LDL Onboarding Series

We have an onboarding series for new LDL program students and LDL course participants. This includes a combination of self-directed items and some short live virtual sessions.

New LDL Program Students

In addition to the New LDL Course Participant learning module referred to below, if you are new to the LDL program, see our New LDL Student Onboarding Presentation for all new LDL students and join an upcoming LDL New Student Onboarding session (see our Happening Now page for dates and times). In that session we go over degree planning, University resources, and more.

The program onboarding is not a substitute for the course onboarding.

New University of Illinois Graduate Students

The Graduate College has recently developed an onboarding space for all graduate students. Please note that this may mention things relevant to being on-campus, but much of it is also relevant to online students.

Access the Grad Map space on Canvas

College of Education Onboarding and Welcome Events

Typically held once before the Fall and once before the Spring semesters, the College of Education will host a virtual session with College leaders and faculty as well as program leaders. If you are a newly-admitted student, check your University of Illinois email for registration details or our Happening Now page.

You may also watch the recording of our most recent College of Education events

New LDL Course Participants: Overview and Live Session

The program onboarding is not a substitute for the course onboarding.


Our New LDL Course Participant Onboarding involves a hybrid, flipped classroom approach. We ask that you complete the learning module before the first day of class and before the live session/Office Hours, so that you can come prepared to ask the questions that matter most to you. We also invite you to check out our FAQ pages and ask questions directly in the New Course Participant Community.

Live Session

We hold a live Onboarding session the first day of each term during the standard Office Hours. Visit the Happening Now page for a current list of upcoming events and Zoom details. Complete the learning module elements/watch the videos prior to the live session.

New LDL Course Participants: Videos

The following links will take you directly to each update in our Onboarding learning module. Start by viewing our Welcome to an LDL Course – for new LDL course participants update, then complete the remaining updates, as outlined below.

New LDL Course Participant Onboarding Videos

View several short videos to acclimate yourself to our process and the CGScholar platform.

High Level


Major Assignments

Scholarly Sources and Academic Writing

Peer Reviews

See also these two videos on YouTube

CGMap Peer Reviews

CGMap Feedback on Feedback

Exam-Dissertation Sequence (Doctoral Students who are close to finishing their regular coursework) and Early Research Project (PhD Only)
  • The Early Research Project (ERP) (for PhD students only) generally begins after your first or second year and after you have taken at least two methods courses.
  • The Exam-Dissertation Sequence begins after doctoral students have completed their 10 (EdD) or 12 (PhD) regular courses.

The ERP follows the same guidelines as the EDS, just at a much smaller scale, so onboarding sessions are combined.

Exam-Dissertation Sequence (EDS)Learn how to navigate the EDS, including the processes and expectations of this six-course sequenceAt least one full semester prior to starting your ERP (PhD students) or the EDS (The EDS begins after you complete your regular 10 courses)
Literature Review GenrePrepare to apply the principles and expectations of the literature review genreBefore you begin your ERP (PhD students) or the EDS
General FieldDetermine your general field topic and a plan for completing your general field course and examination. The same concepts apply to the Special field, so there is not an additional session.Before you begin the General Field
Theory and MethodologyDiscuss theoretical foundations, logic models, methodology design, and implementation principlesBefore you begin your ERP (PhD students) or EPOL 588