Show Your Face: Using Video to Increase Online Presence

by Don Ashley, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Religion & Philosophy                                                          

School of Education Graduate Student Coordinator

Incorporating video in online classes has the potential to aid instruction in a number of ways. I recently started including video clips of myself in my Virtual Campus classes. According to student feedback, this has helped establish my online presence as a professor, and infused a sense of playfulness to the course. The reaction of my students is corroborated by recent research (Liao & Hsieh, 2011; Cole & Kritzer, 2009). The next step for me was to include a video clip of myself introducing my New Testament History summer class. I embedded a short video clip at the top of the syllabus. When students view the syllabus on the VC schedule, I can speak directly to them about the class. I’ve yet to receive student feedback on my new syllabus format, but I hope it will be positive.

Research has also suggested appropriately structured video clips increase motivation, recall, and course retention (e.g., Arslanyilmaz & Abbas, 2010; Hee Jun & Johnson, 2005). This term I also plan to embed video clips at the beginning of assignments giving verbal instructions, and explaining course content.

If you would like to embed video in your own course material, view the explanatory screencast below.

Don Ashley, Ph.D.
Anchorage Campus

Soli Deo Gloria


Arslanyilmaz, A., & Abbas, A. (2010). E-learning in an undergraduate e-commerce course: Instructional benefits of using modeling-videos. International Journal Of Technology, Knowledge & Society, 6(4), 201-214.

Cole, J. E., & Kritzer, J. B. (2009). Strategies for success: Teaching an online course. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 28(4), 36-40.

Hee Jun, C., & Johnson, S. D. (2005). The effect of context-based video instruction on learning and motivation in online courses. American Journal Of Distance Education, 19(4), 215-227. doi:10.1207/s15389286ajde1904_3

Liao, P., & Hsieh, J. (2011). What influences Internet-based learning? Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 39(7), 887-896. doi:10.2224/sbp.2011.39.7.887


One thought on “Show Your Face: Using Video to Increase Online Presence

  1. Great information Dr. Ashley! Do you have to have ADOBE Pro to convert the file? I believe most of my faculty only have the free version of ADOBE.

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