Onboarding: Strategy 10

Continuing our series with the 10 Strategies for Onboarding Students in Online Learning

10. Evaluate Effectiveness

As an educator, we are often asked to reflect back on our own lessons and the performance of our students to determine our successes and challenges. When thinking about an onboarding unit and its abilities to prepare our students for successes, consider the following:

-Skills and Knowledge
-Goal setting
-Monitoring the Implementation

Carefully look at the skills and abilities of your students. Having pre-assessments in an onboarding unit provide us with baseline data about student needs. If remediation is needed, be sure to add “Additional Resources” or remediation activities to support your struggling students. You might also think about establishing a minimum score for a pre-assessment before they are ready to move on to the next level of learning.

Self-reflection can be a window on the student’s social-emotional wellness. As you look at goal setting, personal reflections, and the interest surveys of your students, be thinking about how you can build in opportunities in your onboarding unit for students to reflect on their successes and challenges.

As you monitor student progress and reflect on how the onboarding unit went, did it achieve the goals you have for students? Are they ready to move on to the learning? Have you created a learning environment where students have empowered themselves by understanding the protocols in place that guide their success? If not, revisit the elements of your onboarding unit to make improvements and updates.

As a final step, let's take a look at where we've been with our Steps in Backwards Design as compared to our onboarding unit. We invite you to check out the learning activities and gather the inspiration you need to build an engaging and interactive onboarding experience for your own digital classroom workspace!


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?
• Class rules
• Login procedures
• Webinar protocols – breakouts, chat, participation
• Grading Policies
• Troubleshooting
• Accountable Talk frames
• Tour of the LMS
• How to use discussion board, submit work, take online assessments
• Successful login to LMS where student completes interactive quiz about unit
• Student posts appropriate reply in discussion board and replies to 2-3 peers using accountable talk
• Student posts assignment 1 – Set Personal Learning Goals
• Take pre-assessment of technology skills; complete remediation activities in 21things4students
• View video tour of the LMS
• Review pdf of policies and procedures and use Kami to markup document with key points; submit for grading
• Engage in the interactive classroom onboarding experience and add notes to a personal copy of the (Hyperdoc)
• Interact in the Discussion Board, Jamboard, and/or Padlets

Figure 1: Adapted from Wiggins, G.P.  & McTighe, J. (1998). What is backward design? Understanding by design, 1, 7-19 for use in the 10 Strategies for Onboarding Students in Online Learning, Parker, J.LO. (Sept. 7, 2022).

Good luck on your journey to create a meaningful onboarding unit! Hopefully you’ve created a great roadmap for students that will guide their success!

Thanks for joining us for the 10 Strategies for Onboarding Students in Online Learning!

For more ideas about digital age teaching and learning, visit the 21things4educators!


Abascal, J., Arrue, M., Fajardo, I., Garay, N., and Tomás, J. Use of Guidelines to automatically verify web accessibility. International Journal on Universal Access in the Information Society (UAIS) 3(1), 71--79, 2004, Springer.

Harding, J. & Parker, J. The 3 P’s of Personalized Learning. Presentation at Mid-Atlantic Conference on Personalized Learning, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront on February 29, 2016: Baltimore, MD.

International Society For Technology In Education. (2002) International Society for Technology in Education ISTE. United States. [Web Archive] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/lcwaN0000230/.

ISTE Standards for Educators. Retrieved online at: https://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards-for-teachers

Malone, B. G., & Tietjens, C. L. (2000). Re-examination of classroom rules: The need for clarity and specified behavior. Special Services in the Schools16(1-2), 159-170.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, W3C World Wide Web Consortium Recommendation

17 August 2022 https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG/#perceivable

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


Photo Credits

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Photo by Julia M Cameron: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-woman-tutoring-young-boy-4145354/

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