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Video course introductions increase interest and
help students in the course selection process.

How many times have you wondered what film to see when embarking on a night out? That choice has become a lot easier now that previews are almost always available online. Similarly, students are now able to view a number of Video Course Introductions (VCIs) as they make their course selections.

The first VCIs were created for the Fall 2001 semester. The most recent crop includes offerings for several History courses and one for the Electrical Engineering course, Car Lab. In an April edition of The Princetonian, the History department, placed a full-page ad highlighting their Fall 2005 offerings, including the links to these VCIs.

Images from Car Lab course
Images from VCI for ELE 302 Car Lab 2004 .

When discussing this latest collection of VCIs, New Media Center manager David Hopkins talked about how much more effective the spots can be with proper planning. This year, students were interviewed about their experiences in the course being documented. Offered Hopkins, "The difference was that students gave their perspectives. They went and told their friends to go watch their appearance in the videos. It was great word-of-mouth PR." Hopkins would like to see the service become more proactive, shooting a year in advance so that, for example, footage of field trips or other activities might be included in the trailers.

Sheldon Garon describes
Professor Sheldon Garon describes
HIS 282 Approaches to Asian History

Upon faculty request, the New Media Center will produce a 5-minute streaming video of the professor giving a summary of their course and will post the video on the course Blackboard site and their department’s web site. Anyone interested in developing a VCI should send e-mail to