Introduce Yourself with a Short Video

I admit it. As an instructional designer, I’m a fan of online education. I’ve been teaching online and developing courses for the online environment since the early 2000s. Also, I’ve earned two professional certifications online.

That said, students face unique challenges in online courses. Online courses often require great self-discipline and serious time commitment. Also, online students may find themselves feeling isolated in their studies, disconnected from their instructor and classmates.

Fortunately, we have great tools to help our students avoid feeling isolated and instead help them feel like connected members of a valuable online learning community. Video is one of these tools, especially video created by the instructor.

So, without further ado, please take 5 minutes to watch the following short videos. In the first video, the Vol State Not Ready for Prime Time Players will let you know two ways you can produce a welcome video to help your online students feel connected. Plot spoiler: you can make a video with full staff support or fly solo.

The following welcome videos are used by VSCC faculty in current eLearn classes. Dr. Rebecca Bene shares the welcome video she produced at home on her own during our professional development workshop, “Producing an Effective Instructor Intro Video.” Dr. Phil Clifford shares a welcome video he cut without a script in the VSCC TV studio in about 10 minutes with full staff support. Both approaches work: they help students get to know their online professors.

Dr. Bene’s intro:

Dr. Phil’s intro–

Please contact either Media Services (email: or Distributed Education (email: to discuss your welcome video. Your students will be glad you did.

Special thanks to Blake Bridges, Sheri Waltz, Rebecca Bene, Phil Clifford, and Star Boe!

Bryan Saums is one of your friendly neighborhood instructional designers in the office of Distributed Education. He is passionate about using technology to increase student-student interaction in order to improve student outcomes.

Head shot of Bryan Saums.