Faculty are required to provide an orientation for each DL course. The orientation plays an especially important role in distance learning because it provides students with critical information they need to to get started and be successful in the course.
|DL Mode:||Orientation Delivery Requirement:|
|To maximize effectiveness of the orientation, it must be delivered early in the semester—before classes begin or during the first few days.|
|Online Courses (ONL):||Online orientation is required.|
|Hybrid Courses (HYD):||Either online or on-site orientation may be offered.|
|Instructional Television (ITV):
Print-Based Courses (PRN):
|On-site orientation is required. It is strongly recommended that an online orientation option also be provided to increase accessibility for students unable to attend on-site sessions.For courses that don't offer an online option, two on-site orientations may be scheduled.|
- Details about the mandatory course orientation are communicated to students in the Course Schedule Notes.
- Instructors should submit an Early Intervention Request Form for assistance in contacting students who haven't completed the orientation after the session has begun.
Scheduling On-Site Orientations
DL works with instructors and campus managers to schedule on-site orientations. Care is taken in the scheduling process to consider faculty preferences for time and location, as well as accessibility for students.
Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about scheduling on-site orientations appear below. or call (512) 223.8033 for additional assistance.
When are on-site orientations held?
- Most on-site orientations are held the Saturday before classes begin, between 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Orientations are scheduled for one hour. Contact the DL Administrative Assistant if special circumstances require a longer session.
- For courses offering two on-site orientations, the second session is held on a weeknight during the first week of class. Evening orientations begin at 8:30 p.m. in the fall and spring semesters and 8 p.m. in the summer. Note: For ITV courses, orientations must be scheduled so students do not miss the first broadcast of telecourse programs on ACC cable channels.
- Faculty offering only Saturday orientations must be aware that students registering during the Canceled Class and Schedule Change registration periods need special consideration since the orientation date has passed.
Are there special considerations for scheduling orientations during short semester sessions?
- Faculty may choose to schedule only one on-site orientation. The session may be scheduled for the Saturday before classes begin or for an evening during the first week of class. Evening orientations must be scheduled early in the week so students have maximum time to complete the course.
- Special attention is paid when scheduling orientations for the second summer session due to the Independence Day holiday.
If a faculty member teaches more than one section of the same course, can the on-site orientations be combined?
- Yes. Inform the DL Administrative Assistant that the orientations should be scheduled at the same time and that a larger room may be required.
Can the on-site orientations for two different courses be combined?
- No. Instructors must hold separate orientations for different courses.
What happens if the instructor cannot attend the scheduled orientation session?
- Faculty are expected to honor the on-site orientations published in the Course Schedule Notes; these meetings are regarded as a contract with the community.
- If an emergency arises and the instructor is unable to attend the orientation as scheduled — or if the instructor was added late and had binding prior commitments — the instructor is responsible for finding an appropriate substitute to conduct the orientation, and providing the substitute's name to the DL Administrative Assistant as soon as possible. It is recommended that the substitute have experience teaching a DL course.
What if an emergency occurs on the day of the orientation and the instructor is unable attend the scheduled session?
- The instructor should contact the Campus Manager's office so appropriate notice can be posted for students.
- The instructor is responsible for contacting each student and making arrangements to provide the syllabus and other orientation materials in a timely manner. The instructor may conduct a telephone orientation, or may send orientation materials to students via fax, mail, or email as appropriate. The instructor may ask if the student is willing to meet on campus during office hours, but may not mandate it. If the instructor offers more than one orientation for the same course, the students in the cancelled session can attend the other meeting, but cannot be required to do so.
- Faculty requiring assistance in contacting students should complete an Early Intervention Request Form.