Why not make a trailer to introduce an online module?


It’s possibly the first time I’ve ever received an applause in class.

I am taking a professional faculty development course on humanizing the online learning experience for students and was inspired by our instructor’s @brocansky introductory video to her course.

I have an online module coming up for my group communication course and have often struggled in the past with motivating students to feel excited about approaching their experience with technology. But, it really doesn’t make sense to do the module face-to-face since the topic is technology and virtual groups.

So I decided to try something new.

I created a sort of trailer, just like an introduction to a movie that is soon to be released. I happen to like technology and I get a bit of a kick out of making videos so I decided to try out the built-in trailers in iMovie. I created the movie and decided to show it in my class since the module is occurring next week. I honestly didn’t know if my students would think it was fun, cheesy, silly, boring…..I had no idea. I was shocked by their response. I played the following 52 second trailer and in both sections of my course the class applauded! One student said, “that’s the best thing I’ve ever seen in a class.” Wow! Well, I guess it was worth the time!

I’m not quite sure if the online module will match the excitement of the trailer but I’m a little optimistic that it was worth the time putting in to creating it; I already sense an element of excitement among my class. The final requirement of the online module is a reflection on the students’ experience in this module. I decided to ask them what impact, if any, the trailer had on how they approach the module. More to come on what they had to say…

The trailer


One thought on “Why not make a trailer to introduce an online module?

  1. That’s so great that you jumped into this experiment! My speaking coach has been encouraging me to step beyond my comfort zone and try to engage my audiences more. He used the exact words that you did – it might feel cheesy or silly to you but trust me, they’ll love it. I’ve been learning from the ds106 team too that infusing a spirit of play and popular culture into the course narrative makes things fun for everyone. I’m never going to be a Jim Groom or Alan Levine but your post reminded me that there are lots of different ways we can bring this spirit of play into our courses.

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