Tag: orientation

This is an archive of the 2013 version of ocTEL.

Induction Weeks

Induction week.  Week Zero.  Course Orientation.  Different names for similar activities.  Course orientations can be such a critical time for students, they may even drop a course during the induction week because of a poor experience. (Jones, Jones, & Packham, 2009; Schofield & Sackville, 2010)  Induction week can be the time that participants learn (or have a refresher) about the institution’s policies, resources, support areas, and study skills.  It is an opportune time to familiarize themselves with the LMS/VLE and other technical requirements of the course.  They can be introduced to their instructor, their tutors or teaching assistants, and their peers. (Motteram & Forrester, 2005; Schofield & Sackville, 2010)

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.

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