Why? Students want to know about you as an instructor and also about you as a person. Your introduction should present you professionally and personally to the students. Disclose areas of your professional work and personal life that you are comfortable sharing with all students. Telling something about your hobbies or interests can work to create a sense of connection with students. Although we are very proud of our academic achievements, many students also want to know that you care about them as a learner.
Did you Know? Using some method of personal disclosure appears to reduce the psychological distance between online learners and instructors. In the online world, you do have to plan to communicate your interests and passions. We often take this for granted in F2F communication, preferring spontaneous conversation and communication. You can still do this in the online class, but planning some of the efforts is one proactive approach that may make a difference in the tone of the course. These efforts are also the first steps toward establishing trust and are very important for the future direction of the course.