This course will become read-only in the near future. Tell us at if that is a problem.

Getting Started Orientation (Sept. 20-27) - BEGIN HERE [Sept. 18, 2011, 8:10 p.m.]

  Getting Started / Orientation

Welcome to Student Engagement on P2PU!  Before jumping into the course content, please take a few minutes to review the information on this page which will help get you off to a great start.

New to Online Learning?

If you are new to online learning, take a moment to read over these helpful links:

Tips for Online Success, Illinois Online Network
This is a list of ten important tips to ensure your success when taking an online course. 

Self-Evaluation for Potential Online Students, Illinois Online Network
This short, twelve-question tutorial helps you determine how ready you are for an online course.


New to P2PU?

Reading over the following information will help you get acquainted with P2PU and this course.

  About P2PU

The Peer 2 Peer University is a grassroots open education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls and gives learners recognition for their achievements. P2PU creates a model for lifelong learning alongside traditional formal higher education. Leveraging the internet and educational materials openly available online, P2PU enables high-quality low-cost education opportunities. P2PU - learning for everyone, by everyone about almost anything!

The following values and principles are the foundation of P2PU: openness, community, peer learning. We are articulating these values in order to guide our actions, but P2P has always been about doing, and our actions will in turn help us probe and refine these values.

P2PU is open: Open sharing and collaboration enable participation, innovation, and accountability. Our community is open so that everyone can participate. Our content is open so that everyone can use it. Our model and technology are open to enable experimentation and ongoing improvement. And our processes are open so that we are accountable to our community.

P2PU is a community: P2PU is a community-centric project and our governance model reflects that. P2PU is driven by volunteers, who are involved in all aspects of the project. As members of this community, we speak and act with civility, tolerance, and respect for other opinions, people, and perspectives. We strive for quality as a community driven process of review, feedback and revision.

P2PU is passionate about peer learning: P2PU is teaching and learning by peers for peers. Everyone has something to contribute and everyone has something to learn. We are all teachers and we are all learners. We take responsibility for our own and each others learning.

[This information was adapted from "About P2PU" and from Valerie Weagle at P2PU Differentiating Instruction.]

  Navigating the Course

P2PU courses are organized via a list of "Tasks."  On the homepage of a course, you will see all of the Tasks for a course when you scroll down on the left.  You will also see the first Tasks on the list in the center of the page, and can click to view all of the tasks there as well.  Within these tasks is where the bulk of the learning will take place in this course.

The Tasks for this course have been divided into weeks and some of the weeks have sub tasks named "Week 1A, Week 1B, etc. This enables us to use the comment feature beneath each task to have discussions.  Each week's "tasks" will include the following:

  • Readings--brief articles/blogs designed to give you some background information and ideas on the topic of the week.

  • Activities--short web-based activities designed to further engage you with the week's subject matter (these may include watching videos, exploring resources, adding your thinking to a graphic organizer, etc.)

  • Discussions--each week a question or questions are posed to the group for consideration and course participants are expected to actively engage in conversation around the given topic. Discussions will take place by using the comments and reply feature available within each task.  

  • Try It Out--some weeks will include a try-it out assignment where you are to try out some aspect of our learning in your instructional environment and then return to share and discuss your experience with the rest of the group. 


For a video introduction to navigating P2PU, please click on the video below:


Resources we will use that are NOT on P2PU

You Tube Videos- Throughout the course there will be YouTube videos embedded into activities.  You can also embed Youtube videos into the comments section if you wish to share something related (or you want to tape yourself and put it into the discussion (rather than typing). If you wish to embed a video use the following button in the comments editing toolbar:

Blogging- I highly recommend participants journal or blog as they work on this course. Journals or blogs allow you to more fully examine your ideas and record as they change. If you do choose to blog, don't forget to share the link to your blog with us! I will be doing some blogging as I expect my interaction with each of you will change and evolve my understandings about engagement.  You may follow my blog here: Bonita's Blog.

I recommend the following prompts to guide and inspire your journals and blogs:

  • What do I know about student engagement and/or engagement with learning?
  • How have my ideas about engagement changed, evolved, been challenged?


  Updating Your Profile

Not surprisingly, one of the main goals of P2PU and of this course is fostering peer-to-peer collaboration.  As such, it is important for you to engage directly with the P2PU community and one way in which to do that is update your profile to include a picture and relevent information about you.  This can be purely professional or include personal hobbies and goals.  The level at which you share is entirely up to you.

To update your profile complete the following steps:

  • On the top right of the screen, open the dropdown menu under the "My P2PU" tab and choose "Edit Profile"
  • Click on the descriptors on the left to update various parts of your profile.  You need not fill out everything, but should minimally include an image (either of you or something you want to represent you), your location, and something in the "About Me" section.


To watch a video of this being done, click on the video link below:


  Making Goals for Yourself

You are here because you have expressed an interest in this content and in learning with and from your peers.  While the course itself has structure and expectations, there is also a lot of flexibility built-in to make this a personalized learning experience.  You will get out of this course only as much as you put into it so take some time now to consider the following:

  • What are my goals for participating in this course?
  • How will I hold myself accountable to these goals?
  • What do I need to make this learning experience a success for me?


  While there will be no formal grades assigned in this course, learning communities work best when everyone contributes to the community so by signing up for this course you are commiting to taking an active role in this learning community.


Your First Assignments!

1.  Please familiarize yourself with the information on this page and on the Syllabus.

2.  Please introduce yourself by using the comments feature in this task area. Tell us about your educational background and your educational environment and what brought you to this course. Please respond to the introductions of others so that we can begin to build learning relationships. We will not have much time in this course to directly examine the correlation between relationships and engagement (vast subject), but there is no doubt there is a correlation.  Strive to make learning relationships here and you will find more success in the course.

3. Please read over the agreements page in Orientation 2 so that we all can arrive at a set of norms that will keep our community actively learning and positive.

4.  Get started with our course by completing the short activity on task Orientation 2- The Need to Agree page and then move on to Week 1 Tasks!

Icons by Axialis Team