Texas Tech University

Welcome Message and Video

Welcome Message

Including a Welcome Message in your online course can be an important way to establish rapport with your students at a distance. One of the common complaints from online students is the feeling of isolation.

A short Welcome Message may include the following:

  • A welcome letter with your picture
  • PowerPoint Presentation with audio, perhaps using Adobe Presenter
  • Audio only

An even better way to establish your instructor presence would be the inclusion of a Welcome Video. 

Welcome Video

The following are items to consider and not a complete list of what all should be included in a Welcome Video.

  • Keep it short -- 2-3 minutes at the most.
  • Write your script and rehearse it.
  • Include some or all of the following content:
    • Greeting
    • Your name
    • Your title and department
    • A brief statement about your academic background
    • Brief personal background including why you love teaching at TTU and why you think they will love being a TTU student.
    • The purpose of the course, as established by the Division of Undergraduate Education.
    • Ways for the student to contact the you.
    • Instructions for what students should do next. For example, "Your next step is to complete the 'Getting Started' module. You will find it below on this course home page.”
  • For a cue card alternative, print your script from your computer on regular printing paper. Use landscape layout and a 0.5” margin on all sides, to allow more text per page. A large font big enough to read from 4-5 feet away (34-48 pt. font) will be key.
  • Consider bringing someone to your recording session to hold the pages near the camera lens.
  • Consider what will show in the background of your video. Avoid backlighting (a window behind you).
  • Turn your phone to silent mode.
  • Smile!
  • Provide a transcript (a digital copy of your script), for ADA compliance. Attach it as a separate link from your course home page. 

Video Recording Technologies

  • Mediasite - The TLPDC is equipped with Mediasite technologies to assist you in recording and streaming your video.
  • Adobe Presenter - Free software for easy recording from your computer. 
  • A camera or web camera is an easy and inexpensive method of recording. 
  • Captivate - While we do not provide or support this software, Captivate is well known for its dynamic features. Visit the Adobe site for more information and purchasing options, 

Embeding a Captivate video

Please note: There is a storage limit on Blackboard courses that you should be aware of.

  1. Convert your video file to .flv format.
  2. Have your .flv video file on your hard drive.
  3. Open Captivate.
  4. Create a Blank Project.
  5. Set screen size to 320x240. Click OK.
  6. Double-click the Slide 1.
  7. Click Insert menu, and select Flash Video.
  8. Browse for your video file. Select it. Open.
  9. Do not select Auto play (Keep the default settings.)
  10. Click Apply. OK.
  11. Click File menu. Save As. Choose a location. Name the file. Save.
  12. Click the Project menu. Select Skin Editor.
  13. Uncheck “Show playback control.” Click OK.
  14. Click Preview on the toolbar at the top. Select Project.
  15. Mouse-over the lower-left corner of the video frame to find the Play button. Click it to test the video.
  16. Close the preview if it works.
  17. Click File menu. Select Publish.
  18. Flash Player Version: Select Flash Player 8.
  19. Project Title: Give your new video a name.
  20. Browse: Select a Folder to save the file. Change the name and create a new folder if you wish.
  21. Click Publish. If you see a message about creating a directory, choose Yes.
  22. Close.

Upload the Captivate folder to the Blackboard file manager.

  1. Create a folder in the Bb File Manager for the files associated with this video. Do not use any spaces in the folder name.
  2. Upload all of the files in the Captivate folder created on your hard drive when you published the video in Captivate.
  3. Make a note of the exact folder name and file name to use in the code.

Link to the video from your Bb module:

  1. Look at your module to see where you want to insert the video. Click and drag to highlight the line above the desired location.
  2. Press Enter a couple of times to make a space and insert this code (with the path to your foldername and filename):
    <IFRAME SRC="foldername/filename.htm" WIDTH=450 HEIGHT=290></IFRAME>
  3. Save.
  4. Go to the Student View to test it.