Ashley Hewlett

New Student Orientation Online Experience

NSO would like to have quality equipment and software to create and distribute recorded orientation content for d2l modules for domestic first-year and transfer students. This opportunity will enhance the student orientation experience and connect students to campus early in an inclusive, accessible format.

Project Solution:

The project addresses student learning by introducing students to campus offices, resources, and expectations for NSO before arriving for their program. The aim is to help reduce the ‘sense that students are “drinking from a firehose” at the in-person program. By creating content available online before students come to campus, they are introduced to vital information, and can move through the modules at their own pace, as well as be able to revisit the content as many times as they wish. Module topics include campus safety, health, required workshop attendance through the Prevention, Outreach and Education department currently. Funding will help NSO create new content with additional partner offices as well as NSO information that our student staff sees as important for new Spartans to know.

The proposed project addresses Inclusivity and Accessibility by offering an opportunity for students to begin to prepare for NSO from anywhere they have Internet access and a device. The online component will not have an additional fee to complete, but will be an expected first-step to a student’s orientation experience. Furthermore, the concepts of Universal Design are being used to frame content development and implementation. Utilizing the d2l platform as well as working with partner offices to check that all modules include accessible digital content and handouts, for example, ensures that students of all abilities will have the same experience.

The digital content for NSO includes follow up assessment for each module to measure the learning outcomes and gather feedback to help improve the module content. In future development, the NSO d2l platform and discussion forums can be digital spaces for new students build community and share expectations and questions with each other and NSO staff before arriving for their program. By providing opportunities to communicate ahead of their program date, students will be more engaged in their orientation experience, both online, and hopefully in-person!

Learn more about Ashley Hewlett (