INFO 203 Course Welcome Hello. I’d like to welcome you to INFO 203: Online Learning: Tools and Strategies for Success. I’m Debbie Faires and I am the Director of Online Learning here at the School of Information. I am also the course coordinator for INFO 203. I’m working with other faculty members and a group of peer mentors to help you learn how to succeed in this online environment where you’ll be taking classes for the next few years. In this welcome, I’ll talk with you about the purpose of the course. If I were to sum up the main purpose of this course, I would say it is about communication. We want to help you learn to communicate effectively with other students and with your professors. You need to learn how to extend your network of people and knowledge in the online environment. This is going to involve the use of technology. But it’s not all about electronics and signals flowing through the air or through cables. Your own personal management is a critical element of success, too. Being a successful student in an online class requires particular skills in areas such as self-discipline, organization, and motivation. We’ll talk about those characteristics. And, we hope you’ll have some fun, too, as you move forward in the class. We have four main learning outcomes for this class. You’ll see them listed in the syllabus. The first says, “Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to employ appropriate social networking software for collaboration with colleagues.” In other words, you’ll learn to more effectively use technology to network with others. Second, you will utilize a learning management system to organize coursework. Here at the school, we use Canvas as our learning management system. It is important for you to learn your way around this environment so that you can focus on course content and be successful in carrying out the technical side of course requirements. Third, you will use the tools of web conferencing software to work synchronously with colleagues. Again, you see the theme of technology-mediated communication. In this case, you’ll participate in a session using our web conferencing platform, Collaborate. Fourth, you will learn how to implement a variety of strategies to ensure success while taking coursework in the online environment. This course has numerous types of information that will help prepare you to be successful. 97% of the new students who were surveyed last semester said 203 was important to their success in their first semester. We’ve worked hard to collect the best information that we know you’ll need as you begin your coursework. I hope you will enjoy this course and gain important skills and knowledge that will enable you to be successful in all of your classes here at San Jose State University.