Welcome Videos


A welcome video of between 5-10 minutes can be used at the commencement of a new subject to provide insight into different aspects of the subject such as introductory information about the subject, such as how it fits in with the students wider course that the student is completing (e.g., What prior learning it builds upon). They can also be used to clarify early concerns or preconceptions that the teacher suspects students may hold based on his/her prior experience in delivering the subject. The teacher can also make clear the primary methods of communication that will be utilised throughout the subject. Students can get to know the individual teaching them too by providing some introductory background regarding the academic’s experience and background in this field of study, giving students a sense of confidence. These videos also provide an opportunity to highlight key aspects of assessment for the subject and key teaching and learning information.


The use of a welcome video, available before or at the start of session helps a student establish the context for the teaching, learning and assessment that will occur in the subject. Providing this information in a video, instead of solely relying on a text-based approach, helps students more readily identify with the academic. A welcome video which clearly articulates expectations and highlights important aspects of the subject can be a foundation to increase learner-to-academic interaction, this being a key aspect in increasing learner engagement. Research such as that carried out as part of the LSES report clearly highlights the need for students, particularly those from non-traditional backgrounds, to be able to feel that their lecturers are approachable and support their learning journey. Providing a welcome video is an important part of the strategy mix in achieving these aims.

In Practice


EMC305 Investigation: Mathematics, Science and Technology

Teaching Staff

Amy MacDonald, Paige Lee, Amber Marcus, Michelle Muller, Jody Rumble, Virginia Sexton


Within this subject a majority of the students are juggling the demands of working and family life whilst completing their studies. The lecturer has recognised that studying online means that it is therefore harder for these students to form connections between themselves and with the content and has endeavoured to provide regular touch points for students to connect with. In this instance the use of an iPhone to record a ‘low fi’ video welcome message sends a strong message to students that she empathises with the demands placed on their time, whilst still providing valuable welcome information about the teaching team, the content and the assessments.


In this instance implementation of the use of a welcome video was relatively straightforward, with the academic recording this welcome video in the ‘selfie’ style and uploading it to the subject site. For additional context, the academic has taken the ad-hoc opportunity to include a ‘guest expert welcome’, which, beyond acting as a point of interest and engagement, gives some additional insight into the importance of the content matter within the subject.

Screenshot from subject site


LAW221 Law for the Human Services 2

Teaching Staff

Cecelia Lenagh


In this example the lecturer wanted a good quality video that provided essential context for the subject. It was important to share information about the lecturer to build empathy with students, and also to share what the subject is about and a little about the history of law in Australia to ignite interest. This subject has a lot of reading and can be quite intense therefore the opening video also reassures students and provides advice as to how they can do well.


This video was professionally recorded on the Port Macquarie campus. It was then edited to maximise impact. It was placed on the landing page at the start of the subject in 201730. A thoughtful static image has been set, not of the lecturer in this instance.


To create a successful Welcome Video there are some decisions to make:


To create a welcome video there is a wide variety of tools available, many of them CSU supported technologies:

Additional Resources

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.

Faculty of Science CSU. (2017, March 22). How to make a video for your subject site and using YouTube to edit. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/cAnAFdTCF8Y