Why? The default Course Entry Point in Blackboard is the Announcements page and this is the first area of the course seen by students unless you intentionally change the entry point. Regardless of the Course Entry Point, it is good practice to create a, welcome to the course, statement for students. Students want to know about the course and they want to know about you as an instructor. We suggest you use the Welcome Statement to begin to establish the tone of the course. Outline your availability for support and assistance while conveying your enthusiasm for the content. Students also want to know a bit about the structure of the course and the structure of the learning activities. Take care to use your opening statement to also begin to define some of the expectations for the course.
Did you Know? Students establish their perception of the instructor and the course in the first fifteen minutes of a F2F course. Limited research has been conducted on when students establish their perception of an online course. Think about the adage, “You have one chance to make your first impression.” This also applies to the online course. Your welcome or opening statement is your chance for that first impression.