YouTube videos are viewed 4 billion times every day. Vimeo videos are viewed a staggering 715 million times every month. And people do not throng these video-sharing sites just to gorge on funny cat videos.
Biology and astronomy lessons. Recipes. DIY carpentry hacks. Movies. Political spoofs. Breaking news. Artistic performances. These sites house videos on almost any topic under the sun and attract people with varied interests. People watch these videos to learn, laugh, shed tears, be amazed and feel the heartbeat of another person.
Moving images pin us down like no other medium.
It is not surprising to learn that videos have caught on as a medium of delivering training at the workplace too. According to the Brandon Hall Group 2015, for Learning Pulse Survey, 95 percent of companies around the world use video to train their employees.
Is there really something to go gaga over videos?
The answer is, because people –aka your learners–LOVE videos.
Why Do Learners Love Videos?
Have you ever wondered why the same learners who can’t seem to remain awake during a PowerPoint presentation sit entranced through a video? What is so riveting in this medium?
In a nutshell, video fits the learning preferences of most learners. Below are the features that make them so darn appealing:
- Familiar Format: The wild success of YouTube, Vimeo, and Vine prove that today, people are more comfortable consuming content through videos than reading or listening to it.
- More Interesting: Moving images breathe life into dull content. Videos provide you with the opportunity to present content in an engaging way, using real-life stories and scenarios.
- Increased Control Over the Learning: Videos let learners pace the learning according to their needs. Learners can pause, rewind, fast-forward, or restart the streaming to repeat, skip, or focus more intently on a particular piece of content. According to several studies, this control over the pace and direction of learning motivates people to learn.
- Crisp and Succinct: The audio-visual delivery format of videos makes learning time-efficient and instructionally sound. Videos pack in a large amount of information into a short space; this shortens the training time.Graphics and sounds engage multiple senses, so learning is more effective (retention increases). Also, a well-made video reduces cognitive load by taking away the stress, boredom, and frustration of trying to decipher meaning from a text-heavy slide with irrelevant images.
- Just-in-Time and On-Demand Learning: Videos delivered to mobile devices let learners reap the benefits of just-in-time and on-demand learning. Short and quick modules encourage learners to seek out these when they want on-job performance support or a rapid knowledge check. The short, engaging format of videos also motivates learners to review lessons as and when they want to.
Why Instructional Designers Should Also Love Videos?
That people prefer to learn from videos should alone convince you to embrace the technology and start writing video scripts instead of designing plain, motionless slides. But there are other reasons as well for you to include videos in your eLearning courses.
Below are the “technical” reasons that should motivate you to use this media type:
- Mobile Compatibility: Videos are compatible with mobile phones. Except for older devices, all other hand-held mobile devices have the requisite screen resolution and operational power to play videos seamlessly. Besides, the particular format of videos makes them more suitable for viewing on mobile devices than PowerPoint slides or text-intensive manuals.
- Ease of Implementation: Usually you don’t need a sophisticated application or some fancy technology to produce video content and deliver it to mobile devices. With just your smartphone, anyone in your team can shoot a video within seconds.
- Increased Accessibility: Videos are mobile-compatible. This allows learners to review training material when needed, thereby giving them a ‘performance support’ experience. When you make knowledge available to learners at their fingertips, learning becomes convenient. When learners can pace and direct the learning journey, they are more motivated to learn.
Using videos for training makes instructional sense too. Videos make learning more effective, and as an instructional designer, you want your courses to have the maximum impact, get talked about, and make a difference to your learners’ lives. Right?
Below are the “instructional” reasons that should motivate you to use more videos in your eLearning courses:
- Increased Learner Engagement: Moving images hook us and keep us glued to the screen. We are not just drawn to the moving pictures; we are also sucked into the emotions that play out on the screen. Video brings to life any content you present to your audience. Learner engagement increases when the material stirs the heart and resonates with one’s deepest emotions.
- Enhanced Conceptualization: Videos transport the audience right where all the action is taking place. If you want to tell a story, a video will whisk the learner beside the protagonist. If you want to demonstrate a process, a video will place the learner smack in the thick of things. When learners can actually see the action unfold before their eyes, they can grasp concepts quickly.
- Facilitation of the Show Mode of Teaching: It 's hard to make learners visualize and understand technical content through text alone. The audio-visual format of videos lets you demonstrate the stages of a complicated process, the components of a machine, and the workings of a system or a network. This facilitates comprehension and leaves no room for ambiguity.
- Improved Retention: Teaching through videos helps learners retain content and apply knowledge more efficiently than teaching with only text. What is more intriguing is that this effect magnifies over time. Findings suggest that presentations, where the text is accompanied with videos, are nine times more effective than text-only slides when learners are tested immediately after they have consumed the content. And the efficacy rises to a whopping 83 percent when the learners are tested after some time has elapsed.
The Biggest Reason to Embrace Video in eLearning: Going Mobile
Most learning leaders already realize mobile is the new reality of workplace learning. Learning leaders also know that video consumption is on the rise, and fortunately, its the ideal media type for Mobile Learning. Given the mobility of modern employees, better connectivity, and the adaptability of video to many devices, there is a big opportunity to try using more of this type of multimedia content in your mobile learning courses this 2017. Learning content should be easy to access 24/7 and video makes that happen on any device.
Quick stat: According to Training Evolution: The current and future state of corporate learning modalities, a whitepaper by Chief Learning Officer and The Training Associates, about 74.4 percent of organizations predict they will deliver a significant chunk of their learning programs to mobile devices within the next 12-18 months.
Getting Started with Video
Now you know why people prefer video. So how should you start?
The good news is, you can pick up the ropes and produce videos all by yourself. There are several video-editing apps around that will let you create your own almost effortlessly.
You can start with your smartphone. That little device in your hand packs in powerful video production capabilities. Just point the camera at the action and start shooting. Your phone comes bundled with all the basic editing features; you can tweak the footage with just a few taps and swipes on the screen. Or you can import the raw footage into a sophisticated editing app to add some professional touches.
After you have got the hang of the basics of shooting and editing (and this won’t take very long), you can graduate to producing more complex videos. You can go in for high-quality, professional-level productions to bring out the wows from the learners.
Tip: Never start without a script. Check out this read: The Script as Step One: Why Your eLearning Video or Demo Must Have a Script First
Here are some other stellar resources to help you get started with videos creation for your eLearning courses:
- Begin with this guide.
- Steer clear of the potholes, pitfalls, and minefields of using video in eLearning. Read this guide on the common mistakes.
- Be sure to bookmark this DIY guide on producing videos.
- Go through this resource to learn how you can build your own video studio without breaking the bank.
- Learn about some nifty ways to introduce videos in your courses here. And get more ideas here.
- Read: A Mindset for Mobile Learning: A Journey through Theory and Practice
By Julian Stodd
- Go over this case study.