This article will teach you how to plan a student orientation, and discusses 8 well-thought, time-tested student orientation tips that can help institutes, and their orientation program managers craft unforgettable experiences for their students. A well-planned orientation can set the stage for a successful academic experience and foster a sense of belonging within the institution.
To optimize the effectiveness of the orientation, communicate the expectations and goals to help students understand the purpose and value of their participation. We recommend outlining specific learning objectives for each orientation module to guide students through the content and ensure they grasp key concepts. Lastly, offering regular feedback and assessments can help students gauge their progress and identify areas for improvement.
Your orientation programs must consider the short attention span of today’s students. In the age of video and TikToks, having students go through a traditional orientation may not work. That’s where gamification can be very helpful.Gamification can make your student orientation programs more engaging and enjoyable. Let’s take a look at some techniques you can use to gamify your orientation:
If you divide your orientation program into phases or milestones, you can follow up each one of them with a mini quiz to help students recall and validate their learnings. Using such techniques can help improve information retention. Mini quizzes can also help you get feedback from students immediately, and help you identify areas of improvement in your orientation program.
Rewards and incentives, such as digital badges or redeemable points, can motivate students to complete tasks and explore the orientation content more thoroughly.If you’re thinking that gamification could be a great idea, but aren’t sure how to implement it - don’t worry. We recommend using an online student orientation software like Orientus. You can take your entire student orientation process online, and gamify different aspects of your program - all through one application. See how Orientus works.
If you’re an institute that provides tech facilities, your students will expect you to personalize their orientation experience. Other than serving student expectations, personalization will also improve your orientation experience.You can tailor orientation content and offer resources to individual students based on their academic programs, interests, and needs. This personalization can help students feel more connected and invested in their learning experience.
Orientus, can be a game changer when it comes to personalizing your student orientation program. One of its standout features is its student dashboard and targeted announcements. You can post news, resources, and different media to a targeted group of students - filtered by their program type, nationality, and education background. And students can view all this information from their personalized dashboards.For example, you can post resources for international students, to make it easier for them to navigate a new country and culture. And only those students will be able to see this content from their accounts.
Plan ice breaker activities to make new environments more comfortable for your students.Your priority as an orientation planner should be to empathize with students who might be feeling anxious, nervous, or even scared - and help them overcome those feelings. For example: you can have faculty members or senior students share personal experiences that can help new students look forward to their time at your institute.
Avoid asking students to engage with unnecessarily complex docs to share or get their information - a fragmented system only causes confusion. Instead, use one platform that can do it all for you.The platform you choose should be easy to use, regardless of a student’s technical proficiency.Software also provides features like closed captioning and screen reader compatibility, to ensure students with disabilities can fully participate in the orientation experience.Offer dedicated support and assistance to help students overcome any technical or accessibility challenges they may encounter.
If your institute or school has a significant history or traditions, introduce your new students to it, and make sure they feel like they’re a part of something. This builds a strong sense of inclusion.Add important elements of your institute to your orientation activities by showing new students your mascot, or motto through engaging activities.This also helps your students build a thriving social life on campus, something that can prove to be very productive.For example: Stanford continues to have traditions like Band Run, Mausoleum, Gaieties, Big Game, Senior Nights, and Frosh Formal, which are attended by hundreds of students.Get inspired by these 10 traditions at the Ivy League school - Cornell.
Your orientation program must accommodate diverse learning styles and schedules. Allow students the flexibility to progress through the orientation at their own pace. Additionally, you must also provide access to orientation content after completion so students can revisit important information.Furthermore, offering orientation sessions at various times and dates can enable students in different time zones and with varying availability to participate. Orientus can be a great method to make information available anytime, and provide orientation schedules in multiple calendar views.
To improve students' success beyond orientation, offer resources like academic advising, tutoring services, and mental health support. Collecting students' feedback can help you identify areas that need improvement and inform future orientation planning.
Student mental health should be a top priority for institutes, and you must communicate to your student during orientation how seriously you take mental health. You do this by sharing wellness resources, and citing examples of how these resources have worked for students previously.Harvard University has a great example of this. You can check out their wellness resources here.
We hope these student orientation tips helped you improve your orientation program, and inspired you to give your students a great first experience. Your goal should be to cultivate a profound sense of communion and unity within your esteemed institution. We also highly recommend using Orientus for your student orientation. It’s a smart, intuitive software that’s currently used by some of the best institutes like Taylor’s University. Request a free demo of Orientus today!