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This design case documents the reimagination of new faculty orientation for a mid-sized public university due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. This fully virtual iteration was facilitated during the summer of 2020 and is compared both to previous in-person iterations of new faculty orientation as well as a blended modality version of the orientation program offered in 2021. The redesign is explained using language from Puntedura’s (2006) Substitution- Augmentation- Modification- Redefinition (SAMR) model of technology application in distributed learning. Such terminology provided a helpful common vocabulary for a design team pressured to determine which elements of orientation needed to be fully reimagined for successful virtual implementation and where simple substitution would suffice. A description of synchronous elements from the fully virtual orientation as well as artifacts from the asynchronous portions is included. A lack of formal evaluation for the reimagined new faculty orientation space is shared as an element of design failure. The informal evaluation uncovered attendee appreciation of both flexibility and recursiveness, feedback our design team used to combat criticism of a lack of attention during virtual events. The paper concludes with a reflection on the need for transparent communication between event attendees, event designers, and other key invested partners (such as university administration) if the benefits of virtual orientation programming are to be adopted for our institution beyond emergency modalities.


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Original Publication Citation

Herman, K., & Davidson, P. (2022). Orientation online: The surprising benefits of virtual new faculty orientation. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 13(2), 87-99.


0000-0003-4125-7569 (Herman)