When creating/developing your FLO site, there are a number of things you can do to support student retention. Start by designing with the student experience in mind. Once the topic is live, work effectively to improve the student experience, and remember to check in with a learning designer at any time.
When creating/developing your FLO site, design with the student experience in mind.
Use the supports that are available to speed up the process.
- Be aware of WebPET (Web Presence in Every Topic) features already in the topic (via your college template) and understand how they support students. WebPET ensures that there is ‘a coherent and flexible student-University interface’.
- Become familiar with the FLO topic baseline These aim to clarify expectations of what students can find as a minimum presence in a FLO topic, so build on WebPET. A starter site is available on request for your topic via your eLearning support team. You can also use the baseline checklist to tick off features in your topic that support a good student experience.
- Explore the First Year Support Strategies (FYSS) portal for ideas. Whilst the portal is for first-year students, the design principles are applicable across all year levels. Dip in, dip out, pick ‘just one thing’ to implement.
Once the topic is live, work effectively to improve the student experience.
Meet your own needs as well as those of your students.
- Use the Teaching online guidebook as a prompt for how you interact with students in the topic – being active and socially present make a huge difference to how students feel when online. Are they informed ‘just in time’ (eg via Announcements)? Do they know how to post in the forum (eg via an example post from you)? Are you accessible (eg via the chat or scheduler activities)? What are they doing in the topic (eg via Participants, Reports)?
- Run out of ideas/energy? Revisit the FYSS portal for a pick-me-up/refresher. Check in with your students – what do they want? Change can happen at any time in the topic (‘experiment and experiment bravely’)!
Check in with a learning designer at any time.
If you need support or would like to explore any of these ideas further, contact the learning designer in your college.
Written by Andrea Rankin
Learning Designer (HASS)