New Hire Orientation


My team and I was tasked with a making a current revamp of the NYU College of Dentistry orientation module for entering staff and faculty, working alongside the NYU Dentistry Office of Professional Development. The goal is to launch this orientation by the Summer of 2019. As DPL students, our design question became: How might we design an orientation module for the entering NYU College of Dentistry staff and faculty that is both engaging and educational on the day-to-day responsibilities and workplace practices?

Project Needs

A revamp of the orientation module is necessary for a few reasons. While analyzing the module itself, the module is outdated and very long. It lacks engagement or personalization to each learner. It provides a passive learning experience, where learners are receiving information from a nasally narrator. There is very limited control over options or any kind of interactions within the module. In addition, there is no assessment, nor is feedback given, so there is no way to analyze if learners are able to retain or transfer any information. It does not utilize multimedia and adult learning principles. Overall, it is out of context, increases cognitive load, and contains links to repetitive content that already exists on the website.

Project details

  • Purpose: A revamp of New Hire Orientation

  • Client: NYU College of Dentistry represented by the Director of Professional Development Erica Reifer

  • Team members: Manal Alyaba, Maria Papacosta, Sarah Azhar, Tiffany Charbonier

  • Category: Learning Design, eLearning, Case Study, Design Proposal

  • Created: Spring 2019

  • Launch the Design Document

Research and Analysis

The methods we embraced during our research and analysis stage included: Post-module surveys, interviews, tours, secondary research for existing products, analogous feedback & inspiration.

Design Process

The team has implemented the designs using Learning Experience Design. LXD is the method of creating learning experiences that focuses on understanding learners’ needs, challenges and motivations to achieve the desired outcome. Learning Experience Design combines instructional design, learning theories, and human-centered methodology to provide the learner with actual experiences that they can relate to.

The Main Goal

The projects’ main goal is to learners will be able to demonstrate NYU’s College of Dentistry culture and standards. After the meetings with our stakeholder, we realized how significant it is for new employees to be able to adjust into their new working environment, and show that they understand the ethics, the expectations, the goals, the rules, and the regulations.

Learning Objectives

In order to achieve our main goal, we needed to come up with smaller desirable results. The objectives describe what the learners need to know and be able to do after the completion of instruction.

Learners will identify resources to assist them in their daily work activities

After taking the orientation module, the new employees of the NYU Dentistry School should be able to acknowledge the staff versus the faculty HR resources, as we observed from the survey. They should be able to identify the buddy system and distinguish the titles of dentists; for instance, they should know the difference between endodontic and periodontics. We concluded this objective after the meetings with our stakeholder and the interview with the HR Generalist, Heather Derriman, who worked also on the original module.

Learners will utilize NYU Dentistry customer service standards

New employees must comply with their job’s rules and responsibilities, which includes customer service. They should know about the mission of the Humanitarian Council, which celebrates diversity and enhances a positive and engaged community and connections. They should also understand the role it plays in NYU Dentistry standards. The Humanitarian Council is a new organization started by the Dean to create monthly meetings where staff and faculty can voice their concerns and address office conflicts. They send out meeting invites to everyone and staff and faculty should be aware that if they have issues in customer service instances, they can reach out to this group.

Staff also needs to learn the Patient Bill of Rights and how to act in the interest of the patients. Staff needs to be able to understand how to problem solve and manage customer complaints, as in any customer facing job. Similarly, staff and faculty need to know the official professional conduct practices that NYU Dentistry outlines in their Employee handbooks.

During our tour with the senior HR Assistant Wendy Huang, at the NYU College of Dentistry, we realized how important it is for employees to follow the school rules and the Humanitarian Council terms. One aspect that made us chose this objective was our tour specifically, where at one point, an employee mentioned that one very important rule is for all employees to have done the flu shot, otherwise they have to wear masks.

Learners will be able to practice the work culture at NYU Dentistry

One important element for this workspace’s culture is the dress code. Staff and faculty must follow the dress code. Culture also includes the historical evolution of NYU College of Dentistry and it was something that the previous module presented a lot too. So, for that reason, we included this in the same objective, that new employees after taking the orientation module must be able to recall the history of NYU Dentistry.

Learners will be able to identify administrative leaders of NYU Dentistry

This was an important objective for our stakeholder. Moving on into the design phases, we have to think of a way to design a solution that considers the constant change of the administrative leaders in the organization.

Learners will be able to identify the workspaces of NYU Dentistry

During our tour at the NYU Dentistry with Wendy Huang, we saw many new clinics that we should add them to the new module. Also, through our meeting with our stakeholder, she mentioned many times the lack of all new information and the importance of new employees to know for example the administrative leaders of NYU College of Dentistry. So, as a team, we think that it is very important for the staff to know the locations of all clinics, especially the brand new clinic for people with disabilities. At the end of the module, learners should be able to identify what type of work should be conducted in each of these spaces.