Computer mediated communication (CMC) provides a way of incorporating participant interaction into online environments. Use of such features as discussion forums and chats enhance collaborative work and learning. For many, however, CMC may be an unfamiliar medium. To ensure a successful CMC event, it is essential to adequately prepare participants for CMC. A proposed four step model prepares participants for CMC. The four steps include conducting a needs and population analysis, providing an orientation before the event and shortly after the event begins, and providing continuing support.