Connect with Your Students Using a Self-Introduction Video


A self-intro video can help

  • humanize your online presence
  • establish a good rapport with your online students
  • capture your students’ attention
  • intrigue your students about what they’ll experience in your course
  • dispel uncertainty about what they’ll experience in your course

Course Length

40 min

Difficulty Level



Don’t worry about all the fancy video production terms or film editing techniques, all you need is 23 minutes and the following

Four Simple Steps

4 simple steps

Before start, take one minute to think about the purpose of your video and what first impression you’d like to establish in this video. Keep in mind a general rule of thumb: the shorter the better. For a self-introduction video, 2 minutes are plenty.

Purposes and Impressions

We suggest your video reveal

— two fundamental purposes or components (who you are and your expectation of the course)

– and two essential impressions (professional as well as welcoming).

In each of the following steps, we discuss how to address these two components and build the two impressions.

There are three modules at the bottom of the course. They can guide you through three main technologies that you’ll need to create the video and put it in your online course. Click on the module name to unfold the content. Skip the modules if you’ve already mastered those tools.


Step 1: The Script

Technologies needed: PowerPoint or any other presentation making tool

Open the PowerPoint and type in the main points there while you are writing the script. This way, you’ll have a presentation ready for recording by the time you finish the script. It is almost always nicer to give the audience something to read while you are speaking than let them stare at your face the entire time. Keep in mind the rule of thumb: the shorter the better. You only need no more than 3 slides.

Here are a few recommended aspects to cover in your script:

1. Welcome your students to the course!

Probably the easiest yet very effective way to make a welcoming impression: simply say “Welcome to the course!” at the beginning of your self-introduction.

2. Let your students know how they should address you (Dr./Prof./First or Last name).

This is one of those small-yet-important things about course expectation, but very often is neglected.

Address yourself in the way that you expect your students to address you. For example, if Professor Jane Doe wants her students to address her by the first name with the doctor title, she can let her students know by simply greeting “Hi, I’m Dr. Jane, your instructor for this course.”

3. Show your expertise and credibility

Compare a new instructor greets a class for the first time by saying she has never taught before and another instructor introduces that she has 20 years experience working in the field. Imagine the potential for it to skew the students’ opinions of the content being presented for the entire semester! Here is some empirical evidence showing how the credibility of presenter

This is possibly of the most importance for establishing a professional first impression.

4. Something special about you (a genuine personal stories/good timing for humor)


Step 2 & 3: The Recording

Technologies needed: webcam, microphone, and Screencast-o-Matic

Check out the Screencast-o-Matic module if you are unfamiliar with it.


  • Talking head (personal background) and something to read!
  • Talking to your students (eye-contact with the camera)
  • Smile
  • The shorter the better (less than 2min)


A Stellar Example!

In this video, Dr. Joe Mobley




Step 4: In Theater

Technologies needed: Youtube and Laulima
Check out the Youtube module if you are unsure about how to upload or manage videos on Youtube, and the Youtube to Laulima module for how to embed a video in your online course.
where to embed the video


Go Some Extra Miles

If you’d like to maintain the presence



How to use Screencast-O-Matic

Screencast-o-Matic is a free screen recorder where you can capture your screen for a number of different purposes and upload it straightforwad to Youtube for sharing with others.  It is a Java based web application on Windows or Mac.  Most computers already have Java installed.  You can check your computer by searching for Java Test in Google or simply click here. Screencast-o-Matic allow you to record your screenshots up to 15 mins at one time. This application has most of the features of similar desktop applications, allowing you to capture a portion of the screen (users can choose from 640×480, 800×600 or full-screen). You can use this tool in your browser without an install at anytime.

For instructors, you can use Screencast-o-Matic in your course for the following purposes:

  • Capturing a video stream
  • Provide Feedback
  • Present Lectures
  • Provide instructions on complex topics

For students, you can use Screencast-o-Matic in a course for the following purposes:

  • Collaboration
  • Presentation
  • Sharing work with other students
  • Submitting assignments

To start a recording, all you have to do is open the program, position the recording window, and press Play or the activating hot key. And when your recording is complete, just hit Done on the small control bar located below the bottom margin of the recording window. You can also Pause in the middle of a recording and then resume using these controls. When you finish a recording, you’ll automatically be taken to a preview screen where you can watch your recording and see what you think. If you’re satisfied, there are several saving and publishing options listed along the right-hand side of the screen. For instance, you can upload your video directly to YouTube or to the Screencast-O-Matic website, or you can save it as a video file to your computer in either MP4, AVI, FLV, or GIF format.



How to upload a video to YouTube

YouTube is a video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. The service was created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005 and has been owned by Google since late 2006. The site allows users to upload, view, and share videos, and it makes use of Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media video. Available content includes video clips, TV clips, music videos, and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos. (from Wikipedia, “YouTube”)

To upload a YouTube video, you can follow this outline:

  1. Go to
  2. If you have a Gmail or Google Account, sign in. Otherwise, click create account and then sign in.
  3. In your account, click the Upload button.
  4. Drag and drop or Select File to upload.
  5. Fill out title, description, and tags; set privacy settings; and pick a category (ie. Education).
  6. Choose a thumbnail from the ones YouTube creates for you.
  7. Click save changes. (monetization and advanced settings can be ignored)

Need more help? Click on the video below for a visual navigation of the YouTube uploading process.



How to put a YouTube video into Laulima

Embedding a video from YouTube in Laulima makes for a streamlined viewing experience. Instead of being directed to another window, the viewer can watch the video right in the Laulima website.

Instructors can embed YouTube videos using the following Laulima tools (via Source or HTML tool bar):

  • Modules
  • Forums
  • Discussions & Private Messages
  • Resources
  • Tests and Quizzes
  • Assignments
  • Announcements
  • Blogs

The process to embed is very simple.  Go to YouTube and locate the video you want to embed, click on the “share” button, select “use old embed code,” copy the code, and then paste into Laulima using the Source button in the HTML tool bar.  Give your video a title, select “save”, “finish”, “post”, or “submit (depending on which Laulima tool you use), and your video is embedded!

For more specific instructions, please see the Resources below.



Screenshot (Video in Announcements)


Screenshot (Source Button in HTML tool bar)