The Starter Course is a template, pre-loaded with important campus policies, teaching resources, and module outlines. It can be copied into your course and edited to meet your teaching needs. While it was designed for the needs of online instructors, it is useful for any modality.
The Fall 2016 Starter Course includes updated policy links, sample discussions, rubrics, quizzes and dropboxes, a layout to make use of content folders, and resources for student support. These student support resources come from the LEAP project of Jodi Galvan and Stephanie Douglas.
Galvan and Douglas piloted these resources in courses and surveyed their students for feedback. The students responded positively, and stated that they helped them to understand if online learning is a good fit for them, reduced fear and anxiety, and gave them time management skills to help them succeed.
Here are some quotes from their students:
Help them determine if online learning is a fit for them
“This was my first time as an online learner. I think it was a good experience for me to see the difference in workload, interactions with classmates and the professor, and being independent.” —College of Arts and Communication, Journalism, sophomore
“I learned about the traits that many successful online learners have. I thought it was interesting that there are common learning habits between people who do well with online learning because I didn’t think about how it could be difficult for different types of learners.”–College of Business and Economics, Accounting, junior
Reducing fear and anxiety
Has resources for all students learning with technology (e.g., D2L) by:
“The modules helped alleviate the small fears I had that I would possibly struggle in a new learning environment.” —College of Education and Professional Studies, Special Education, graduate student
“The modules took care of the few worries I had, and they made me feel more prepared for a course like this. Up until I went through them, my anxiety level was growing because I had no clue what I was doing.” — College of Business and Economics, Information Technology, sophomore
Giving them time management skills to help them succeed
“One of the big things that I learned from the online tutorials was time management. It’s so hard being a college student and working, so you have to make sure that you’re balancing those things out. What really helped me was putting reminders in my phone.” —College of Letters and Science, Biology, senior
“One of the modules that I found most enlightening was the one called “Time Management Tools”. This offered three different ways of making my life easier that I have never heard of before.” —College of Education and Professional Studies, English/Spanish, senior
To access the Starter Course, follow the directions on this site: How to Register for the D2L Starter Course