Brown DLD Faculty Guides

Course Introduction Video

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The purpose of a course introduction video (1-2 minutes) is to welcome students to the course and to give them a sense of who you are. The goal is to show them your personality so that despite taking the course remotely, they still feel connected to you, their instructor. 

The course introduction is also a chance to set the scene for the subject you're about to explore. Feel free to share what you're excited about, or what the challenges or takeaways of the course will be. Don’t worry about providing too many details about the logistics of the course. That material can be covered elsewhere in Canvas.

Before you start recording, consider writing a script or a set of prompts. Composing your thoughts in advance can help you focus on your delivery, resulting in a concise and effective video.   

Here are a few techniques that can make your video feel personable:

  1. Anecdote: Include a personal story in your script, perhaps something that shows your connection to the material, or gives students an insight into your personal interest in the field. 
  2. Cold open: Instead of starting your script with a welcome and introduction,  begin in the middle of a thought, idea or story, the relevance of which only becomes apparent as the video progresses. 
  3. Visual references: Include visual references to thematic elements in your course (images, charts, cultural touch points). These can be recorded as a slideshow using Panopto or Zoom. 
  4. Setting: Choose a setting for your video that ties in with the subject matter. When recording in your home or office, consider whether there are pictures on your wall or props on your desk that relate to your course and could increase visual interest.

Note: We recommend not using course titles & codes, module numbers, dates and other specifics in your script that may change from year to year. 

Example videos:

Additional tips:

  • It is helpful to practice reading your scripts aloud a few times before you record. Doing so will also help you rewrite phrases in a ‘speaking voice’ as opposed to a ‘writing voice’. 
  • If you tend to gesture when you talk, that is great! Natural gestures come across well on camera. 
  • Engage the audience by looking towards the camera. Here is a link to a free, web-based teleprompter app that you can use to deliver your script.
  • In terms of your outfit, we recommend that you avoid wearing very bright colors or clothing with tight patterns (the latter can cause moiré on camera).

Embedding your Course Introduction Video:

  1. Record your video using Panopto Personal Recorder (please see the section on “Recording through Panopto”)
  2. Rename as appropriate and upload to your course’s Media Library
  3. Navigate to your course’s welcome page and click “Edit” in the upper right corner.
  4. Move your cursor to the section of the page where you would like your video to appear, and click the green “Media Library” button.
  5. Select your welcome video from the Media Library pop-up, and then click “Insert” in the lower right corner
  6. Save your changes and publish when ready
Screenshot of Media Library icon in Canvas editor
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