Canvas played integral role in Virtual Student Orientation

New Pupil Orientation is a crucial asset for incoming college students designed to organize them for all facets of faculty life – all the things from setting educational targets to being a superb member of their campus neighborhood. The multi-day occasion helps get them on the precise path for his or her time as a Penn State scholar.

As senior affiliate director for New Pupil Orientation (NSO), Katie Motycki has led orientation at Penn State since 2013 and is aware of a factor or two about what makes it profitable. When the choice was made to vary NSO to a web based expertise due to the pandemic, she turned to studying designers in Educating and Studying with Expertise (TLT) to assist make it occur.

Boring handouts and limitless hyperlinks to learn? Not on her watch. Motycki needed Digital Pupil Orientation to duplicate the wealthy in-person expertise she would in any other case plan. And she or he needed it in Canvas, the educational administration system college students use for his or her lessons. 

“Since Canvas is such an enormous a part of the undergraduate expertise, we knew that was one thing we must be utilizing,” Motycki mentioned. 

Angie Dick, Studying Design supervisor in TLT, mentioned her crew was up for the problem and honored to be concerned in a mission impacting each new scholar. Nonetheless, the mission work was in depth and so they have been going through a good timeline.

“We made a conscientious effort to construct a digital studying house the place college students would really feel welcome and part of their new campus,” she mentioned. 

Amy Kuntz and Jessie Driver, studying designers on Dick’s crew, stepped as much as lead the work. Kuntz mentioned they created seven normal modules for all college students primarily based on a desk of contents from Motycki. These modules lined things like the enterprise of being a scholar; eating and residence life; well being and security; getting ready for educational advising; sexual misconduct schooling; and variety, fairness, and inclusion.

Every module had studying goals, and Kuntz and Driver used them to develop an evaluation to check college students’ understanding of the important thing ideas earlier than they may transfer on to the subsequent module. 

Additionally they created a further module for 13 faculties and 19 campuses, with enter from educational advisers in these areas. Every highlighted particular info incoming college students in these areas wanted to know, comparable to majors supplied, GPA necessities, and different distinctive options.

“Within the Faculty of Earth and Mineral Sciences, for instance, they solely have about 300 getting into college students a 12 months,” Driver mentioned. “They deliberately hold the lessons smaller, and the school and advisers actually get to know the scholars. So the module for EMS included that.”

Lastly, they created a standardized dad or mum and household module that addressed subjects they wanted to know to help their scholar, comparable to tuition and billing, an instructional overview, well being and security assets, and extra. 

Kuntz mentioned she and Driver developed pointers for what might be submitted and the codecs to make use of, so educational advisers had a place to begin to assist them pull collectively info.

“We labored many nights and throughout the weekends to get all the things accomplished within the fast turnaround time. Not solely did we’ve to place info into the Canvas modules, however we have been working with the advisers throughout the Commonwealth to verify what they submitted would work and providing drop-in hours and consultations to assist them,” Kuntz mentioned.

Media Commons Advisor Nate Ulrich additionally was concerned, taking aside an interactive musical theater present placed on by Penn State theater college students referred to as “Outcomes Will Fluctuate*.” One efficiency of the present was filmed at an NSO session final 12 months by WPSU, and Ulrich edited about 15 clips from the uncooked video recording to embed in one of many modules.

Ulrich mentioned the manufacturing lined delicate subjects comparable to alcohol abuse and sexual harassment. 

When all was mentioned and accomplished, greater than 250 employees from throughout the Commonwealth have been engaged in a roundabout way in contributing to ship a profitable Digital Orientation program welcoming 17,000 new college students to Penn State in 2020.

“It’s protected to say we’d not have been capable of ship the high-quality program we did with out IT,” Motycki mentioned. “Certain, we may have give you a web site of data, however it wouldn’t have been in Canvas in a method that was as thoughtfully designed. Whenever you discuss issues that take a village, this was really a College-wide effort. The collaborative spirit to make it occur was exceptional.”


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