First impressions count - Planning for Day One

13 July 2022

Please remember that first impressions do count! This is equally true in face-2-face as well as online classes.

What you say, how you say it, what your Akoraka | Learn course page looks like etc all allow your students to make sense of you and the course they have enrolled in to study in Semester 2.

Therefore, a successful Day One can be a key component of a successful class.

Day One of your course should set expectations for the rest of the course including how you will interact with students, how students can interact with the teaching team, the type of learning environment you will provide, and the course learning outcomes, content, and assessment.

A key focus on Day One should be getting to know your students and letting them get to know you. Try modelling or practicing the teaching methods and learning expectations you plan to use throughout the course. Get students involved and actively learning from Day One.

Specific suggestions on or just before Day One include:

  • Introduce yourself, your teaching philosophy and your responsibilities to the students.
  • Send a welcome message by email and in an Announcement in your Akoraka | Learn course page before Day One of the course.
  • Use icebreakers to help students get to know each other.
  • Make sure you start your class on time.
  • Find out what prior learning the students have undertaken and what knowledge they bring to your course.
  • Walk around the room and chat to students.
  • Explain how this course fits within the student’s programme of study.
  • Provide an overview of the course learning outcomes, content, and assessment.
  • Encourage students to read the course outline fully in their own time and post any questions to a forum or bring them to the next class.
  • Introduce students to your Akoraka | Learn course page.
  • Discuss classroom expectations including your ‘netiquette’ for students joining online.
  • Discuss expectations outside of class including preparation and review material.
  • Hold an ‘open house’ in which students can briefly chat with the teaching team – this might be during or at the end of the class.