Getting Students Prepared for Learning Online

Our student preparedness program has been delivered for nearly 10 years to clients ranging from the American Hospital Association to the Dominican University of California. It is thoroughly tested and well suited to any group of online learners, whether organizational trainees or university, college, or high school students.

Make the Most of Learning Online: The Student View

Whether tenderfoot or veteran Web surfer, everyone has gaps in their understanding of what it takes to learn online. Even if you surf, email, and send text messages every day, these experiences don’t teach you the processes, skills, and attitudes necessary to excel in the online classroom.

Learn anytime, from anywhere (man at home computer with child on lap).

Course Design

Participants are introduced to the advantages and challenges of learning online or, for the more experienced, they solidify and build on what they already know. Topics include:

  • The unique time management skills required for learning online.
  • The unique structural elements of the virtual classroom.
  • Navigating through the virtual classroom.
  • Participating in interactive learning activities without meeting face-to-face.
  • Proper use of email as a learning tool.
  • File sharing.
  • Internet-based research.
  • Participations standards for frequency, quality and style.
  • Ergonomics and other safety issues.
  • Facilitation skills for learning group interaction and collaboration in an online environment.

Contents of Course Reader

Using the FutureU™ Student Web Book: Make the Most of Learning Online* as a text, a skilled facilitator introduces any group of 10 to 20 participants to the fundamentals of learning online. In the process, participants come to know what it’s like to work as a learning team—an excellent way to encourage group activities in later, content-based programs.

Volume 1: Getting Started with Online Learning.

Chapter 1: Learning on the Internet

  • Understand the many advantages of learning online
  • Understand the many challenges as well
  • Practice emailing an instructor and entering an online classroom discussion

Chapter 2: The Electronic Classroom

  • Understand what course management software is and what it offers you as a student
  • Recognize the skills necessary to participate fully in the online components of any course
  • Practice using several different discussion forum software products
  • Practice using a simple template to build a glossary of terms related to a course
  • Practice using free journaling software
  • Practice starting your own personal journal to consolidate what you learn as you go

Chapter 3: Internet Basics

  • Understand what the Internet really is and how it can benefit you as a learner
  • Understand how the Internet came to exist and why
  • Understand what an ISP is and how to choose the right one for your needs
  • Visit two Web sites that review ISPs
  • Understand what a browser is
  • Download the latest version of your browser
  • Install a range of plugins used in online learning
  • Understand hyperlinks and hypertext, how they work and how they can help you as a learner
  • Break down a URL into its component parts
  • If you need it, practice using a mouse, clicking on links, and surfing the Web
  • Look for patterns in your own use of the Internet
  • Explore three Web sites that serve as guides to the Internet
  • Learn about books that can deepen your understanding of the Internet

Chapter 4: Email

  • Consolidate what you know about email and how it can help you as a student
  • Explore various free email software programs
  • Deconstruct an email address
  • Recognize the skills necessary to use an email program efficiently
  • Visit several Web tutorials about email
  • Practice sending email

Chapter 5: Netiquette (InterNET EtIQUETTE)

  • Understand the accepted standards for online behavior
  • Recognize common emoticons and abbreviations
  • Understand the copyright issues unique to the Internet
  • Know the rules for determining when a document enters the public domain
  • Explore Web sites on netiquette
  • Explore Web sites on emoticons
  • Explore Web sites on Internet ethics and privacy

Bonus Chapter: Learn Basic HTML Codes

  • Understand what HTML code is and how it can help you as a student
  • Deconstruct a basic HTML code
  • Learn and practice more than a dozen common HTML codes for use in assignment presentations

Student Tool Kit

Reach all of the following resources from a single page:

  • Online dictionaries
  • Online thesauri
  • Online encyclopedias
  • Online grammar guides
  • Maps online
  • Government statistics
  • More than half of all U.S. government documents
  • Full texts of thousands of books, from Aesop’s Fables to Shakespeare’s plays
  • Audio recordings of thousands of politically significant events
  • Virtual Museums
  • Online reference resources
  • Glossary templates
  • Template for online group guidelines
  • Other educational sites (e.g., climate conditions, fun, utilities, live Webcams)

Volume 2: Mastering the Process of Online Learning

Chapter 1: Understanding Online Participation

  • Understand the generally accepted standards for frequency and style of participation.
  • Know the appropriate use of language for online interaction.
  • Understand the accepted standards for online document formatting.
  • Practice using evolving subject lines in messages.
  • Understand the concept of conversational “threading.”
  • Understand the concept of language “chunking.”
  • Consider a range of strategies for successful online interaction.
  • Review four checklists of tips for success at online interaction.

Chapter 2: Creating the Best Work Station for Online Study

  • Acknowledge the importance of safety and comfort to the online learning process.
  • Break down the components of an appropriate environment for online study.
  • Consider seven guidelines for preventing computer-related injuries.
  • Analyze the ergonomics of your own work station.
  • Learn the unique time management skills required for efficient online study.
  • Recognize three types of environment used for online communication.
  • Consider four possible methods of reading on a computer screen and their different purposes.
  • Understand when, when not, and how to print out information.
  • Learn how to take notes on the computer while reading on screen.
  • Learn how to save pages to disk.
  • Learn how and when to download files.
  • Understand and practice bookmarking.

Chapter 3: Submitting Assignments by Email

  • Acknowledge five challenges and nine benefits to sharing computer files.
  • Learn the five pieces of information to include on the cover page of any assignment you submit by email.
  • Learn how to protect your computer from viruses.
  • Learn when to use rich text format.
  • Understand accepted standards for delivering extra-large files.
  • Understand the value of conversion software and where to get it.
  • Learn eight steps for attaching a file to an email message.
  • Practice sending a typical assignment file.
  • Read an article on foolproof file enclosures.

Chapter 4: Using the Internet for Assignment Research

  • Acknowledge the value of careful planning for Internet research.
  • Learn a 14-step strategy for successful Internet research.
  • Practice each of the 14 steps.
  • Visit an online dictionary, an online thesaurus, and up to three online library catalogs.
  • Understand and practice “uncovering.”
  • Compare several popular search engines and learn how to choose the best one for various types of research questions.
  • Consider various search strategies.
  • Visit up to seven database sites.
  • Understand boolean operators and how to use them in your Internet research.
  • Understand how to evaluate resources found on the Internet.
  • Hone your critical thinking skills.
  • Try out a software program for record keeping.
  • Understand the accepted method for citing quotations from Internet sources.
  • Visit a site full of Web searching tips.
  • Take an electronic tutorial on Web searching.
  • Read an article about copyright and fair use in the digital age.
  • Visit up to five online citation guides and learn about the most popular print-based style guides.
  • Acknowledge the legal and moral obligations associated with copyright.
  • Understand when you can and cannot legally copy someone else’s work.
  • Review 10 important rules for determining when a document is in the public domain.

Chapter 5: Using the Internet for Group Learning

  • Acknowledge the individual participant’s responsibility to an online group.
  • Recognize 10 activities that any group can do together and eight benefits of doing them online.
  • Understand the benefits and limitations of seven different types of media used for online group interaction.
  • Understand the 11 steps to starting an online learning group.
  • Look at a template of guidelines for group procedures, behavior, and shared values.
  • Understand alignment and recognize seven possible levels of individual alignment with group goals.
  • Understand the difference between discussion and dialogue.
  • Explore up to four Web sites that introduce group process tools.
  • Learn two valuable tips for successful chatting.
  • Understand both qualitative and quantitative “harvesting.”
  • Understand “weaving.”
  • Recognize the resources necessary for collaborative learning.
  • Understand the differences between traditional learning and collaborative, team-based learning.
  • Understand eight steps that occur in the formation of any collaborative group.
  • Learn 15 tips for successfully facilitating an online study group.
  • Practice planning an online group activity.


  • Two-volume, eleven-chapter WebBook (One year password-protected access.)
  • Instructor-led with expert online facilitation
  • Online Learner’s Tool Kit of Web resources useful for online learners
  • Peer-based technical-support forum
  • “Cafe” forum for informal conversation
  • Plenty of motivational learning activities


  • Demonstrate your organization’s or institution’s high expectations for online learning.
  • Give every learner an equal chance to excel in any course that has an online component.
  • Provide easy access to a wide range of online resources (Online Learner’s Tool Kit).
  • Boost participant confidence.
  • Allay parent or manager concerns.
  • Reduce instructor and IT staff workload.
  • Achieve maximum buy-in the shortest possible time.


Two-Week Online Workshop (Minimum 10 students/Maximum 20)


Includes cost of Web books.
Each additional participant: $200.

Learn More . . .

For more information about our faculty development and student preparedness training for online teaching and learning, contact us directly.