Use a Getting Started Module in an Online Course

A Getting Started Module or Module 0 can serve as the orientation to an online course. The purpose of this module is to help students learn the course routine, expectations, and organization as well as ensure that students are familiar with Moodle and have all of the hardware and software required for the course. Providing this online orientation will help students become familiar with your course and may also reduce the number of questions you receive regarding course routine, expectations and organization.

Consider making Module 0 the assignment or one of the assignments for the first week of your online course since this time period allows students to drop/add.

Some activities to consider including in this module are as follows:

  • Read the syllabus, schedule and course policies. You may want to have students complete a syllabus quiz.
  • Become familiar with Student Help.
  • Set up  your profile page and  email accounts.
  • Complete a browser check
  • Community building exercise (discussion introduction post)
  • Communication practice – Have students communicate with you in the way you prefer. If you want them to use email, then have them send you an email. They should be able to get your email address from the syllabus and from the Instructor Information Block in your course. If you want them to use Messages, then have them send you a message. In every case, make sure you reply to the student’s communication.
  • Explain what to do if they have difficulty with any of these activities.


Sugar, A. (2011). Module 0. In K. Thompson and B. Chen (Eds.), Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Center for Distributed Learning. Retrieved October 17, 2012 from

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