Making a Sparkling Instructor Bio Page in your LearningStudio Course Shell
Although it's summer, we'll soon be back in the swing of things. This short column – first in a monthly series about taking your LearningStudio course shell to the next level – contains some information about why you might want to have a robust instructor bio page in your course shell. We'll also provide some tips about how to give your students the information they need while allowing you to balance approachability and limits on your time.
Why a bio? Isn't this information on the syllabus? Aren't my office hours posted on my door? Can't students just read the faculty bios on the department website? Well, yes. But students may need to contact you at a time when their syllabus isn't close at hand. And for our exclusively online courses, students may never see the professor or her office door. Last, a few students might consult the departmental website for your information, but many may not think to do so, especially once they are busily working within your course shell.
Of course, students can and do use the email tool within the course shell. This is a useful tool for asking quick questions, but it certainly doesn't tell your students any more about you as a person or a scholar.
A complete bio page will provide information about:
• Your name, and what you prefer to be called
• Your office location and office hours
• Email address
• Telephone & Fax
• Your preferred method of contact
• The time-frame within which students can reasonably expect a response from you.
|Additionally, you can add information about your educational background, selected publications that may be of interest to students, and some appropriate personal facts about yourself.
|Including a photo of yourself helps students put a face on an internet presence; an audio or video recording embedded in the bio page can really give students a sense of who you are. For help on embedding audio or video, check out our tutorial or contact us – we're happy to help!
Some of this information may indeed be on your syllabus or in other university locations, but there's much to be gained to locating all this information in a clearly labeled place within your course shell. At the Koehler Center, we stress redundancy throughout your course shell in order to support student learning and help you make efficient use of your instructional time.
So, what does this look like in practice?
If you'd like a blank copy of this template, you can download one with your color of choice from our Templates Page on our website.
On the Templates Page, click on the screenshot image of the page you would like. A new tab containing the relevant code will open in your browser; you can then copy and paste this code into the html area for your desired page. You will then be able to edit/add items as you see fit using the visual editor.
We suggest placing this template under the Course Home as a text/multimedia content item that you name "Instructor Bio."