Course and Personal Introductions

Course and Personal Introductions

Think about what you would say on the first day of a face-to-face class. What do you want your students to know about you as you begin your learning journey together? A personal introduction video is vital to creating a connection with your online/remote students.

Think of a course introduction video as the movie trailer for your course. It's a great way to make that first visual impression with your students. And like any first impression, you’ll want yourself and the course to look good and grab their attention. 

Informational vs. inspirational. There are some obvious points to include in your intro videos: who you are, what the course is about, and how the course is structured. Simply laying these points out and wishing the students good luck is the first right answer. It gets the job done, but it probably won’t inspire them to dive into your content. The delivery of your information needs to be balanced with inspiration.

Be a storyteller. Relate your content to the real world. If you’re teaching a statistics course, show how statistics is integral to weather forecasting, lottery odds, traffic planning, etc. If you’re teaching a law course, hit them with a fascinating case. There’s no standard to how you work real-world examples into your video. They can be the opening dialogue, or they can encompass the entire video.

Make it personal. Why have you chosen your field of study? Revealing this to your students goes a long way. Think back to those first sparks that went off when you decided your field was what you wanted to explore. Your passion and interest are contagious.

Make it visual. It’s important to make your videos visually dynamic. Show your story—don’t just tell it. This can be in the form of accompanying pictures, graphics, slides, and other videos. It can also be in the form of shooting at a specific location or incorporating props or costumes. 

Be creative. Eliminate the obvious obstacles to open yourself to better ideas. Take time and money off the table and ask yourself, “What’s the coolest thing I can do that will really hook them?” You can always adjust and scale back from these initial ideas, but allowing yourself to freely brainstorm will make your videos better. Get your creative juices flowing by looking for inspiration in TV shows, YouTube videos, TED talks, podcasts, and the world around you! 

To learn more about the importance of introduction videos, check out this Campus Tech article.