Welcome Message and Video
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Convert your video file to .flv format.
- Have your .flv video file on your hard drive.
- Open Captivate.
- Create a Blank Project.
- Set screen size to 320x240. Click OK.
- Double-click the Slide 1.
- Click Insert menu, and select Flash Video.
- Browse for your video file. Select it. Open.
- Do not select Auto play (Keep the default settings.)
- Click Apply. OK.
- Click File menu. Save As. Choose a location. Name the file. Save.
- Click the Project menu. Select Skin Editor.
- Uncheck “Show playback control.” Click OK.
- Click Preview on the toolbar at the top. Select Project.
- Mouse-over the lower-left corner of the video frame to find the Play button. Click it to test the video.
- Close the preview if it works.
- Click File menu. Select Publish.
- Flash Player Version: Select Flash Player 8.
- Project Title: Give your new video a name.
- Browse: Select a Folder to save the file. Change the name and create a new folder if you wish.
- Click Publish. If you see a message about creating a directory, choose Yes.
Upload the Captivate folder to the Blackboard file manager.
- Create a folder in the Bb File Manager for the files associated with this video. Do not use any spaces in the folder name.
- Upload all of the files in the Captivate folder created on your hard drive when you published the video in Captivate.
- Make a note of the exact folder name and file name to use in the code.
Link to the video from your Bb module:
- Look at your module to see where you want to insert the video. Click and drag to highlight the line above the desired location.
- 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>
- Go to the Student View to test it.
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