Peer support during Induction Week activities can be extremely helpful for inexperienced online or TEL learners, to help them become more comfortable and acclimated to the environment. The tricky part is getting the experienced learners to participate in the Week Zero activities, to assist and help with the inexperienced. Not only can the experienced learners assist with technology issues, but also give tips and guidelines on how to manage the different aspects of the course, maybe previous experiences with the instructor, etc. (Motteram & Forrester, 2005) It takes the readiness evaluations we looked at earlier in ocTEL and applies them. Participants can seek assistance based on the results of their self-assessment; or, if those results are shared with the course tutors, targeted tutorials can be offered. (Jones, Jones, & Packham, 2009) Here is the dry run, the dress rehearsal, for the learners to get used to the course mechanics and get their feet wet. They don’t have to waste instructional time learning how to use the tools, they can do it during the Induction Week.
Jones, P., Jones, A., & Packham, G. (2009). E-learning induction design for an undergraduate entrepreneurship degree. International Journal Of Management Education (Oxford Brookes University), 8(1), 37-51. doi:10.3794/ijme.81.210
Motteram, G., & Forrester, G. (2005). Becoming an Online Distance Learner: What can be learned from students’ experiences of induction to distance programmes?. Distance Education, 26(3), 281-298. doi:10.1080/01587910500291330
Schofield, M., & Sackville, A. (2010). Student Induction/Orientation: From Event to Entitlement. International Journal Of Learning, 17(7), 113-124.