If you are teaching a new or low-enrollment course, you may be especially interested in getting the word out to prospective students. There are some fun and easy-to-use free tools you can employ to help you create a beautiful design in minutes. There are also some best practices to follow for designing your materials. Let’s dive in and examine a few common tips and tricks for getting the word out.

Fliers

Did you know? UAF-branded PPT flier templates are available for your use and can be downloaded via University Relations. These files contain the UAF logo and required language and provide a good starting place that aligns with other marketing material on campus.

If you would like to create an alternate flier for your course, you can also try using a free, easy-to-use online option like Canva. It is very intuitive with free images, elements and templates to get you started. You can also upload your own images and download your flier as a PDF. Get started by choosing ‘Flier’ from the ‘Create a design’ section after logging in.

We recommend keeping text to a bare minimum:

  • Title
  • Course number & CRN
  • Semester & year
  • Catchy short description (1-2 sentences)
  • Large eye-catching image
  • Your email address in case students want more information
  • Call to action – “Register Today!”

We also recommend some general guidelines for layout:

  • Simple is best
  • Use large sans-serif fonts for reading from a distance
  • Use bright colors with good contrast from the background
  • Use one image that is eye-catching, maybe unusual in some way
  • Use the UAF logo (download here)
  • Include the UAF required E/O statement

Online Graphics

You can use a Canva template for creating the right size graphic for social media or your website by logging in and looking for the service you will publish on in the ‘Create a design’ section. Using a template to start from will ensure the correct size.

Another free online tool for creating social media graphics or video is Adobe Spark.

For social media, text should follow the same guidelines for fliers but with an even shorter description. The description can be added in the text of the tweet, Instagram post, Facebook post, etc.

Video

Consider creating an entertaining course trailer video to share on social media and on your faculty web page. This will help students get to know you in advance.

How to make video:

Some basic guidelines to follow:

  • Create a script first
  • Think super short: 30-60 seconds
  • Make it fun and memorable in some way
  • Tell viewers where they should go to register

Connect

Many UAF schools and colleges have public information officers, outreach coordinators and academic advisors who are constantly searching for a story to tell. Touch base with these folks to help you get the word out through social media and other channels. If your course is highly unique, a press release might also be an option.

Download the PDF for this Teaching Tip.

Jennifer Moss

Jennifer Moss is an instructional designer and adjunct faculty at UAF with over 25 years of experience in academic development in higher education.  

jlmoss@alaska.edu