New Learning Online 101 course for all PWL undergraduates, resources for PFW and PNW students preparing for spring

Instructors, staff, graduate students also have access

All Purdue West Lafayette undergraduate students will have access on Jan. 11 to a new resource to assist them in preparing for hybrid and online learning in the Brightspace learning management system. Undergraduate students will automatically be enrolled in Learning Online 101, which will appear alongside their other courses in Brightspace and remain available while they are at Purdue. West Lafayette instructors and staff may also register for access to Learning Online 101 through this link to course registration.

Learning Online 101 is a self-paced, elective course designed to meet the needs of undergraduate learners, whether in hybrid or online courses. It was built by a team from Innovative Learning, working with faculty and student reviewers to address common issues among fall semester students in navigating Brightspace, feeling emotionally, physically, and logistically unprepared for hybrid and online learning, and balancing their dynamic course schedules, among other challenges.

Students are encouraged to engage with Learning Online 101 as a way to get a jump on spring 2021 courses, which begin Jan. 19. Learning Online 101 features a range of materials developed specifically for students and from the student perspective. These include video tutorials, simple document guides, and links to key Purdue resources, organized into four modules that can be completed conveniently and quickly (15 to 30 minutes for each module):

  1. The Mindset and Readiness module is designed to help students feel more confident and prepared to learn online.
  2. Foundations for Academic Success offers a variety of learning best practices.
  3. The Navigating Brightspace module helps students operate the tools and functionality inside of Brightspace, and recognize the structure and organization in other Brightspace courses.
  4. Connecting in Your Online Classroom explores how students can develop connections with peers and course facilitators in virtual environments.

An optional post-survey will gather information about students’ comfort and perception of competence with online learning, and help to improve the course. Students who were part of the Learning Online 101 review found the course well-designed and informative, even as they were taking other courses using Brightspace.

“I thought this course was very helpful because as a freshman in college I’m not used to college lectures, let alone online college lectures, and so it is nice to have tips on how to go about taking notes and staying engaged when you’re not physically in class,” said Kristen. “I enjoyed this course as it presented me with aspects of Brightspace and strategies for learning online that I was previously unaware about.”

“I love this course. It is so relevant and helpful,” said Larissa. “When I started online courses, the biggest adjustment for me was in how I take notes and schedule my time.”

“Overall, I think this course serves as a great resource for students who have not had much exposure to online learning. Additionally, the information and resources about how to utilize Brightspace were EXTREMELY helpful,” said Glen. “Taking this course before the semester is a great tool. I think this course will help a lot of students. The course was extremely easy to navigate and understand and the presentation was very well done.”

“I really like this course as I’ve seen many other students and instructors have problems navigating Brightspace,” said Prakhar. “I think it does a good job of covering the basics of Brightspace and learning online.”

“The information presented in this course was well written and applicable to Purdue students,’ said Rachel. “The pacing works well and I think that most Purdue students will find this course accessible and useful.”

West Lafayette staff members, instructors, and graduate students are also encouraged to take advantage of Learning Online 101 for their own professional development, and as a way to help their students. The course includes pedagogical references and links to research on learning. There are opportunities for students to reflect on their own learning and tips to assist with learning as a semester unfolds, including:

Sections on note-taking, and engaging with synchronous and asynchronous lectures

  • Suggestions on orienting to a specific course
  • Ideas for organizing and time-management
  • How to prepare for taking exams

Additionally, since the course is built in Brightspace, Learning Online 101 serves as a design model for instructors. Access also begins Jan. 11 for anyone with a PUID who registers for Learning Online 101 through this link to course registration.

Purdue Fort Wayne student resources

Because Purdue Fort Wayne students use/register with different Student IDs, they will not be able to access Learning Online 101; however, PFW faculty are encouraged to help students make sure they are prepared for online and hybrid courses through:

Purdue Northwest student resources

Purdue Northwest faculty are encouraged to direct their students to the following resources for guidance in learning in remote settings:

PNW Getting Started Semester Tech Resources (requires BoilerKey authentication)

For questions regarding Learning Online 101 please contact:

Alexus Maschinot:

Acknowledgements: This course was developed by:
Alexus Maschinot- Instructional Designer, Purdue Online-TLT
Rachel Fundator- Instructional Designer, Libraries and School of Information Studies
Holly Fiock- Instructional Designer, Purdue Online
Elise Lofgren- Sr. Instructional Designer, Purdue Online
Emily Bonem- Assistant Director, Center for Instructional Excellence

Thank you to all the others involved in this inter-programmatic collaboration and who made the development of this course possible and to Marcy Towns, Bodner-Honig Professor of Chemistry, for the original idea.

For questions and support at your campus, contact:

Purdue Global: Direct teaching-related questions to Technical support questions should be directed to or 866-522-7747 (toll-free).

Purdue Fort Wayne: Teaching-related questions should be directed to PFW’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) at, 260-481-6354, or CELT’s website for resources and to request one on one consultations. Technical support questions should be direct to PFW’s IT Services Help Desk or 260-481-6030.

Purdue Northwest: Direct teaching-related questions to the Center for Faculty Excellence at, 219-989-8328, or CFE’s website. Technical support questions should be directed to

Purdue West Lafayette: Visit the Innovative Learning website or email