When to Use Video in e-Learning…

5th July 2016

From YouTube to Treehouse, explainer videos have boomed in recent years, helped by the increase in broadband speed and mobile device capabilities. However videos can be expensive and difficult to update so when should you favour video content in traditional e-Learning?

1. To Build Trust

We are social creatures and a drawback of e-Learning is the removal of face to face interaction. Video allows viewers to look their instructor or MD in the face and decide if they trust what they say.

2. To Demonstrate Complicated Processes

Without a doubt this is the best use of video. If you should never put your body where your mind hasn’t been then video has to be the best online method for visualising.

3. To Add Gamification

The use of games in e-Learning is extremely useful when real risk is involved, either physical, legal or monatary. Allowing users to play out consequences in a safe environment gives them a safe place to fail which doesn’t lead to disaster. Video adds an extra element of realism to games, making the learning more applicable to real life.

4. For Just in Time Learning

We’ve now moving away from the traditional just in case learning taught in school towards just in time learning. I recently needed to put up wallpaper so watched a video on YouTube and followed the demo, job done (well it took several hours and a number of ciders but we got there in the end!). This isn’t always possible with traditional eLearning programmes but the use of interactions following the video to test and reinforce ideas is a must.

5. To Explain Difficult Concepts

Everyone learns in slightly different ways and giving explainer videos backed up by text caters to all needs.  It has been proven that memory recall is higher on images than the written word and explainer videos are a great way to condense a large amount of information and display it in an easy to understand way.

So to summarise video is a really powerful tool which doesn’t have to break the bank but be warned:

    • The quality should reflect your companies position within the market place
    • Videos can get easily outdated so bear this in mind when deciding on content and think about avoiding the latest fad unless you have the resources to regularly update.
    • Don’t assume that everyone has access to headphones or speakers and keep mobile learning in mind when choosing where to use video in your learning.
    • One drawback to video is that content is often hidden, forcing users to watch the entire video before realising that it wasn’t right for them. Adding a transcript gets round this problem and gives a platform for references or navigation (as seen in Lynda).

Thanks for reading, if you’d like to discuss further give me a shout.