Course introductions are extremely important. Most students decide whether or not to take a course based on the introduction video, so you need to capture their attention and give them a compelling reason to complete the course.
Goals of an Introduction Video:
- Introduce the instructor and Envato Tuts+.
- Introduce the general subject matter and the specific details of the course.
- Encourage people to watch the complete course.
- Instill confidence in the student that the instructor is knowledgeable and skilled in the subject matter.
Strategies for a Great Introduction:
- Keep your introduction concise and punchy. Try to keep it to one or two minutes. Work on having a strong, interesting opening that focuses on what the student will learn. Don’t get into the actual course content in the introduction video.
- Make your introductions visually interesting. We encourage instructors to record the introduction video last and use short video previews of later lessons as a backdrop for the introduction. This is an easy way to create visual interest, and it helps build an idea of what the course will be like.
- Show what the student will learn. You might show examples of real-world applications or projects that relate to the course. Show why it is useful and interesting.
- Describe what the student will learn. Go through what the student will learn in the course. Give enough detail so the student knows what to expect and what they'll be able to do with their new skills.
- Other things to include:
- What a student should know and have before beginning the course, including important prerequisite skills, applications, gear, and supplies.
- What the course won’t cover, if relevant.
Tips for Creating an Engaging and Positive Tone:
- Be friendly and warm.
- Make the subject matter accessible.
- Don’t oversell.
- Open on a positive note.
- Paul Trebilcox-Ruiz produced a very visual introduction to his Getting Started With Android course. He did a quick tour of his application, which showed off the nice design and also gave the viewer a strong idea of what the course project was going to look like.
- Rachel McCollin's intro for Set Up WordPress Multisite is another great example. She gives examples of real-world projects that relate to the course project, describes the course in detail, and shows a visual preview of what will be built and how.
- Andrew Burgess' intro for Creating Angular Directives is outstanding for beginning with strong statement of the importance of the Angular framework, even before Andrew introduces himself! Ideally, the very first seconds of the course should work to convince a viewer that it is worthwhile. The visual aspect of the introduction was also strong, with previews of coding and of the finished work.
Design and Illustration:
- Megan Eckman’s introduction to The Art of Calligraphy: Blackletter Script opens by letting students know that learning calligraphy isn’t as difficult as they might have thought. Megan then goes through what she will teach and shows an example of the final product of the course. She then shows the supplies needed to complete the course.
- Char Reed’s introduction to Creating Animal-Inspired Fantasy Creatures is a good example of using visuals from later in the course to demonstrate what students will be learning.
- Kezz Bracey’s introduction to Responsive Webdesign Revisited gives a summary of why a student would want to refresh their skills in this area and then details what the course will cover and what a student can expect to be able to do after completing the course.
- Adi Purdila’s introduction to Landing Page Design Principles begins by explaining what the topic is, moves into the level of skill required to complete the course, and he ends his introduction by showing and explaining the project students can complete through the course.
Photography and Video:
- Andrew Childress’ introduction to Adobe Lightroom CC for Photographers demonstrates a quick but effective look at the issues facing photographers, why Lightroom is a good choice and what the students can expect to learn from the course. Keeping an introduction to one minute can be very effective.
- David Bode’s introduction to Video Editing in Adobe Premiere Pro introduces why a student would want to learn the program, what the course will cover, and what a student should know before beginning in less than two minutes.