Right time, right space? Developing an online transition course for new undergraduates


  • Kim Shahabudin University of Reading
  • Sonia Hood University of Reading
  • Michelle Reid University of Reading




Transition, first year experience, study skills, undergraduate, online teaching, MOOC, widening participation, diversity, inclusion, orientation, induction, community, online mentoring


This case study describes the development of a pre-entry transition course for new undergraduate students and its delivery online using a commercial open online course platform. Use of this ‘third space’ platform, and the additional in-house support that accompanied it, were essential in creating a professional-looking course to maximise interest among an entire cohort of undergraduates at the start of their academic careers, while the pre-entry timing aimed to engage students before they became engrossed in subject learning. The course had dual aims: to support students in the development of new academic skills and to build a sense of community and identification with the University before arrival. Videos of current students and academic tutors provided a face-to-face introduction to the university while articles and activities on academic skills were informed by professional learning development experience and expertise. Non-compulsory enrolment attracted 64% of eligible students, 40.2% of which marked 90% or more of the course as completed. The course is now undergoing revision in response to student feedback for next year’s iteration.

Author Biographies

Sonia Hood, University of Reading

Study Adviser

Michelle Reid, University of Reading

Study Adviser




How to Cite

Shahabudin, K., Hood, S. and Reid, M. (2018) “Right time, right space? Developing an online transition course for new undergraduates”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. doi: 10.47408/jldhe.v0i0.469.

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