Inheriting Your Cohort

Depending on your course or program, your students may already be familiar with their colleagues when they come into your course. In 2-3 year long, online, cohort-based programs such as in our Professional Graduate Programs, students need to feel a sense of continuity and consistency from course to course.

As your course begins, pick an effective icebreaker activity, familiarize your students with your course, and build instructor presence to smooth the transition between courses.


Pick an Effective Icebreaker Activity

  • Have your students introduce themselves via video, podcast, or alternative media
  • Have students introduce a colleague (rather than a self-introduction)
  • Host an introductory Collaborate (synchronous classroom) session
  • Introduce yourself through video or live synchronous class

See our Showcase for examples and ideas!

Familiarize your Students with your Course

  • Poll your students about which technology tools/assignments they have encountered before
  • Slowly introduce or "scaffold" to new technology tools, especially if they are being assessed
  • Build a midterm feedback mechanism, such as a Poll or survey, into your course
  • Maintain the OWL course template provided (online only)
  • Notify your students if you have changed the tool names on your OWL site
  • Use screenshots and/or clear directions in your Syllabus about where content is found

Build Instructor Presence

  • Send frequent in-course Announcements
  • Introduce yourself through video or live synchronous class
  • Use your webcam!
  • Host regular office hours using the Collaborate tool (or other video conferencing tool)
  • Integrate videos, screen-casts, and video lectures into your course

See our Showcase for examples and ideas!