Volume 45 Issue No. 2 August 27, 2012 www.fsu.ca/interrobang/
What do I need to know before Istart college? How do I figure outmy finances? How will Fanshawe be different from high school?The months leading up to a stu-dents first year at college are full of questions, and the sheer amount of information on the Fanshawe web-site can be tough to wade through.First Year @ Fanshawe (www.fan-shawec.ca/firstyear) is a new web-site devoted to helping incomingstudents navigate through every-thing they need to know.When Krista Vogt, student suc-cess advisor for Fanshawe’sschools of Nursing and HealthSciences, came to work atFanshawe a couple of years ago,one of the first things she askedabout was what the school wasdoing for new students. “Studentsare accepted in March, and thenthey hear from us, like, August 25or so. What the heck do they do inthe middle?”Last year, she approached her boss, student success leader RobertKitchen, to create a first-year expe-rience website. “He said, ‘Soundsgood. Write it.’ And I said, ‘Okay,I will!’”Vogt took the existing informa-tion available on the Fanshawewebsite and broke it into manage-able chunks that students can use ateach stage of the acceptance process: when they’re first accept-ed, in the months leading up towhen they start, during their firstfew weeks of school, throughouttheir first semester and beyond.Kitchen took the completed pack-age to Fanshawe’s Marketingdepartment, and a team thereworked hard to get the First Year @Fanshawe site up and running as part of Fanshawe’s website, fan-shawec.ca.Kitchen described the site as avirtual front door. “It’s reallydesigned as a launching pad for (students) to find the informationthat they need.”On the landing page of the site,students will see links to informa-tion about the steps betweenacceptance and attendance. Thefirst button links to beginhere.ca,the site maintained by theRegistrar’s Office, which has infor-mation about applying for school,student life, finances and more.“Before your first day” is a check-list for students in the months lead-ing up to starting school. Becausethe site does not use specific dates(it uses general times such as “four months before school starts”), itcan be used by students starting inthe winter and summer semestersas well. “Your first month” outlineswhat students can expect fromOrientation and Frosh Week, aswell as how to navigate three veryimportant websites:FanshaweOnline, WebAdvisor andMyFanshawe. “Student experi-ence” has everything students needto know about life on campus, fromhow to get involved to strategies for academic success.Students who are not in their firstyear may also find the site helpfulas well: the landing page has a link called “Beyond your first year,”which provides information abouttransferring to university, studyingabroad, alumni services and contin-uing education.Kitchen said the site is good for anumber of students. “For new stu-dents, it’s very helpful in answeringthe immediate questions. I think …for prospective students, it will givethem a good guide and someinsights as to what to expect as newstudents. The more informed stu-dents are, in terms of accessingtheir post-secondary education, Ithink will be helpful.”The site is meant to be dynamicand student feedback is welcome. If you think something should beincluded in the site, use theFeedback tab on the right side of the site or send an email to Kitchenat firstname.lastname@example.org.For more information, check outwww.fanshawec.ca/firstyear.
Fanshawe’s getting the red-car- pet treatment this year asFanshaweOnline Ambassadors arehelping students navigate the elec-tronic learning management sys-tem.From September 4 to September 14, FOL Ambassadors will hosttwo sessions each day – from 9a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 12:30 to3:30 p.m. – at various locationsaround the London campus. (For aschedule and a list of locations,check out the news item on FOLand the widget on the FOL home- page, or ask at the InformationBooth in F building.) They’ll bearmed with laptops and the knowl-edge to answer any questions newor returning students may haveabout using FOL. One Ambassador at each event will be mobile, walk-ing around the area with a tablet toanswer any quick questions fromstudents who are rushing to their next class.Each student who gets help fromthe Ambassadors is entered into adraw. During the final event, aniPad 3 and gift certificates to retailstores on campus will be given outas prizes for the draw.“We’re targeting first-year stu-dents who are here for the firsttime, but we also want to catch stu-dents who are returning toFanshawe and perhaps will be in aclass where there is a tool thatmaybe they haven’t used before,”said Catherine Spence, an adminis-trative assistant in Fanshawe’sLearning Systems Services depart-ment. She, along with educationaltechnologist Kyle Stewart, coordi-nated the Ambassador program.“That’s an opportunity for them toask the Ambassadors (about thattool) … They have a chance tohave an interactive experiencewhere the Ambassadors are rightthere and they can walk themthrough that tool and explain it tothem. Even students who havealready used FanshaweOnline willhave the benefit of asking theAmbassadors some questions.”In addition to asking questions,students are encouraged to bringtheir feedback about FOL and theAmbassador program to theAmbassadors. “We listen to thestudents and we incorporate thatfeedback,” Spence said. “It alsohelps us decide the direction we’regoing with FanshaweOnline.”If you’re a returning student, youmay recall seeing FOLAmbassadors on campus inJanuary. Last year, theAmbassadors sat at tables outsidethe Oasis and in F building outsidethe bookstore, waiting for studentsto come to them. With more timeto plan September’s event – andwith some help from Fanshawe’sMarketing department – Spenceand Stewart wanted to make the program more dynamic and attrac-tive to students. “This is going totry to grab students’ attentionfirst,” said Spence. “Then they’reaware of us and what our serviceis, and hopefully they’ll bring anyquestions that they’ll have aboutFanshaweOnline to theAmbassadors and it can beresponded to immediately.”Stewart said he and Spence arelooking to continue to grow the program in the future. The second phase of the program is to reacharea campuses, and the third phasewill see online expansion.If you’re looking for help withFOL after the Ambassador pro-gram has ended, check out FOL’sown Help feature by clicking theHelp button located in the top rightcorner of the website. This sectionfeatures full videos to help guideyou through any issue you mayencounter. If that doesn’t answer your question, Stewart suggestedasking friends and instructors, or contacting the Helpdesk at 519-452-4430 ext. 4357,email@example.com or inroom E2030.The FOL Ambassador programwill also run in January during thefirst two weeks of the Winter semester. If you’re interested involunteering for that event, or if you’ll be returning to Fanshawe inSeptember 2013 and want to helpout then, contact Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or Spence email@example.com.
New site opens the door to information for new studentsGot a question about FOL? Ambassadors are here to help