Picture of two students looking at a computer screen. Picture of a professor with a computer teaching a small group of students. Picture of a student working at a laptop.

Week One Introductory Model

Introduction

The Week One Introductory Model template is an example of an “introduction to the course” for students. The template serves as an outline for future course modules, including objectives, expectations, grading standards, assignments/activities, resources, discussion points, and summation. Students are also provided with a risk free opportunity to perform course technology related tasks (e.g., ensuring browser windows are set properly, e-mail attachments can be opened, e-mails can be sent, course tools such as discussion boards can be used). The student also gets an opportunity to work though and become accustomed to the layout and organization of future course modules. This may enhance student understanding of what is expected in future modules and increase the likelihood students will know how to access course materials.

For many students, a uniform structure of course modules from week to week provides consistency, familiarity, and comfort working in the online environment. This is especially important in online courses where the student is not able to ask clarifying questions face-to-face. Also, providing clear grading and course participation statements at the outset of the course allows students to know in advance what is expected of them throughout the semester. This information can also serve as an important point of reference for faculty members in cases of disputes regarding assigned grades. Additionally, clear learning objectives for each module provide students with a roadmap of the material to be covered. Clearly articulated learning objectives are also important for faculty members to ensure that assignments and learning activities align with the objectives and are directly relevant to the module. Objectives also provide a mechanism to ensure that evaluation methods and activities are aligned with the content that is presented.  Finally, summarizing the module, including reminders of steps or activities that students are responsible for completing (e.g., postings, e-mails, submitting work) along with due dates for assignments can serve as a memory prompt. This can be beneficial for all students, including busy professionals and those who are taking other courses, working and/or managing families, or have memory or attention problems. It can also help faculty to double check that all key activities and assignments have been clearly described.

 

Please click below for an audio of the introduction to the Week One Introductory Model template.

 

Instructions on How to Use the Week One Introductory Model Template

Please click here PDF download to download a pdf version of the Week One Introductory Model.

Technical Requirements of the Week One Introductory Model Template

No specific hardware or software are required to use the Week One Introductory Model template; however you will need to change the content, contact informatoin, resources and links to match your institution's information.

 

Picture of the introduction section in the Week One Introductory Model

Reviews

Every e-Tool in the e-Toolbox was reviewed by either a UDI Online Project research and design team member, or one or several faculty at five partner institutions who incorporated a specific e-Tool into an online or blended course they taught. Faculty from these partner institutions also requested that students review the e-Tool included in a course or products created through the use of the e-Tool (e.g., documents, videos, audio clips, or other items). Likert scale surveys with open-ended questions were used by respondents.  Feedback from the reviewing UDI Online team member or faculty who used a tool is presented in addition to student ratings when available. 

 

e-Tool Review Results

Faculty e-Tool Review Results
Number of faculty reviewers: 1

A member of the project research and design team has reviewed this e-tool. The model of week one activities highlights the importance of structuring an online course environment in ways that promote student success. Students can easily navigate a course that has a clear and consistent structure. Similar modules could be completed for each week of the course using a similar structure. The structure would remain constant while the activities and content would shift week to week. A week 2 module could focus on creating student-to-student and student-to-teacher action to increase student engagement.