Course Trailers AN ONLINE student engagement initiative

The Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning

Enrich the quality and breadth of teaching and learning - Energizing Eyes High, 2017 – 2022

Keep scrolling down to learn more about course trailers and see a few examples and resources.

What is a course trailer?

A course trailer is a short video that uses multimedia to provide information about the course with the intention of engaging the learner. In two to four minutes, a course trailer should convey a compelling invitation for students to see the essence of the course in relation to the real world, why it’s important for them, and what they’ll take away. Think about it as your course outline's sidekick!

“ The challenge is to present course material in ways that make students do something with the information, interact with it, manipulate the ideas and relate them to what they already know.” - Alison King
Create a course trailer as a strategy for engagement, dialogue, reflection, and action.


Help your course outline get the attention it deserves! Create a course trailer to get students excited about the course. Discover the creative possibilities of using multimedia to engage students in making sense of the course and their place in it.


View a series of course trailer samples. Interpret the instructor’s point of view, style, and form. Reflect on the essential concepts of your own course and it’s relevance.


Explore a deeper understanding of your course by asking yourself a few reflective questions. What is the significance of the course? Why is it being taught? How are students going to learn in the course? What will students take away from their learning experience? What would they miss if they didn't take your course?


Do you have a theme in mind for your trailer? Draft an outline to visualize a narrative or theme and create a storyboard of images, words, and transitions, to organize the sequence of events.


Connect with specialists from the Learning Technologies and Design Team at the Taylor Institute of Teaching and Learning to explore purposeful uses of digital tools, software and technology that will best deliver your message to your students.


A trailer doesn't have to be a one hit wonder. Use your course trailer across the course to revisit concepts and check in with your students. Now that they are engaged in your course, where do they see themselves in the trailer? How can you use the trailer to create an awareness of the student’s role in their own learning. Consider creating time and space for your students to respond to the course trailer by the end of the course.


Share your work!
Instructors at the University of Calgary share their Course Trailers

Dr. Kiara Mikita from the Faculty of Arts, Sociology

Sociology 401 - TALK about Sexual Assault Course Trailer

Kris Hans from Haskayne School of Business

BMC 171 - Economics for Business

Dr. Larry Katz from the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport Technology Research Laboratory

Kinesiology 213 - Introduction to Research Course Trailer

Dr. Anthony Seto from the Cumming School of Medicine

Intro to Clinical Practice Part I & Part II, MDCN 490 & MDCN 495

So, grab a seat and view the resources below to further explore the beginning of your course trailer making experience!
Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning Photographs by Riley Brandt, Joni Miltenburg, Isadora Mok-Kulakova, and Haboun Bair
Created By
Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning