Meet the Instructor

Quality Review Showcase

The Quality and High Quality online course reviews explore components proven to be best practices in online course design. This post showcases Quality item, “Students are offered the opportunity to meet the instructor (e.g., introduction video, written instructor bio).”

In a fully online course, you do not have the opportunity to share the same physical space with students at the same time. This means that a more conscious effort has to be made in order to give students the opportunity to meet the teacher behind the computer screen.

It can be easy to assume that this isn’t important, that it’s the course content and assignments that count; however, results from student perceptions of instruction as well as educational research shows that one element of student satisfaction is instructor presence. What makes the online course distinct is you.

What Are Some Ways Your Online Course Can Be Designed to Meet This Standard?

  • The first week of class, adopt a home page that serves as an initial greeting. After the first week, the home page can be switched to a different view such as Modules.
  • Use the Webcourses@UCF Templater tool to import the Course Introduction page that can be modified. Include this in the first week.
  • Record a brief introduction video, sharing details such as your educational and professional background. Share personal details (pets, kids, hobbies) as you feel comfortable. This can be done through technologies such as Zoom, the Lightboard via the Faculty Multimedia Center, or with the Video@CDL team (if you are credentialed to create online courses at UCF).
  • In Announcements, post an announcement that shares something you are involved in or have visited.
  • Have an introduction discussion and be the first to introduce yourself using the same instructions.
  • Brand the course with your personal touches such as icons and images (keeping accessibility in mind).

What Does This Look Like in a Real Online Course?

Example 1: Beatriz Reyes-Foster, ANT3610 (Language and Culture).

Dr. Reyes-Foster worked with the Video@CDL team to produce an introduction video. This video skillfully integrates the course content, her research experience and interests, and what students should expect from the course, as well as her as a teacher.

Example 2: Josh Colwell, PHY1038 (Physics of Energy, Climate Change, and the Environment).

Dr. Colwell introduces himself in a video (Figure 1), and requires his students to meet him one-to-one at the beginning of the semester—in a virtual meeting for his online students which he calls “Meet Josh” (Figure 2).

Figure 2 – “Meet Josh” screenshot

Example 3: Sandra Wheeler, ANT4027 (Mummies: Life after Death).

Dr. Wheeler provides a page in her online course called “More About Me!” which features several photos while doing fieldwork (Figure 1). She describes her educational experience and current research interests. She also includes specialized icons throughout the class, which projects her personality (Figure 2).

Figure 1 – Dr. Wheeler doing fieldwork
Figure 2 – Specialized icons throughout the class, which projects Dr. Wheeler’s personality

Navigation Menu