Considerations for recording (or re-recording) introductory course videos

It’s true: first impressions matter. When online students log in at the start of a session, the Course Welcome and Instructor Introduction are often their very first clicks. So how should you develop these videos to give students the best first impression of you and the learning journey they are about to embark on?

Introductory videos offer a glimpse into what students can expect, what they should plan for and how your expertise fits the course material. They provide an impression of quality, competency, and professionalism. 

Aim to structure these videos around impact: what do students need to know to be interested, engaged and successful in your course?

If you’ve already recorded your Course Welcome or Instructor Biography, you may consider re-recording if:

  • Your current videos are missing key elements from the prompts below
  • Your current videos exceed the recommended 5-ish minute limit 
  • You are more comfortable recording videos than you used to be (and viewers can tell)
  • Course or personal specifics have changed
  • You have a better perspective on the course and how you’d like to communicate its focus or assignments 
  • You previously recorded your videos using Zoom and now have the time/ability to get into the EdPlus Studios to create more polished videos
  • Your first attempt just didn’t convey the image/message you intended

The Course Welcome, Instructor Introduction, and Course Navigation are three opportunities for recording or rerecording course videos. To help you get started, below are some prompts and key considerations.

Course Welcome

Use the Course Welcome as an opportunity to build excitement and interest about the course, its projects, and the knowledge students will come away with.


  • This course is included in the program because…
  • This course will teach you…
  • The major assignments/projects are designed to…
  • Students will apply this material… (include examples of life, career, future coursework, be specific where possible)
  • You will walk away with…


  • Treating this as a mini commercial for the course, increasing students’ interest in the topic
  • A second video that includes a Course Navigation walk-through
  • Displaying your personal enthusiasm on the topics


  • Assignment specifics that might change and cause confusion, or require you to re-record each session
  • Due dates or references to assignments, topics or content that may not apply to future courses

Please view these excellent examples in Ambassador Charles Ray’s welcome video for IAL598: The African Continent, or Dr. Joni Adamson’s ENG598: Studies in Environmental Humanities.

Instructor Introduction

The Instructor Introduction video should be a personal biography that highlights relevant course experience and helps students feel more connected to you as a topic expert. It is an opportunity to convey your personal connection to the topic and your investment in students’ success.


  • I am excited to teach this course because…
  • I am passionate about this topic because…
  • My personal experience with the topic is…
  • My philosophies on teaching are…
  • I look forward to engaging with my students by…
  • A little about myself (personal interests or fun facts that draw connections with students)


  • Smiling!
  • Including professional offices or affiliations that allow students to connect to these organizations for internships or other academic opportunities
  • Filming in a location or environment that is personal to you (your own office, favorite cafe or use an appropriate virtual background)


  • Simply providing a resume, CV or timeline of your career
  • Specifics that might change during the course or near future
  • Using acronyms, positions or other terms that students may not be familiar with

A high-quality example of an Instructor Biography is in Racheal Kaye’s GPH212: Introduction to Meteorology.

Course Navigation (Course Tour)

If your course includes unique pacing, structure, features or technologies, an additional video outlining these elements in a “walk-through” will be key to students’ understanding and success.


  • I’d like to give you an overview about…
  • The basic requirements for the course are found…
  • Let’s go over the course’s organization, including…
  • Please pay particular attention to…
  • You can find my contact information/textbooks/due dates…


  • Sharing the Canvas screen to show students how and where they will find this information
  • Highlighting any “first day of class” information that students should know from day one
  • Detailing necessary specifics or requirements in the syllabus


  • Overly detailing or repeating assignment instructions. Cover the high points and then direct students to where they can find specifics and ask questions in case details change
  • Specifying due dates that might change in this or future sessions
  • Taking too long to relay these details. Aim for students to watch the video in its entirety in 5-8 minutes.

Rachael Kaye’s GPH212: Intro to Meteorology also includes an excellent example of a course navigation video.

Our award-winning Instructional Design and New Media team is available to help create engaging introductory videos. Please visit the IDNM studio web page for more excellent examples and support information, or schedule your studio session now to record (or re-record) your course introductory videos.

Christine Moore is an Instructional Designer with EdPlus, focusing on Creative Assessment, ASU-wide English programs, and the International Affairs and Leadership Masters program.