Teaching and Learning Activities
Induction is an important event for our new students, ensuring that they are given the best possible start to their study and education experience. It's usually the first interaction they have with their course teams and their peers, and their first opportunity to start building their learning community.
For distance learners, their course induction is also their first interaction with virtual learning environment MyBeckett, where they will learn how to interact with this potentially unfamiliar learning environment. It's likely that the amount of student interaction that occurs during the course induction will set precedence for rest of course
Setting Student Expectations
One key objective of the Course Induction is to set student expectations for the course. It provides them with all the information about the course, and also provides information about how the students should act, and what response times they should expect.
Communication: Generally, we tell students that there will be a response to their query within 48 hours. We also remind students that all official communication will be with their University email address.
Engagement: We set expectations for how often we want the students to engage, and when we are able to respond to student activities. For example, you might say that if students wish to get feedback from the Module Leader, they should study a topic within a certain time frame and submit the activities.
Tone of Communications
When we communicate with others, there are three levels of communication: the words said, the tone used, and body language shown. It is widely accepted that non-verbal communication forms a much larger percentage of communication than the actual words used. Our communications sent to our students represent ourselves, our Course, and the University. It’s important that we write with the correct tone.
In communications with students, we should present a friendly written tone, with a comfortable communication style. Using an informal writing style as opposed to formal academic language will enable you to build rapport with students via written communication. Make sure that you do not sound patronising, as our main aim is to be approachable. A large majority of our students don’t have English as their first language, so aim to be clear and concise.
What should be included in an Induction?
A good induction should include:
- Information about the University and its key processes and services that are relevant to students
- Information about the Course, highlighting the most important information
- Information about learning in an online environment - and general study skills that students might not have used for a while
- Opportunities to interact with their peers, get to know each other and build the community that will stay with them through their course.
It's important to be proactive with community building on your online course - providing space for discussion, interaction and sharing. Several course teams have had luck in using Google+ Communities to provide a social interactive course-related space for their courses.
All distance learners are also invited to join the Leeds Beckett Distance Learning community, maintained and moderated by DLU. In this community we post University-wide announcements and also host a series of videos and posts of interest from various University services.
View the DLU Induction Exemplar
DLU have completed an exemplar module on MyBeckett that includes all of the key components for an induction. You can email the Distance Learning Unit (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be enrolled into the module, or follow the steps below:
1) Click to access the MyBeckett Induction examplar module here.
2) Click the Enrol button at the bottom of the left hand side menu
3) Enter DLU2713 into the Access Code box and click Submit
4) Click OK
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