It is important that online learners are well supported and feel comfortable in the online learning environment. During orientation, students will be provided with online lessons and activities to help them to acclimatise to the online learning environment and become comfortable with learning online. This orientation will include a webinar and live open office hours where the E-Learning Technologist will troubleshoot any specific issues and answer questions. All students, regardless of their “home” institution, will have access to Blackboard as the single virtual learning environment for the course.

Synchronous support on specific content will be available during the webinar at the end of each week. During webinar sessions, the course director will be available to answer questions and point students towards further supports or resources in real-time. Alternatively, students can seek support from staff and fellow students on the discussion forums, which will be moderated by the Course Director for two hours per week. If students wish to raise issues or questions with the Course Director privately, they can do so through Blackboard or by email.

Students will also be encouraged to support each other informally by responding to forum posts, engaging in debate and sharing links to relevant readings and resources. Students will have the option to use Blackboard’s inbuilt messaging system to discuss group-work/assignments privately with one another.