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Center for Teaching & Learning: Perspectives on Teaching & Learning

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Being There for Your Online Students: Make It Personal

by Reena Lederman Gerard on 2019-08-19T12:28:00-04:00 in Educational Technology | 0 Comments

Online instructors and students operate in the ether. Without intentional effort to connect with your students, it can be hard to anchor your presence as the instructor. You may seem amorphous, which can negatively affect your students.

How do you meet the challenge of bridging that distance? Start by introducing yourself through video. It’s the first step in building your presence. Make yourself known with these three dimensions:

Persona – This communicates your personal side. It’s about your teaching style and interests - all wrapped up in your personality. Although people can adopt personas, your job is to be authentic, which builds trust with your students. In your video, try some humor, share a few photos, or list some interests.

Social – This is an interactive, with the stress on “inter-“. Creating a sense of presence includes two-way (at least) communication to connect with your students and develop a community. The social dimension includes meaningful feedback and outreach for example. In your video introduction let students know how they can contact your and what they can expect from you for example.

Instructional – Your job is to support and guide your students as they work towards the learning goals. In your video introduction, this may include a comment on your teaching philosophy or why you value education. (Kelly, 2014).

Use the sample script and directions linked below, as your guide to creating your course introduction.

Kelly, R. (2014, January 7). Creating a sense of instructor presence in the online classroom. Retrieved  from

How to create instructor and course introduction videos. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Sample script for recording a class introduction video. (n.d.).  Retrieved from


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