Presented by katie granholm m s university of minnesota twin cities granh013@umn edu
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Using Online Orientation to Meet the Needs and Exceed the Expectations of Transfer Students PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Presented By: Katie Granholm, M.S. University of Minnesota Twin Cities [email protected] Using Online Orientation to Meet the Needs and Exceed the Expectations of Transfer Students. Presentation Outline. Why Online Orientation? What is an effective transfer orientation program?

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Using Online Orientation to Meet the Needs and Exceed the Expectations of Transfer Students

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Presented By:

Katie Granholm, M.S.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

[email protected]

Using Online Orientation to Meet the Needs and Exceed the Expectations of Transfer Students

Presentation Outline

  • Why Online Orientation?

  • What is an effective transfer orientation program?

  • Considerations

    • Programmatic, Key Players, Technology, Logistics, Success

  • Overview of U of M Online Orientation

  • Lessons learned

Why Online Orientation?

  • Increasing transfer student population

    • One-third of students transfer during their college career (1995-96 to 2000-01 NCES study)

  • Patterns of transfer are changing

    • “Swirl”

  • Increased attention on the transfer student experience

Our Paradigm and/or Goals

  • Charge was to develop and implement a program that achieves the following:

    • Encourage a less prescriptive and more developmental model

    • Provides options within the mandate of orientation

    • Provides individualized attention to each transfer student

    • Allows transfer students to make choices (whether we agree with them or not) based on their own experiences, interests and needs

    • Strategically communicates with transfer students through print, web, e-mail, and one-on-one contact from March through the first week of class

    • Provides a comprehensive, fiscally responsible orientation program

What Makes an Effective Transfer Orientation Program?

  • Institutional commitment

  • Alignment with mission of office and university

  • Collaboration with college constituents

  • Based on assessment of student and institutional needs

  • Takes into account past experiences and future expectations of students

  • Programs that guide students (not mandate)

  • Provides options for students’ developmental needs

  • Academic, social, and behavioral expectations interwoven through the orientation experience

  • Inclusion of parents/guests

  • Assessment and feedback is shared and used!

General Needs of Transfer Students During Transition & Orientation



Campus Information



Considerations- Key Players

  • Your office

  • New students

  • College constituents

  • Departmental partners

  • Parents and supporters

  • Sponsors?

  • Other?

Considerations- Programmatic

  • What are your desired outcomes?

  • What are students looking for in an online orientation?

  • Who can participate?

  • When will online orientation be available?

  • Who will provide and edit content?

  • How does online orientation interface with other programs?

Considerations- Technology

  • How will the program be administered?

    • Does this method align with desired outcomes?

  • Theme and graphic design?

  • Does an existing delivery method exist?

    • WebCT, Blackboard, registration system?

  • Do students need to log-in?

  • Do students need to be populated into program?

  • Who will have access?

Considerations- Implementation

  • How will content be developed and edited?

    • Is special expertise needed? Are there others on campus who can help?

  • How will students be driven to online orientation?

    • Promotion/Marketing

  • Is participation required or optional?

    • Do you need to track participation? If so, how?

Considerations- Determining Success

  • What determines success?

    • Accomplishment of learning outcomes?

    • How will success be measured?

    • When will success be measured?

  • What do you need to know?

    • May be driven by stakeholders/campus constituencies

  • What method(s) of evaluation will you use?

    • Online questionnaire, paper form, 6-week follow-up survey, focus groups, usability testing, etc.

    • Does the method of evaluation align with desired outcomes?

Transfer Orientation at the U of M

  • 2 options for creating your orientation experience

    • Full-day on-campus orientation OR

    • Half-day on-campus orientation with advanced participation in online orientation

University of Minnesota Online Orientation

Username: tctrans

Password: really1snice

Welcome Screen



What Students See in WebCT

Course Content- College

Course Content- General


Lessons Learned

  • About 70-75% participation

  • Vast majority have high-speed internet connection- dialup connection not an issue

  • 80% believe Online Orientation is a good introduction to the University

  • After one month on campus, 82% of new transfer students felt that Orientation (both online & on-campus) provided the knowledge base for them to be successful at the University of Minnesota.

Lessons Learned - Additional Considerations

  • Orientation leader training

    • Infuse transfer concepts and issues during selection and ongoing training of orientation leaders

  • Students transferring with less than 18 credit hours or less should have the option of attending first-year orientation.

  • Continually develop and improve the new orientation model

    • Encourage less prescriptive and more developmental programs

    • Provide individualized attention

    • Allow transfer students to make own choices based on own experiences, interests, and needs

    • Strategically communicate with transfer student through print, web, e-mail, and one-on-one contact

Where we are now

  • Received technology-enhance learning grant of $10,000 to integrate video into learning modules

    • Video will take the form of “student stories”, allowing new students to connect with current U of M students who were also transfers

  • Colleges more confident with outcomes of Online Orientation after receiving evaluation data

  • Have streamlined on-campus orientation schedule, while still meeting the needs of all colleges and departments

  • Offer online-only option for students enrolling in special degree programs

    • Eg: College of Continuing Education, off-campus Nursing students, and Dental Hygiene students

Online Orientation Programs

  • Washtenaw Community College:

  • Carroll Community College:

  • Portland Community

  • Napa Valley Community College:

  • Salt Lake Community College:

  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale:

  • Utah Valley State College:

Some information was taken from a report entitled “Framework, Paradigm, and New Transfer Orientation Program.” This report was prepared by Andy Howe, Assistant Director in Orientation & First-Year Programs, 2005.


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