“The highest-quality first-year experiences place a strong emphasis on critical inquiry, frequent writing, information literacy, collaborative learning, and other skills that develop students’ intellectual and practical competencies” (Kuh). One of the benefits for students taking Adelphi’s Freshman Orientation Experience (FOrE) is to learn about the tremendous resources Adelphi offers to support learning in these areas. This year, FCPE partnered with the Library, as well as the Learning and Writing Centers, to develop interactive Moodle presentations. For both projects, the goal was to translate the information they would provide during a FOrE class session into self-paced Moodle modules.
The Library offers students a tremendous set of learning resources both online and at their campus locations. The Library FOrE module introduces students to these resources, and teaches foundational critical inquiry and information literacy skills. The module’s main tutorial encompasses three sections: Begin Research, Find Books, and Find Articles. Each section begins with a video highlighting pertinent Library resources. The tutorial then outlines the learning objectives for the students. Students learn how to utilize Library resources for research as they go through these sections.
The focus within the Learning and Writing Centers’ module is to highlight the need for students to develop skills for handling academic situations, and explains how the Learning and Writing Centers can assist. The core content was translated into online resources from presentations Matt Lavery and Jennifer Ganley would deliver during class sessions. To capture both the content and the enthusiasm of these presentations, we combined their sound and video with other elements. Matt Lavery’s presentation, John Venn Has Problems: A Life in Circles, explains to students the need to develop new skills to tackle the life problems they are facing. At several points during his recorded presentation, Matt asks the student viewer open ended questions for their reflection. This keeps the student engaged throughout the presentation. Students then watch an animated video narrated by Jennifer Ganley that explains the Nine Basic Academic Skills.
Nine Basic Academic Skills:
Both of these modules feature a pre- and post-test so that students can test their knowledge and track what they have learned. Completing both of these modules is a FOrE course requirement. By virtualizing these learning experiences, these resources are now available to FOrE students on and off campus, 24/7. They are ensuring quality and consistency throughout the Freshmen Orientation Experience, and providing our students with an opportunity to connect with the exceptional resources that the Library and the Learning and Writing Centers have to offer.
High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter, by George D. Kuh (AAC&U, 2008)