Enhance Teaching Presence: Welcome Videos

These instructors need to learn to adapt to telecommunications media by developing interaction skills that create a sense of social presence. It is these skills and techniques, rather than the medium, that will ultimately impact students’ perception of interaction and social presence. (Gunawardena, 1995, p. 165)

As one of the elements of the Community of Inquiry (Garrison et al., 2000), the teaching presence is one of the most challenging aspects of online learning. Since online learning happens without students and teachers being in the classroom, the interaction between teachers and students in an online learning environment is limited. Consequently, teachers need to find solutions to support students’ learning effectiveness. A study by Kearney et al. (1985) indicated that teacher immediacy behaviours are one of the positive predictors of effective student learning (as cited in Gunawardena, 1995, p. 152). Besides responding to students’ questions in a brief time, teachers also need to give an engaging and friendly welcome and introduction at the beginning of each course to increase teacher presence.

In this week’s activity, I have created a short welcome video with Animaker. I focus more on personal introduction as I’m not teaching any subjects at this moment. It will be more like a general version of a welcome video. At the beginning of my technology integration project, I might use it to enhance instructor presence or adapt it with future course introduction by adding in more course information.

Animaker is as powerful as Powtoon. It provides many scenes and the character’s actions and expressions for use. It also allows different audio channels for background music and audio covers, which saves time for extra editing.

Here is my short welcome video:


From my perspective, other methods can also help enhance instructor presence. For instance, instructors could send weekly emails or posts to give instructions for next week’s study and summarize last week’s work course, including mentioning students’ most asked questions and giving additional feedback on the most challenging learning content. Hence, students would know what is coming next week and prepare themselves for it.

Do you have other suggestions  for increasing teaching presence in online courses?


Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher educationThe Internet and Higher Education, 2 (2-3), 87-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1096-7516(00)00016-6

Gunawardena, C. (1995). Social presence theory and implications for interaction and collaborative learning in computer conferencesInternational Journal of Educational Telecommunications, 1
(2-3), 147-166. Retrieved from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/15156

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  1. Junxiang, that was great! And so cute. It makes me want to try Animaker now. I think you did a great job keeping your video general enough to be used for many environments, as well as making it personal. I think these personal touches are critical for building rapport with your students.

    As for other things to increase teacher presence, you brought up a great point that I hadn’t considered. Some of my favourite online courses I have taken thus far are the ones in which the instructors have sent out weekly feedback and encouragement videos or messages! It really makes a difference in building that connection even when such great physical distances exist.

    • Thanks for your comments, Eilidh. I feel the same way as you! The weekly updates (email, post, podcast, or video) really make a difference in the online learning environment, and they are too significant to ignore. This kind of instructor-to-student interaction enhances student motivation and engagement.

  2. Hi Junxiang,
    What a great video! I too now want to try Animaker. Your video is fun to watch and will definitely build rapport with your students. You present yourself so well. Students watching the video will be looking forward to meeting you in class and starting the class.

    • Hello Corrie. Thanks for your comments. I’m glad you find this video interesting. An engaging welcome video would enhance instructor presence and catch students’ interests. Also, it will be complete if it is presented with a course introduction.

  3. Hi Junxiang

    Great video! Thank you for sharing Animaker – after my frustrations with Powtoon I am happy to know there is another option!

    Thanks for sharing


    • Hi Jennifer. You’re correct. There’s always a backup plan. Although Animaker is similar to Powtoon, I think its operation flow is more logical and straightforward. I hope you find it user-friendly.

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