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Dear [First Name]

Greetings from the OERu. You have recently requested that we send you a few orientation emails to help you get started and prepare for online study with us.

Our technology philosophy at the OERu is both unique and innovative. We believe that 21st century learners will be better prepared for digital futures by learning how to learn on the Internet rather than learning via a single, closed website.

Three emails to help you get started

We have prepared three orientation emails to help you get started:
  1. In today’s email, we provide an overview of our OERu component-based learning platform and how to navigate an OERu course site. 
  2. Tomorrow, we will send you information on recommended website accounts to create to maximise your learning experience.
  3. The following day, we will show you how to join the OERu’s own social network on mastodon.oeru.org and introduce you to a powerful tool to annotate any web page on the Internet so that you and others can see those annotations, and to share your ideas with the OERu learning community.
If you are new to learning on the Internet, you have made a good choice in requesting these orientation emails. With a little patience and willingness to experiment, you will develop the skills and confidence to become a competent and autonomous learner in the digital age.

The OERu learning technology environment

At the OERu, “open” means that learners should be able to access all the course learning materials without the need to register or set a password.  (This is in contrast to many websites that require users to register an account before they can even see the content.) At OERu, learners can view all our content and community contributions without the need to register an account. There are, however, good reasons for you to register:  you will need to create an account before posting contributions to any of our hosted websites (we do not think anonymous commenting fosters community, and this also helps minimise spam postings). By registering, you can also gain better control of your engagement with the OERu and we’ll provide various ways for you to customise your interactions with us.

The OERu learning environment is comprised of three main components:
  1. An open course website hosted on course.oeru.org which contains all the learning materials  - for example https://course.oeru.org/lida103 
  2. A collection of “best of breed” open source interaction technologies where learners can post comments and interact with each other. These technologies are listed in the OERu technology wheel below.
  3. A summary course feed which collects relevant posts and contributions from these distributed interaction technologies in a central place on each course website - see for example the LiDA103 course feed.

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OERu technology wheel
For more information on the OERu technology wheel, consult the course feed page on the support site.

In the next two orientation emails, you will have the opportunity to create user accounts on these interaction systems before the course starts. Initially this may seem confusing to new users, but don't worry this will begin to make sense as you progress, one step at a time. Thousands of OERu learners have mastered these technologies and now use the Internet as a learning platform.

Navigating an OERu course site

Your course site for LiDA103 is located at: https://course.oeru.org/lida103/ (bookmark this page in your browser).

We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the layout of the OERu course site. For more information, visit the OERu support site which includes useful screencast videos which will show you how to:
  1. Navigate the main course menu
  2. Navigate through a learning pathway
  3. Navigate using a smart phone

Recommended course for new OERu participants

If you are new to the OERu, we recommend that you consult Digital literacies for online learning (LiDA101) course resources. This introductory micro-course is designed to build skills and capability in a range of digital learning technologies. You can use these materials for self-study or feel free to join the course and complete the assessment for formal academic credit towards OERu qualifications.

Thanks for your interest in the OERu. Tomorrow we will focus on creating a few of the recommended web site accounts you will need for your studies.

With kind regards,
The OERu team

Global Sharing, Affordable Learning

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