Introductory videos for subject sites
— to connect and establish your presence with students
Ideally, we want our students to attend that first face-to-face lecture, but when that doesn't happen we can still capture their attention by adding an introductory video to the beginning of our LearnJCU subject sites.
What to include in an introductory video
Keep it short and engaging ...and give it your personality
Try to make your videos no longer than 3 or 4 minutes. You don't want to overload the student with too much information.
Remember the first principle of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is engagement. Stimulate interest and motivation for learning by promoting expectations and beliefs that optimise this.
What belongs in an intro video:
- YOU! Show your personality, enthusiasm and give them a presence to connect to
- Keep it short and engaging
- Include your expectations for behaviour and participation
- Welcome any questions or concerns
- Refer students to the Subject Outline to:
- Advise when you are available and how you can be reached
- Direct them to where they can find help with technology or study support
- Advise how to get started in your course
- Note: if you omit any reference to dates you can reuse.
What doesn't belong in an intro video (you can point students to the Subject Outline for these):
- Specific course times and meeting places
- All the details of your contact information
- University rules
- Plagiarism and netiquette guidelines
- Grading policies
- Specific assignment list and important due dates.
Good examples of introductory scripts and videos
Filmed in a green-screen room with the background edited in after the recording, the speaker has prepared a script and relays the information carefully and thoughtfully.
Filmed in front of a backdrop, the speaker is at more of a distance from the camera which gives him plenty of room for body and hand gestures. It's an introduction for a public speaking course and you can understand his expertise in this area.
Filmed by a webcam, the speaker makes himself relatable to his students and commands attention at the very beginning of the video.
Filmed outside and at close range, you engage with the speaker's eye contact and you get a sense that he is having a conversation with you.
Tips to creating quality intro videos
- Write a script or outline to keep your video brief and on-track
Get all your ideas down on the notepad and then discard any unnecessary parts. Be careful to keep it high-level; don’t go into too much detail here. You can also break it up into sub-headings and re-arrange the content until you think it is right.
- Ideas on how you might break-up your video
- Humanise and connect - Introduce yourself and/or the subject
- Motivate - Highlight the purpose of the subject, the learning objectives, what will be gained from the subject, and how it can be put into real-life context
- A quick note about the subject design
- Teaching team and availability
- End with a thank you note and looking forward to future connections
- Go through a practice recording
Get a feel for it. Set-up a rough recording and review. Drop or add parts that you think necessary.
Check you have good audio
- Get ready to record it! Ways you can record
- You can record using your smartphone on a small tripod. Find out some tips by the BBC on how to record on your mobile phone. Once you have recorded you can upload it to LearnJCU or Mediasite.
- Record via your webcam or Mediasite Desktop Recorder (MDR)
- Your college may have a green-screen room you can record in
- Coming soon in Cairns and Townsville, we have a new Create Studio (with recording equipment) that you will have access
- Ensure you have good audio
- Finally, review the video and publish.
Studios and video editing software
- Create Studio - self-service recording studio
- Green Screen recording studios using Camtasia Studio [Vendor]
- Adobe Premiere for advanced users [Vendor]
- Windows Movie Maker [Vendor]
- Mediasite Desktop Recorder (MDR) - Capture your desktop, webcam and audio. [JCU Supported]
- BBC Academy created this video for journalism students, it is very informative about how to create a short video on your mobile phone.
- Mediasite guides - Lecture capture and media management, create, edit, manage and publish your media.
- Blackboard Help - Best Practice: Create a Course Introduction Video.
- Article - Use a lapel mic with your smartphone.
- Recommended Rode mic for recording at your desktop.
- Navitas - Sample videos made by teachers for their students.