A Course Introduction is a powerful and engaging way to introduce students into the course. Instructors can summarize the core course topics and competencies while also building excitement and anticipation for the educational journey they are about to embark on.
Tell a Story
A common pitfall is to reread the course syllabus because it shares a similar introductory function in the course, but the introduction message should also excite and inspire students. A way to do this is to incorporate anecdotes into your message. What stories can you tell that will not only inform students of the course topics and competencies, but also get them excited to dive into the course? Whether the goal is to educate, persuade, or encourage action, telling stories is an effective way to improve student engagement in a course.
Sample Outline and Talking Points
Use this sample outline as a starting point for crafting your message.
- Welcome and Introductory Statement
- Your name
- What are the core course topics?
- What are the core course competencies?
- Why is the subject matter important? If it is a part of an overall program, why is it a part of the curriculum? How does it connect to the bigger program picture?
- How will students be able to apply their knowledge to other courses?
- How will students be able to apply their knowledge in their careers and personal lives?
- How can you connect the course to the real world?
- Encouragement and wishing good luck
- Thanks and goodbye
Make it Evergreen
Course introduction messages should focus on the course. Your message should still work even if another faculty facilitates it. Additionally, your message should focus on the fundamental pillars of the course and not the structural details. Center your message on course topics and competencies, but not things like the grading rubrics, course schedule/calendar, number of quizzes, or assignment specifics. Below are some example statements to avoid keeping your message flexible and stand the test of time.
- Don’t frame yourself as the facilitating instructor
- “I am excited to be your instructor for this course”
- “We will be working together throughout the semester”
- Avoid detailed course scaffolding statements
- “There are 3 exams, 10 quizzes, and 10 assignments”
- “Quizzes are worth 10 points each”
- “Your first assignment is a group assignment”
- “This course spans 14 weeks”
- Avoid statements that date your message
- “This is the first semester that this course is being offered”
- “This fall semester….”
- “As we start off the new year…”
- Avoid referencing specific tools or resources
- “Our main text will be (insert text name)”
- “You’ll use Bongo in the second exercise”
Your message should be succinct. An ideal length is about 2-5 minutes.
You can deliver your course introduction messages in a multitude of formats. Below are the most common. Which you chose is your preference! If you have no preference and development scheduling allows then we recommend recording a video in our studio.
Video (studio recording)
Recorded in our studio in Madison, WI. Faculty write a script and read from a teleprompter.
Faculty record their video on their own. Resources and training are provided if needed!
A slide deck with text, visuals, and audio narration.
Just a voice recording. Similar to a podcast.
Written format added to a page in the course. This is the default format for meet the instructor messages being created when a course is in maintenance.
Published on July 26, 2022 at 9:40:09 am CDT. Last modified on October 20, 2022 at 9:46:45 am CDT.