Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the introduction of an online induction programme including an interactive webinar on a distance learning course and to present student feedback on the programme. It focuses on lessons learnt and implications for others implementing similar induction programmes. Design/methodology/approach – A self-completion questionnaire was sent to all students enroled on the programme, including those who did not attend the webinar or participate in the online induction programme. This was followed up with a semi-structured interview. The analysis focused on the student experience of the induction programme. Findings – Overall, students reported to be satisfied with the online programme. The webinar encouraged engagement with some elements of the online workshop and was felt to complement the other learning opportunities available online. The webinar was particularly valued for providing a “face” to the course, facilitating interactivity among tutors and students and helping the students to feel part of the University. Students also reported that the webinar had the advantage of allowing a social interaction between them. Practical implications – A number of key changes related to multiple offerings of the webinar and the timing of activities in the online workshop were highlighted to encourage participation. Greater clarity on what is required in the induction and how long it would take would also encourage participation. Originality/value – This case study is one of the few to evaluate the inclusion of webinar technology within an online induction programme and, therefore, has value in this context.
Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 13, 2015