Jill Schiefelbein has been an instructor in the Hugh Downs School of Communication at Arizona State University since 2004

Online learning can be a solitary experience. Students can feel somewhat disconnected when they take an online course and many instructors find it challenging to establish an instructional relationship with their students. Creating an engaging introduction video can solve these concerns.

The sense of community in any course is built by the social presence of the instructor. Whether in an online, blended (hybrid), or face-to face course, it is important for the instructor to share who they are, their passion and excitement about the course content, and any expectations they have for student success. Your video introduction is one of the first things your students will see when they begin your course.

According to a study in Learning Solutions Magazine, “Students report that they feel somewhat disconnected from a course when they take a course online or when web-supported instruction replaces the face-to-face class meetings. The challenge in designing web-supported courses in any discipline is for instructors to establish their “teaching presence” with their students.

A quality introduction will give your online/hybrid course students an opportunity to see and hear first hand the passion you bring to the content area you teach in. Many of the fears and concerns from students that are new to online courses are limited when the instructor is humanized through an introduction video.

But I don’t know the first thing about filmmaking

Some videos need to be created in one of the studio’s available here at ASU but many videos can be created using simple tools such as an iPad app called ExplainEverything and iMovie. This second example video was created using a very easy tool called Animoto.

Karen Carter has been an instructor in the English Department (Writing Programs) since 2011.

Filmmaking Tips

Check out these five tools for creating videos without installing software. Make it brief! For maximum impact, keep introductions videos under five minutes.

Don’t stop at the introduction

Keep your students engaged by creating introduction videos to kick-off modules or lessons. By maintaining a strong social presence and continually demonstrating course relevancy, students will be on the right track for success!