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Best Orientation Experience (revised)

Nothing conveys the all-encompassing feeling of “campus life” better than a great Orientation Experience! Whether it’s for a whole day, a whole week, or a specifically targeted experience, it’s usually the first opportunity for students to meet and get involved with their student life organisations. 

Excellent and successful orientation experiences introduce students to myriad facets of campus life. From support services to programs, clubs and societies, campus venues, local supporting businesses, and more. It’s the first opportunity to formally welcome students and leaves them feeling orientated and connected to campus life. 

The challenges of our current times have meant many orientation experiences have been scaled back, rescheduled, or hosted online. This category awards excellence in the delivery of Orientation Experiences held on campus, or online during 2021, and is an opportunity for SEN members to showcase their flexibility and adaptability despite the challenges being faced. 

Examples can include but are not limited to: on-campus or online campus tours, orientation events, ‘get to know each other’ events, ‘get to know your organisation’ events, clubs and society market fairs, artistic presentations by existing students ie: plays, music, nature walks, student cultural activities and events, etc. 

The Jury will be looking for entries that demonstrate excellence in the following criteria: 

  • Astute recognition of the need for the type of Orientation Experience being offered 
  • Good adaptability to the changing environment 
  • Tangible and measurable goals and objectives  
  • Evidence of strong strategic planning 
  • Creative techniques used to deliver on your desired outcomes  
  • Effective use of resources (teams, funds, assets)  
  • Inclusivity, diversity, and environmental considerations 
  • The quality of Orientation Experience  
  • Student and campus community engagement and experience factors  
  • Evidence of success and positive impacts with measurable results  
  • Innovation, leadership, and recognition* (applies to ‘Best of the Year’ submissions only).

Award Submission Criteria

Submissions need to address each of the following criteria:  

  • Name of organisation  
  • Organisation logo 
  • Name and contact details of the person completing the submission 
  • Full-time student load (total student enrolments) 
  • Name of the Orientation Experience, if relevant
  • Number of particpants

This category of the SEN Awards has two levels of recognition – ‘Award of Distinction’ and ‘Best of the Year’.

For your submission to be considered for an ‘Award of Distinction’ you will be required to complete the first 3 sets of criteria PLUS provide supporting evidence.

For your submission to be considered for the ‘Best of the Year’ Award you will be required to complete all of the ‘Award of Distinction’ requirements, PLUS the additional Innovation and Leadership criteria.

Tell us the WHY of your Orientation Experience. 

    • What was the reason for the Orientation Experience? 
    • What were you aiming for and why?  
    • What were the goals and objectives you were hoping to achieve? 

Tell us the HOW of your Orientation Experience 

  • What key strategies were identified and used to deliver on the goals and objectives of your Orientation Experience?  
  • What creative techniques and effective use of resources were applied?
  • Was there student input and if so in what capacity? Did you engage with any external partnerships and if so, what was their input? 
  • How did you ensure your Orientation Experience was inclusive, accessible, and responsible? You can reference details such as: diversity, inclusivity, accessibility/WGAC guidelines, use of environmental and sustainable materials/products/collateral, use of social/fair-trade/local suppliers as partners, waste reduction factors for events, environmental packaging, sustainable event guides. etc 


  • What were the outcomes of your Orientation Experience?  
  • Which of your goals and objectives did you achieve?  
  • What were the overall engagement and experience outcomes of your Orientation Experience for students and the campus community? 
  • What were the tangible and measurable positive impacts for your students and your organisation?  How have you determined the success of the Orientation Experience? 
  • Funding overview

This section may be used to support your submission by providing evidence of your claims, it is not a substitute or an additional opportunity for answering the criteria in your submission. 

 The quality of your supporting documents will be measured against the rubric.  

 Relevant examples will include documentation that adds value and validation to your submission which could include links to:  

  • Before and after comparative data (quantitative & qualitative) 
  • Hero photos that capture the success of the Orientation Experience 
  • Orientation Experience website page or feature page 
  • Orientation Experience social media platforms 
  • Orientation Experience video files 
  • Orientation Experience PR or media 
  • Storyboards 
  • Financial documents
  • Feedback forms  
  • Written articles 
  • Evidence of innovation, leadership and formal recognition* (applies to ‘Best of the Year’ submissions only).

You can collate supporting documents into a word doc to minimise the number of your uploads.  

To progress your submission for consideration at the ‘Best of the Year’ level, you will be required to complete the following criteria. 

  • What was innovative about your Orientation Experience?  
  • How does it stand out from other Orientation Experiences you have offered or seen before?  
  • What did you incorporate in your Orientation Experience that has not been offered or done before? 
  • How was it coordinated or promoted in a completely different manner from anything you have created before?  
  • How did this Orientation Experience provide meaningful and significant outcomes on your campus and within the sector?  
  • How has it positively influenced other organisations in the sector?  
  • How is the Orientation Experience replicable and are you offering support for its development at other organisations?  
  • Have you received official recognition for your Orientation Experience within your own organisation, within the sector, or broader industry fields?   

Please ensure that you have uploaded adequate supporting documentation to support your claims including any reference to formal industry and/or organisation recognition. 

Each category has a rubric that will be used as a scoring guide by the Awards Jury Panel against criteria responses in your submission.

Please note:

  • Criteria Responses that are a direct copy and paste from previous criteria fields in the same category submission will be marked as Basic.
  • Submissions that do not provide supporting evidence of the stated claims will be marked as Basic.
  • In the event of multiple applications achieving equal scores, the award decision is at the discretion of the Awards Jury Panel.
  • In order to be eligible to win ‘Best of the Year’, your application will need to achieve a score of at least 13 out of 15.
  • Applications submitting for ‘Best of the Year’ that do not meet the higher score ranking required to win can also be considered for an ‘Award of Distinction’ at the judge’s discretion.

Category-specific rubrics will be available to download on the submission page of each category. 

Click HERE to see an example.