Demand for an online workshop helping students transition to online learning for the Fall 2020 semester was so great, the Office of Open Learning has added three more sessions this week.
Created by co-op students, the orientation course runs about two-and-a-half hours and focuses on incoming students. More than 400 students registered for the first week’s sessions. The OOL student team has also developed a range of resources to help students prepare, such as this eCampus Ontario ebook and the linked resources it includes.
The main goals of the course are for students to get a feel for the online learning environment and to meet other students through fun activities online. Hosted on Blackboard Collaborate, sessions are offered at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sep. 1, and 9 a.m. or 7 p.m. Thursday, Sep. 3. Register with UWinID and student number.
The 13 students who built the workshop have spent the summer identifying and communicating best practices for online learning, based on their own experience and research and programs from around the world.
“It's certainly helpful to give students a chance to get used to the online learning environment, but more importantly it's a chance to meet some friendly people who could be in their courses on that first day of classes,” said Dave Cormier, a digital learning strategist in the Office of Open Learning. “The student team has been amazing, and organized, managed, and communicated this project independently — I think it’s been a great learning experience for them, too.”
Judy Bornais, executive director of Experiential Learning, notes the pandemic has meant change: “With COVID-19, the ways that students connect with each other and their professors will be different from usual, but can give them opportunities to learn a new range of work-ready skills.”
There is still plenty of room in this week’s sessions: students can register at http://tiny.cc/OLcourse.