The Orientation of University Freshmen through a Blended Approach


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Orientation serves to help freshmen to make the switch from a school to a university learning environment. However, conventional face-to-face orientation is limited in what can be disseminated and how effectively students are inducted. A case is discussed in which freshmen experienced a blended approach to orientation. Reflecting on the process, teachers observed that this cohort of students was better prepared for subsequent university life. Furthermore, these students, who had already had considerable exposure to the Web environment, experienced little technical challenge.

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  • Contact: Paula Hodgson, email: ED-MEDIA 2008
  • The Orientation of University Freshmen through a Blended Approach

    1. 1. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License .
    2. 2. <ul><li>Experiencing culture shock with multiple sources of change: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a new learning environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>new learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>teaching methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>new learning peers </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Students participate in a variety of social activities and join in social support networks (Miller and Pope, 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Departments create of a learning community (Scagnoli, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Students know about potential career opportunities from alumni </li></ul><ul><li>Students participate in academic development activities </li></ul><ul><li>Orient students about professional practice </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Over 400 enrolment (N=397 freshmen for the study) </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>45 minutes orientation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowing equipment in laboratory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowing laboratory safety </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preparing for medical checks and records for placements </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>BRIEF orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Not certain how much information retained </li></ul><ul><li>Limited human resource to address students’ queries </li></ul><ul><li>Regular failing to adhere regulations </li></ul>
    6. 9. Questions Mean S.D. The online demonstration helped me to understand how to make a laboratory booking 4.08 0.79 The eLaboratory Orientation helped me to understand the laboratory settings. 3.92 0.73 I could easily follow the instructions given. 3.83 0.74 The eLaboratory Orientation helped me to understand the safety assessment in the laboratory environment. 3.83 0.75 The learning games improved my understanding of the laboratory setting. 3.83 0.77 The learning goals for this eLaboratory Orientation were made clear to me. 3.80 0.73
    7. 10. Questions Mean S.D. It was easy to navigate in the eLaboratory Orientation. 3.55 0.72 The feedback on online activities helped me to improve my performance. 3.44 0.79 The eLaboratory Orientation was an effective way to prepare me for the medical requirements of the clinical placement. 3.36 0.83 The learning activities of the eLaboratory Orientation were of appropriate difficulty. 3.30 0.80 I would visit the eLaboratory Orientation again. 3.02 0.87
    8. 11. <ul><li>152 (38%) of the 397 students had made their first visit by 31 August, while 391 (98%) of students had visited by 30 September </li></ul><ul><li>fewer emails enquiring about laboratory booking </li></ul><ul><li>fewer cases of students missing the deadline for the health checks and submission of medical records </li></ul><ul><li>could be improved further in terms of using more video or games to make them more aware of the information </li></ul><ul><li>the site could be more informative </li></ul>
    9. 12. <ul><li>Blended mode provides enriched learning experience, evidenced by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Matching students with different learning styles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students becoming familiar with the laboratory setting by touring and playing fun games </li></ul></ul>