Tips for Creating a Course Introduction Video for Canvas

We have all heard about the importance of first impressions.  Well, that is most important, when it comes to teaching an online class.  To make the most of a first impression, create an introduction video to show who you are and why you are excited to teach the class. Better yet, a video displays you, as a human, not just a “person behind the curtain”. It doesn’t need to be a big production; most modern computers have webcams and microphones built-in.   Also, our department helps if you want to make it a big production.   To make an excellent first impression, consider the following:

  • Who are you.
  • Background, why you are an expert.
  • What you expectations of the class are.
  • Something fun about you.
  • Welcome them to the class.

The first thing the student sees is your face, which will help them make a connection! Start with introducing yourself.  Your name is a great place to start.  Next, give a description about your background.  How long have you been teaching? Where did you go to school? Where have you worked in the past that is relevant to the field you are teaching in?

Once they know who you are, lay down some essential groundwork for what your expectations are for the class.  Nothing major is needed; just an overarching idea of the course and how it relates to their studies.  For example, I had one teacher use her Introduction video as a step to help students by clarifying the second-week assignment.  The instructor showed examples of what past students had missed on the assignment and clarified her expectations in the first assignment. 

Share something personal, such as a hobby, or home/family life.  This step isn’t needed, but it is something to help your students get to know you a little bit.

The final step is to welcome them to the class with a closing statement.

Things to think about when you are making an introduction video.  Keep it short! Anything over two minutes in video format, and you are start losing a lot of people’s attention.  Audio quality is more important than video quality. People will watch a grainy video rather than a video that is inaudible.   Have fun! 

Photo taken by CoWomen, found via Unsplash