Most of us have surely written or received one of these e-mail messages.
Welcome to this exciting adventure in __________. I’m excited by the opportunity to share my experiences with you as, together, we explore the world of __________. I look forward to getting to know more about you.
It’s the old, fairly canned, “Welcome to the Online Course” e-mail. As far as I know, it is a construct grown out of a perceived need: 1) to respond to to students enrolling in an online course in order to validate that their enrollment had indeed been successful; 2) to provide pre-course instructions in order to ease any possible technology or process obstacles for learners taking an online course; 3) to address self-paced or flexible enrollment courses (often MOOCs) where there may not be an opportunity to communicate easily with a cohort at the beginning of a course.
My experience is that this welcome e-mail, whether it is written by a real person or a machine, inevitably comes off as wooden, impersonal, and, well, unwelcoming.
Assuming you think beginning a course with the right tone and message is as important as I do, how can we improve the current form-letter practice?
And with that context, here’s today’s learning design challenge. Design your ideal welcome message for learners enrolling in a course.
Here are some questions to consider.
- What is your desired learner experience for this message?
- What are you really hoping to accomplish (goal) with the welcome?
- Can you do more than simply provide information?
- What are some possible constraints for this design?
Time to Design: <15 min.
Number of Building Blocks Allowed: 5
Design Challenge Guidelines