About Orientation Letters

How To Submit Orientation Letters

Step 1

  Download the Orientation Letter Template*​ 

Step 2

Customize with your class information. (When editing in Word, make sure to "enable editing"). Include a picture of yourself or that represents your class, and a picture of the textbook you'll be using, if applicable.

step 3

 Email to distancelearning@canyons.edu

 *You'll notice that the Orientation Letter template does not ask for specific dates, such as the semester, start date, or section number. Keeping orientation letters general, allows the same letter to be used in multiple semesters, and helps students to receive the information they need in a timely manner.   


Why Online Instructors Should Write Orientation Letters

Orientation letters help students, and the research supports it! The best orientation letters do 2 things:
· Give specific useful instructions to the students
o   “Rather than expecting that students will automatically adapt to a new and perhaps confusing low-structure online environment, online instructors may need to scaffold students to succeed in that environment by providing clear expectations and instructions, as well as by using activities and processes that explicitly teach metacognition, system knowledge, and self-efficacy (Hannafin, Hill, Oliver, Glazer, & Sharma, 2003).”
· Help build an authentic persona
o   “A sense of ‘social presence,’ or the projection of an authentic persona that connects to others involved in the course, correlates strongly with online student course satisfaction, performance, and retention (Boston et al., 2009; Gunawardena & Zittle, 1997; S. Y. Liu, Gomez, & Yen, 2009; Picciano, 2002; Richardson & Swan, 2003).”

 The Basics of Orientation Letters

If you have any questions, please contact usdistancelearning@canyons.edu or 661-362-3600. We are happy to help!