When teaching in traditional brick and mortar settings, most instructors open their courses by introducing themselves. Instructors make these introductions in order to give students a sense of who their instructor is as a person. In online courses, face-to-face introductions are rare. To address this problem, Quality Matters standards call for instructors to include Instructor Biographies in their online courses. As Christine Scherer (2018) at Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies explains:
In Canvas, instructors can build a “Meet Your Instructor Page” or an “Instructor Bio Page.” This page can include contact information, a written biography, and/or an embedded video. In terms of biography content, there are no hard and fast rules. However, instructorss may want to consider these 5 areas for development:
- Educational background
- Research interests and area(s) of subject matter expertise
- Teaching philosophy
- Personal hobbies, interests, and family life to curate your social presence
- A photograph
By providing these biographies, instructors can foster a stronger sense of community in digital spaces.