Welcome Students! How Creating an Open Invitation to Learning Reduces Student Anxiety and Builds a First Connection

On Demand
Session Type: Breakout Session
Delivery Format: On-Demand

Students, especially first-year students, are confused and anxious about starting a new course (or new school). In this new world of education that we now find ourselves in due to COVID-19, our students are more nervous than ever about starting a new school year. Adding the requirement to learn online/remote when many students may not have chosen to or are not ready to do so adds to the apprehension. Now more than ever, it is important to provide an environment of caring and empathy toward our students. Michelle Pacansky-Brock says, “Humanizing is a student-centered mindset that involves recognizing and supporting the non-cognitive components of learning.” This session will show how three college faculty members utilized the work of Pacansky-Brock and adapted the “Liquid Syllabus” by implementing their own “Welcome Package” in their fall 2020 courses to help reduce student anxiety about starting remote learning and to promote student success. We will share what a Liquid Syllabus is and how it supports student success. The three examples that were used for fall 2020 will be shown, challenges and workarounds discussed. and the feedback from the students and other educators will be shared. A sample Welcome Package was created for this session, and participants will get the chance to explore and interact with the content. In addition, participants will be provided with resources and starter kit (virtual gift bag) as a takeaway. 


  • Kimberlee Carter

    Professor, Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
  • Lisa Koster

    Online Professor, Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
  • Marie Rutherford

    Professor, Georgian College