Creating Course/Unit Introduction Videos

Creating course/unit introduction videos to guide student learning

Instructional Challenge

In the article Assessing Teaching Presence in a Computer Conferencing Context, Anderson, et al. defines the role of instructors as consisting of three types:

  • designer of the educational experience, including planning and administering instruction as well as evaluating and certifying competence
  • facilitator and co-creator of a social environment conducive to active and successful learning; and
  • subject matter expert who knows a great deal more than most learners and is thus in a position to scaffold learning experiences by providing direct instruction.

As you find yourself teaching, there are methods and techniques you can use to build the online presence you need to facilitate that social environment that encourages student learning. This document focuses on creating course/unit introduction videos to build on comments or questions during synchronous meetings.


Elements of Course/Unit Videos

A course introduction video is usually more formal and planned than something like an instructor feedback video. It is probably more planned and structured to make sure the content is well-organized and covers all the points you wish to address. A unit introduction video may be slightly less formal or scripted but still should be given thought and planning. Both types of videos, however, should provide students with information about the content being covered, the work they are being asked to do, and the order and ways in which they should complete that work successfully. These videos can greatly increase students' perception of the role you play in facilitating learning.

Example: Course Introduction Video

This is an example of a formal course introduction video. It is a multi-source video that combines both Microsoft PowerPoint slides and video of the instructor. It was created using Camtasia. 

Example: Unit Introduction Video

This is an example of a more informal unit introduction video. It was created using the Kaltura WebCam Recording tool and was recorded in one take. The content was loosely prepared but it was not scripted.

Tools You Can Use

There are several quick and easy tools you can use to create an instructor response video. Depending on your skills and formality of the video, consider the following tools:

Less Formal

  • Kaltura Record WebCam Recording
  • Zoom

Formal videos

  • PowerPoint (Narrated Presentation)
  • Camtasia (Multi-source Video)


Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R., Archer, W. (2001). Assessing Teaching Presence in a Computer Conference Environment. Journal of asynchronous learning networks, 5(2), 1-17.