These days using video is an expectation and the norm for most of our students. They are using video in their everyday life and why should college be any different. We should be trying to engage our students in whatever medium they are used to especially in an introduction.
An welcome video provides a good first impression for your students. Whether this is your first foray into videos or a tiktok star, you can add an engaging introductory video to welcome your students. A short video is an easy way to make a connection with your students.
Your introductory video can humanize the online experience for all students, but especially for the more hesitant and new users. You can help students realize that their instructor is a real person that has enthusiasm for the subject matter. When you establish a social presence with videos, you build rapport with students and foster a sense of community.
Instructor videos can replicate the face-to-face interactions in the traditional classroom. You can ignite excitement about your course and explain how relevant the content is to them. You can give students a taste of your personality and dispel fears about the online learning environment, whether you are delivering fully online or using a hybrid model.
What should I include in an intro video?
Don't overload students with too much information. Short and concise is best. Try to make your videos no longer than three or four minutes. When is the last time you watched an instructional video that was longer than five minutes that held your attention? If you have more to say, record more videos.
Short and engaging. Remember, you want to motivate your students and not overload them with too much information. Don't discuss specifics or add dates.
Show your personality. You might want to include a section with photos or clips of your life. What do you do in your free time?
Follow the rules. Include your expectations for behaviour and participation, you could mention the etiquette video (but don’t go through the guidelines) – and that the video is included in the Developing confidence to learn online course and the student intranet.
Add notables. Include special instructions or requirements, such as virtual class meetings, or where they will find the Developing confidence online course (Link within every Moodle course). You could mention that you will be using Moodle for uploading assessments and course materials etc and teams for communication and synchronous activities.
When are you available? List your availability and communication expectations. Let students know your expected response time for emails and posts, and when results will be available after the due date.
Include your virtual office hours. Let them know that questions and concerns are welcomed.
Help is available. Direct students to available tech support to show that you want everyone to be successful. Again some of this info is included in the Developing confidence to learning online course however it is not a bad idea to reiterate this information in your video also.
Start here. Show students exactly how to get started in your course, you could share your screen in your video showing your Moodle course to give them a quick overview of how to use it. (you could switch your role to student if you have hidden items in your course while doing this).
Example of a good welcome video
What doesn't belong in an intro video?
Some information isn't necessary in a welcome video. These specific details could be added into a page on Moodle:
Course timetable – online or offline.
Your contact information.
Plagiarism and netiquette guidelines.
Specific assignment list and important due dates.
Example of a warm and personal introduction video
Tips for success
With a little effort and planning, you can produce a high-quality video. You might feel more comfortable reading a script or referring to it as needed. Remember to make multimedia in your course accessible and to add captions.
Create a script or detailed outline to help keep your video brief.
Sit close to the camera (but not too close – no-one wants to see up your nose) - this helps students read your nonverbal cues and facial expressions.
Make eye contact with your audience by looking into the camera or webcam. Don't concentrate on the script or watch yourself in the computer.
Check microphone settings.
Use a plain, light background and wear dark, contrasting clothing with little pattern.
Add a light in front of you instead of behind you. Your face and background will be crisp and clear. However, if you can use lighting from multiple points in the room, you will look even better.
Find a quiet place to record where you and your audience won't be distracted.
Schedule time to practice and film multiple times.
Speak as you do in class-engaged, with enthusiasm for the subject.
Add visual aids whenever possible.
So jump in and create a welcome video for you course!