshooting technology issues or asking questions about learning activities?
-How are devices and resources checked in and out?
-What do students need to know about learning activities, assessment protocols, and grading?
-What assistive technology resources are available to support learner variability?
So where do you we begin? Start with the end in mind. Consider an onboarding unit like a lesson – and your objectives for the lesson. In their book, Understanding by Design, McTighe and Wiggins (1998) share out the three steps of Backward Design including: 1) identifying desired results, 2) determining acceptable evidence, and 3) planning learning experiences and instruction.  

Let's connect Backwards Design to our onboarding activities. What do you want students to know? Understand? Be able to do? And what activities can you create to help them get there?

Steps in Backwards Design
1) identifying desired results 2) determining acceptable evidence 3) planning learning experiences and instruction
Onboarding Considerations
What do you want students to know, understand, or be able to do? What evidence will you have students submit to demonstrate competency? What learning activities can you integrate in an onboarding unit?

Figure 1: Based on Wiggins, G.P.  & McTighe, J. (1998). What is backward design? Understanding by design, 1, 7-19.

  1. Now that you've explored the first strategy, think about how this might apply in a unit of your making! Jot down some ideas before moving on to Strategy 2. 


Next, let's talk about Strategy 2 - Assessing Needs & Interests



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The 10 Strategies for Onboarding Students in Online Learning

Onboarding: Strategy 2

Onboarding: Strategy 3

Onboarding: Strategy 4

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