Snag learners early if you want them to be engaged in your online course. And by “early,” I mean before your course even launches. Start with a welcome letter, and you’ll find it much easier to make a lasting connection with students.
Engage students early with welcome letters
Welcome letters help you set expectations and highlight anything important when people are most attentive. Use your welcome letter to give students a quick preview of the course, give them contact information, state prerequisites, and give them major deadlines they can copy into their calendars.
Paper or e-mail is fine, although e-mail is cheaper. Just make sure to send it a week or two before launch.
Here are a few welcome letters from other organizations that can help you draft your e-learning missive:
Welcome to Linn-Benton Community College eLearning Courses – Clearly spells out expectations
Cascadia Online Classes Welcome Letter – Simple, but gives helpful information
Gloucester County College eLearning Welcome Letters – A host of PDF welcome letters written by instructors
Why Send a Welcome Letter? – Spells out the anatomy of a welcome letter, from University of Alaska at Fairbanks