Ever wish there were an introduction to distance digital college courses? I made one.

After hearing from colleagues this spring who wished for an introduction to online courses for students, I spent the summer creating one. "Return to Enter: An Introduction to Digital Distance Higher Education," is a five-lesson module.

Each lesson is designed to take 30-45 minutes, making all five suitable for the first week or weeks of a course. I designed the lessons for a first-generation community college student beginning their first year. There are 45 different pages, with a mix of text, pictures, and minimal videos.

These lessons are OER. You can use them in parts or in whole as you wish. I built the lessons with notion.so, which allows for PDF, HTML, and Markdown export. Of those formats, the HTML export yields the most accessible documents and PDF exports yields the least accessible version. See the teacher's notes for how to copy the course.

A couple of caveats:

  • I use language carefully. I don't call distance digital courses "online" because almost all classes use the web.
  • These lessons are not Normandale Community College or Minnseota State and Universities specific or approved.
  • Accessibility should be very good (it's mostly text with high contrast and captioned photos). I encourage feedback on how to improve accessibility.
  • This is the first version of these lessons. Student and faculty use and feedback will improve these lessons. I'm especially interested in improving Lesson 5 "Math online."
  • I've tried to use examples from across the disciplines, though I acknowledge historical examples are more abundant.

If you wish to offer feedback, please see this form: https://bit.ly/2Y6zZDW . If you register for a Notion account (free), you can also leave comments directly on the lessons for me.