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Engineering Virtual Orientation Program

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2021 First-Year Engineering Experience



Publication Date

August 9, 2021

Start Date

August 9, 2021

End Date

August 21, 2021

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Shannon Bate


Shannon Hayes Buenaflor University of Maryland College Park

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Shannon Hayes Buenaflor currently serves as the Assistant Director of Transfer Student Advising & Admissions in the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Prior to working in the Clark School, Dr. Buenaflor served as an Academic Advisor in the College of Education at UMD, where she worked with pre-service teachers. In addition to her professional role, Dr. Buenaflor is also serves on several research teams. Her research focuses on community college students and transfer student success.

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Mary Bell University of Maryland

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Mary Bell is the Associate Director in the Undergraduate Advising & Academic Support Office in the A. James Clark School of Engineering. She received her B.A. in Radio, Television & Film from the University of Maryland & received her M.S. in Management Information Systems from the University of Maryland, University College. Mary began working at the University of Maryland in 1993 and has worked in the Registrar’s Office, the Department of Communication and the Undergraduate Admissions Office prior to joining the Engineering School in 2015.

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Suzanne Ashour-Bailey University of Maryland College Park

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In Summer 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the [Name of Office] in [Name of College] shifted to convert all New Student Orientation Programs from an in-person format to a virtual format. The purpose of this presentation is to highlight the various elements of the Engineering Virtual Orientation Program. In particular, the presenters will provide information about the technology platforms utilized, will discuss strategies implemented to create a flipped advising model, and will outline ways in which promising practices from Summer 2020 will be carried forward to future orientation cohorts both during and beyond the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Traditional orientation programs have historically taken place on campus and material has been covered in full during the in-person event. During Summer 2020, our office drew upon the flipped advising approach (Kuhn, Gordon, & Webber, 2006) to create meaningful activities that took place electronically prior to students’ scheduled orientation date. These activities took place via an online Education Learning System (i.e., Canvs) and utilized modules with interactive videos, presentations, and quizzes which assessed students’ learning outcomes. We then revamped our day-of activities to reflect on the online modules. This process allowed our team to reinvision the orientation process in order to create meaningful interactions via Zoom during the day-of program. In particular, our orientation staff focused on team building activities so students could get to know each other. These activities, as well as promising practices, will be discussed in detail during this presentation.

Bate, S., & Buenaflor, S. H., & Bell, M., & Ashour-Bailey, S. (2021, August), Engineering Virtual Orientation Program Paper presented at 2021 First-Year Engineering Experience, Virtual .

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