How to Create Student Welcome and Course Tour Videos for Your Canvas Course

For students, beginning a new course is a very exciting time, but learning what to expect and where to find all of the key information for their different classes can simply be overwhelming.

One great way to help students get familiar with your course is by making a short video walkthrough of the course plan and navigation!

You can create these videos for your courses in three easy steps!

  1. Identify the Purpose and Scope of your Video

Thinking through what types of videos you want to make, and planning out what they need to cover are important first steps to building effective videos that will help your students quickly get oriented to your course.

Typical Videos may include:

  • An Instructor Welcome introducing yourself to the class, sharing hobbies, background, and interest in the topic.
  • A course navigation video showing students how to navigate the course (these can be used for multiple courses).
  • A course overview video walking students through the assessments, projects, outcomes, assignments, and so on for the specific course.
  1. Write a script

Having a script is a great way to make sure you cover all the key elements of the video. Some work better with scripts that are fully written out, where others prefer bullet points with important details to cover. Either way, you will want to practice a few times to make sure the delivery is smooth!

This section provides example scripts for a course navigation video, and a course overview / walkthrough video.

  1. Record and Share your video

There are several ways to record videos and share them with students in your Canvas courses. The links below show some common tools and methods for doing this at UNCC.

Final Considerations

Using video in asynchronous online courses can be a great way to build engagement in the course and enhance connection with the instructor (Draus, Curran, & Trempus, 2014). Students tend to watch shorter videos all the way through, and tend to seek through longer videos (Ozan & Ozarslan, 2016), so keeping your videos short and to the point is recommended. Taylor, Dunn & Winn (2015) found that course navigation and overview videos placed in the opening modules of online courses can have a positive effect on withdrawal rates and help students succeed in the course through becoming more familiar with the online environment.

Creating course navigation and course overview videos are an easy way to help students succeed in online courses. The tools and process outlined in this article are a great starting point for making effective and engaging videos to help students start your course out strong!


Draus, P. J., Curran, M. J., & Trempus, M. S. (2014). The influence of instructor-generated video content on student satisfaction with and engagement in asynchronous online classes. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(2), 240-254.

Taylor, J. M., Dunn, M., & Winn, S. K. (2015). Innovative orientation leads to improved success in online courses. Online Learning, 19(4), n4.

Ozan, O., & Ozarslan, Y. (2016). Video lecture watching behaviors of learners in online courses. Educational Media International, 53(1), 27-41.

Script Examples (Embedded in Links Above)

  1. Example Script for a Course Navigation Video

[This script assumes you are using the CTL Course Template. Please adjust as appropriate for your course]

“Hi! This is [Dr. / Professor Name]. I wanted to provide you with a brief walkthrough of the Canvas course we will be using this semester.

The purpose of this video is to provide you with some general information about how to navigate our course. The course is divided into [modules / weeks], each focusing on a different topic and designed to support the course learning objectives.

Anytime you enter the course, you will land on the Course Home page. You can then access the modules from the Start Here button on the home page, or the Modules link in the navigation menu on the left.

The course [modules/weeks] are also found in this section. They will [open each week on DAY / all be open throughout the semester]. The content for each module is due on [day and time of the week, for example: Sundays at 11:59ET)].

Each module consists of a Module Overview page, which details all of the required readings, assignments and activities, due dates, and other content and resources you will need for the module. Typical modules will include activities such as [describe typical activities here, such as watching a video, listening to instructor lectures not shared in the lesson section, readings, and other activities].

The module may also include a Module Lesson, which will share more about the topic, expand upon the readings, and/or provide additional key insights. There will also be a Module Summary, which re-emphasizes key ideas from the module, previews the next module, reminds you of important dates, and more.

I will also communicate with you through periodic announcements. These will include announcements about module content opening, class announcements, assignment grades being complete, any housekeeping items, reminders for key dates, and other important information. You can access previous announcements at any time in the Announcements menu on the navigation menu on the left side of the course.

In general, you will be working within the modules for most of the class. Any assignment submissions, discussion posts, or files you need will be linked within the modules. If you run into any challenges, the Start Here section details where to get help, depending upon the issue you are experiencing. Also, if you need me for anything, please contact me through the methods described in the syllabus.

I am excited to work with you through this course! Thank you, and have a great day!”

  1. Example Script for a Course Overview/Walkthrough Video

“Hi! I’m [Dr./Professor] [FIRST & LAST NAME], and I will be your instructor for [COURSE NAME]!

The purpose of this course is [briefly describe purpose of course]. The course is all about [TOPIC], with a special focus in the areas of [SPECIFIC SUB-AREAS OF FOCUS].

This is a [16 week / 8 week / other time] course delivered in a [100% online asynchronous (will not meet at the same time) / 100% online synchronous (at the same time each week) / 100% online with synchronous components (will occasionally meet at the same time, but most things are asynchronous) / hybrid (meets partially online (name %) and partially face-to-face (name %)) ] format.

In this course, you will learn [about/how to] [course objective 1], [course objective 2], and [course objective 3 . . ., etc.]. These are each important skills to have, not only in the [your field] field, but also as you move forward in your careers in a broad range of fields. As we move through the course, you will engage in a variety of activities and assessments

So, what will we be doing in this course?

In order to achieve the course objectives I just shared with you, you will be responsible for completing a variety of assignments, activities, and assessments that build your skill and demonstrate your growing knowledge in this topic.

This course contains [Number and Type of Exams/Projects/etc.] designed to show what you have learned in this course. These exams are [project based / multiple choice / research papers], and [are/ are not] cumulative for the material covered to date. Specific details, due dates, and point values for these [exams/projects] are provided in the syllabus.

In order to make sure you do well on these, we will engage in a variety of activities and assignments to give you practice with the key concepts of the course.

These include [describe any regular (non-exam) assignments, such as group projects, research papers or reports, reflections, etc. Be sure to specify how many there are, and how they will be submitted. Also, refer students to the syllabus for details and point values]. I will typically grade and provide feedback on assignments and activities within [one week]. These assignments and activities will give you important practice and help you think critically about the content we are covering.

Details about all of these assignments, activities, and assessments can be found in the syllabus, along with grade values and due dates.

Throughout the course, you will have regular engagement with each other and with the content through these assignments and activities. These are designed to help you build your understanding of the content, and to see different perspectives.

It is important that we treat each other with respect, and recognize that people are coming together in this class from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences which may be different from our own.

It is also important to recognize the limitations of communications which are mediated through technology. Sometimes messages may be interpreted differently than they were intended. It is therefore important that we always assume positive intent when reading and communicating with each other in the course. In the event that there are concerns or confusion about a post or other message in the class, we must first assume that the writer’s intention was positive. If this doesn’t address the issue, please follow up with me directly so that we can discuss the situation.

In addition to the specific requirements laid out each week in the modules, there are also some general expectations required of you. You will need to be an active participant in the course. This means that you will be expected to log in multiple times per week; keep track of assignments and activities and work proactively toward accomplishing them; that you will interact and engage with me, with your peers, and with the content in meaningful ways; and that you will work to be collaborative, caring, and studious throughout the course.

I am looking forward to working with each of you this semester, and hope to spark or fuel a deep interest in [your topic]. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact using the methods described in the syllabus.

Thank you!”