In Canvas, lecturers can supplement their course’s online content and activities with a weekly video for students. This can be recorded from the lecturer’s own laptop or smartphone, and provides an informal and current introduction to the week’s topics and tasks.
One fully-online postgraduate course was reliant on lecturer-initiated communications such as discussions and announcements to inject personality and build rapport with students. The lecturer felt that regular video communications would better communicate her passion for the subject and allow the students to develop a greater sense of relationship with her.
Initially the lecturer would video herself with the iPad in her office surrounding by pre-selected books to discuss in relation to the weekly themes. Now the lecturer uses the Canvas media recording tool from her laptop or desktop machine to record, save and post a video directly from Canvas.
Encouraging students to have a video presence in discussion forums could be useful to further develop student-to-student connections in the course. The lecturer has since worked on a collaborative course where students at two different institutions work together on their assignments using collaborative video tools such as Skype.
Tools and Tips
Borup, J., West, R. E., & Graham, C. R. (2012). Improving online social presence through asynchronous video. The Internet and Higher Education, 15(3), 195-203.