Orientation Use for Online Learners
The Cambridge Stratford
Study Skills Institute

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What can online students and online orientation programs do to better prepare students for success in online learning?

Increasing student persistence and satisfactory completion of online learning courses is a problem online educational coordinators regularly strive to attain. With the wide diversity of online students needs, organizing success-oriented orientations often becomes a complex task. One solution is to involve students in their own self-directed orientation and adjustment by encouraging their reading and regular use of a self-help reference text that can serve as a navigational guide for independently solving problems when and where they occur. 100 Things Every Online Student Ought to Know is such a valuable guide. It will help online students focus on what is personally important to them across a range of categories. Reading it will help them complete their own self-orientation to online learning by providing them with “the right kind of information, in a way they can best understand, and at a time when their most important needs arise.”

HOW TO USE: 100 Things Every Online Student Ought to Know

Online students enjoy reading and using 100 Things to regularly navigate problems they face. A brief exposure to its consumer-friendly advice, tips and helpful web links will prove convincing evidence of its value as a key “must have” online learning resource. It can be introduced in many venues, for instance, in serving as a basal text as part of online orientations for distance learners. It can also prove beneficial as a required reference text for enrollment for new students in online courses or as recommended reading for those who want students to improve their success in an online learning environment. Regardless of how it is introduced, it will be used, not only to help the reader but to help the reader help others in solving their adjustment problems. As such its impact has a collaborative effect on helping students help other students succeed. For online instructors this can prove the difference in answering similar questions repeatedly. It can also prove a more in depth way of providing help, namely by pointing the direction to a page with a helpful suggestion or self-explanatory web link the student can regularly reference for help.

For those desiring feedback of students’ reading and use of 100 Things, several models are available. One is a Problem Solving Situations Exercise. It can be done by creating descriptions of typical problems facing online students for which the index of 100 Things provides a reference in determining solutions. Written solutions can be submitted as a homework assignment or, for those with online discussion boards, group interaction and sharing of perspectives can prove a meaningful learning experience. Any similar activity proves helpful as online students learn how to take responsibility for their problem solving with the aid of a self-help tool that means so much to so many different people and the problems they face online.


Fund raising groups can earn valuable returns by introducing the 100 Things guidebooks, (including the freshman and adult student editions), as a gift or self-help book for students both on campus and off. Discounts and consignment copies are provided to clubs and organizations interested in raising funds for trips, equipment, or other needs. Email Cambridge Stratford for more information.

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The Cambridge Stratford Study Skills Institute
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Williamsville, New York 14221
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