Nugget #5: Use Onboarding Forms

Use onboarding forms each semester to learn more about your students and their needs, gauge their understanding and enthusiasm for class content, and better prepare to reach them.

By proactively asking students for course-related information and accessibility needs, onboarding forms are a great way to reach students who need support and promote an accessible, engaging classroom for all. Here’s an example of an onboarding Google form for a course in Computer Science. Notice the type of information asked, which include multiple choice questions on course interest and preferences, as well as free response questions on accommodations.

Dig Deeper 

DRES Accommodations

At the core, onboarding forms let you quickly understand students’ needs. Therefore, we recommend you include questions relating to accessibility needs and DRES accommodations. If you reference the onboarding form above, students are given a space to attach their Letter of Accommodations and free response textboxes to address specific topics. Students can then share how components of your course, such as a web page or choice of teaching medium, may interact with their accessibility needs.

Course-Related Questions

You can also use an onboarding form to understand students’ comfort, interest, and preferences in your course. As shown in the sample onboarding forms, questions gauging prerequisite knowledge and method of learning can inform your decisions on course structure to provide the most value for students. Most notably, the opt-out question on participating in specific course activities allows students to pick grading methods that work best for their needs. Questions related to semester workload and timing on an on-boarding form could also help you formulate your flexible deadline plan.

Thank you for your interest. If you found this tip helpful, please share it with your colleagues!

See you again next week!

-UDL and Accessibility Group