Orientation Videos

What is it?

​An orientation video introduces the layout of an online learning environment or tool. Effective orientation videos demonstrate how essential elements such as content and assignments are accessed.

​Why should I do it?

Online courses vary in look and feel. A simple, brief course tour can take the guess work out of navigating your course. Orientation videos allow educators to put students on the path to success. Instructor-generated video content such as an orientation video gives students a sense of who you are as an educator and serves to humanize the online classroom while establishing social and teaching presence.

What tools do I need?

  • webcam/microphone

  • a free screencasting application

  • free video hosting

What does it look like?

Orientation videos are usually screencasts.

Learn more about screencast videos

How do I organize it?

Begin by formulating your objective and creating a solid plan, storyboard, or outline for your video. Orientation videos should provide enough information that students can confidently begin working in the course but not so much information that students feel overwhelmed.

Orientation Video Template

Orientation Video Template: 1. Begin with objectives; 2. Describe how the course is organized; 3. Explain the sequence of activities; 4. Specify when modules are due; 5. Point out the syllabus; 6. Point out other getting started materials; 7. Illustrate where content is located; 8. Illustrate where assignments, due dates, and rubrics are located; 9. Explain how support and help is obtained; 10. Describe any specialized tools required for success in the course; 11. Provide helpful tips or hints; 12. Encourate students to reach out with questions


Tips for Success​

  • Avoid references to specific chapters, page numbers, dates, or assignments unless you plan to refresh this video every term.

  • If the visual cues in the layout of a course change, re-record this video to reflect the true appearance of the course layout before the next offering of the course.

  • Keep these videos brief; fewer than five minutes.


Example Orientation Video (Screencast)



Standards from the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric, 5th Edition. Quality Matters. Retrieved from https://www.qualitymatters.org/sites/default/files/PDFs/StandardsfromtheQMHigherEducationRubric.pdf


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