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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Orientation in Online Courses: What the Students Tell Us

Mary C. M. Bucy.

Online courses require students to function in an environment with which many are not familiar. This presentation discusses the results of a study exploring the student experience in online classes. Students indicated that feeling properly oriented in the online environment was important to them and that, when this need was not attended to, they felt disoriented, anxious and frustrated. Their orientation needs fell into several categories, including program orientation, technology orientation, wayfinding information, orientation to course requirements, and thematic orientation. These student insights have implications for both online course designers and online teachers.


Mary C. M. Bucy  (United States)
Instructor in Teacher Education
Division of Teacher Education
Western Oregon University

Mary Bucy teaches Technology Integration in the Undergraduate Teacher Education program, and graduate classes in Information Technology at Western Oregon University. She is currently completing a doctorate in Distance Education.

  • Online classes
  • Orientation

(30 min Conference Paper, English)