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It is common knowledge that the skills and expertise of graduate students differentiate from that of undergraduate students. While we’ve had an orientation for online undergrads for some time, we have built upon those resources and tools to create resources directed specifically at successfully onboarding graduate students into the Arizona State University culture, academics and rigor. As a research one University, ASU expects much from their graduate students — appropriately preparing them for excellence from the start enables them to hit the ground running, and to truly focus on the content of their coursework rather than devoting too much time to learning how to be an online student during the courses themselves.
Currently, the Graduate Toolkit is rolled out for specific majors, but the goal is to continue to expand the offering to all programs. As such this would build upon the expertise and knowledge that has been gained over the 12 years of online learning at EdPlus and collaborating fully with the academic units and the graduate college to prepare content that meets the needs of these learners.
To better prepare students for success, the Graduate Toolkit focuses on the following key skills:
Hosted in Canvas, the Toolkit offers an introduction to the online LMS
An iPOS overview
Important policies for graduate students
Programmatic handbooks and insights
An Introduction to the student support team
An overview of student resources
A brief review of using My ASU
How to register for classes and purchase textbooks
Financing your degree
What to expect in the classroom
How to prepare for Academic Rigor
Strategies for Success
The goal is to supplement the deep dive into content that the colleges provide while providing a resource that houses the basic information that is easy to find, review and reference. Graduate students tend to be self-sufficient and knowledge seeking. Providing this resource allows the students to find the information when they need it, review expectations and prepare to be successful graduate students at ASU.
We look forward to developing more tools and resources in collaboration with the colleges to better support our online learners. Be on the lookout for your own Graduate Toolkit!