The one feature of my online classroom that students always say they appreciate is the video introductions. (I teach completely online courses at a community college that offers face-to-face, hybrid, and online versions of courses I teach. My students typically are taking most of their courses in each of those three modalities.)
There are three types of videos I prepare:
- Course overview videos are about 3-5 minutes long and I introduce myself, confirm the textbook is OER and talk about how they can access it, and review the syllabus.
- LMS tours are usually a little longer than the course overview. I log on to the LMS, get myself into student view (so my screen looks exactly like theirs will) and show them where they will land, how they find their materials, and even demonstrate how to upload an assignment.
I used to do attempt to do each of these in a single video, but they tended to be over 10 minutes long, and I don’t script these, so they editing to get rid of the stutters and stammers was becoming a burden.
- Video introductions were added the last time I taught, and I intend to keep them. Students joined a virtual meeting and could introduce themselves (in video, audio, or chat) and I had a few prompts (What in the course are you looking forward to? What will be completely new? What do you have some experience with?)
Students appreciated all three of these (at least if I can believe their feedback).