Imagine trying to make a good first impression on 9,000 students and families! New Student and Family Programs (NSFP) is tasked with this every year when they offer UF Preview, a two-day new student orientation. In response to COVID-19, NSFP had just four weeks to redesign and build UF Preview in an online environment and deliver it to all Freshmen, PaCE, and Transfer students and their families.
To accomplish this, NSFP collaborated with UFIT Center for Instructional Technology and Training (CITT) and advisors across campus to develop high-quality and accessible content. In addition to delivering a warm welcome, introducing distinctive elements of UF, and guiding students through registering for their first semester of courses, the team also provided a preview of the exceptional caliber of online learning at UF.
What did UF Preview look like before 2020?
Last summer, new students and families visited UF campus for a two-day session specific to their student status. Across populations, this meant offering more than 60 individual sessions, with advisors and staff sharing some of the same information more than 60 times!
While it is invaluable for students to visit campus and meet faculty, advisors, and their peers during a typical Preview, moving Preview online comes with many surprising benefits, including addressing this challenge of repeating content. Students can now explore and revisit content from Preview at any time of day and as often as they like, giving advisors more time to answer individual questions.
What does UF Preview look like online?
The first introduction students see is a heartwarming welcome video from Dr. Mull, UF Vice President of Student Affairs. Students are then guided through content that introduces them to academic requirements, advising, college information, and campus resources. Throughout these modules, students have the option to explore breakout sessions including Internationalizing Your Degree and Exploring Undergraduate Research. Because of the various services and resources that students may explore, there were more than 70 videos recorded and captioned; CITT Academic Media Productions and UFIT Captioning Services made this possible. Student Affairs Marketing and Strategic Communications developed graphics and workbooks for students, and advisors across campus contributed videos and information about their programs.
While most of Preview is now asynchronous, students will attend small synchronous sessions via Zoom with advisors, staff, and a small group of their peers. During the second day of their Preview session, they will meet one-on-one with their Preview Advisor to register for their first semester of courses, maintaining that personal and individualized connection and a warm welcome to the UF community.
To learn more about this project, please reach out to Leslie Mojeiko at firstname.lastname@example.org.