If a picture is worth a thousand words, then consider a video priceless.
Videos have become a hallmark trait of training. This is because when we’re seeing, hearing, and sometimes even doing a task, we’re more likely to retain the information versus when just seeing text on a page. In fact, studies have shown that learners who watch videos are more likely to retain the information than those who learn through text or audio alone.
You likely understand the importance of using videos in your training content — but just how do you incorporate them effectively?
In this article, we’ll explore how you can harness the power of videos to create engaging, effective, and memorable eLearning.
Capture attention with compelling introductions
Want to grab and keep your learners’ attention from the get-go? Start off your course or module with a video that introduces the content and lets your learners know what’s to come.
Whether it’s a talking head video of your CEO introducing the company’s new line of products or services, or an animated video showcasing otherwise dry content, your learners will appreciate the refreshing change of pace from their typical click-and-read training.
Introductory videos are also a great way to incorporate your course goals and learning objectives visually versus the standard method of listing them out — and including them here sets the pace and tone for the rest of your course or module.
Visualize complex concepts
String theory. The neurology of Alzheimer’s disease. Artificial intelligence.
All of these are complex concepts that are difficult to explain verbally, in print, or even with the aid of charts and graphs — concepts that typically take people in their respective fields years to master.
With video, however, a subject-matter expert can work with you — the instructional designer or eLearning developer — to break down the complexity of these topics and showcase them via moving visual images or animation. For a great example of this, check out this two-minute whiteboard explainer video on the neurobiology of ADHD.
So the next time you’re asked to create a company eLearning course on something that seems overwhelming — consider making a video.
Use microlearning to share bite-sized bits of knowledge
Let’s say you work for an organization that implements a new software platform, and you’ve been tasked with creating training for it. The platform is large, complex, and involves moving parts and processes that rely on other departments to keep things running efficiently (think mortgage loan processing, for example).
It may be tempting to hold a four-hour webinar, invite all company employees to attend, and cover every possible detail — then direct them to the software user guide and SOPs with a hearty “Good luck!”
This is the equivalent of explaining to someone how to swim and then throwing them into the deep end: they will inevitably start to drown and require you to rescue them.
Consider another option: microlearning via mini video tutorials.
By creating mini tutorials, you break up each part of the platform into bite-sized bits of information: you introduce a section, outline processes and procedures, and have your learners practice as they learn. Not only will they thank you for not making them sit through an all-day webinar, but they’ll feel less overwhelmed and learn the new system more effectively.
Conduct demonstrations and simulations
What do you do when you want to learn how to fix your washing machine or change a tire? You turn to YouTube.
The same thing applies to corporate eLearning: when you want to master a step-by-step process, the best way to do so is by following the instructions in a how-to video.
Another emerging option includes video simulations, or placing your learner inside a real-world environment and have them practice as if they’re doing the task live. This allows for genuine engagement, if-then scenarios, and real-time feedback.
For those of us who’ve worked customer service and been thrown into a situation with only a procedure to guide us, this kind of training can be invaluable.
Promote collaborative learning
If your organization offers social learning (such as mentoring or group discussions) as an option, consider linking video content. This could take the form of employee introductions, testimonials, or even recorded case studies or feel-good stories.
Challenge learners with feedback and assessments
Finally, consider using videos to create learner feedback and assessments of your course content by asking them to apply what they’ve learned or create something new from it.
Not only does this format provide a welcome departure from the standard 10-question quiz, it also allows you to more effectively gauge learner performance by using higher-level Bloom’s Taxonomy assessment measures.
So there you go — several ways to introduce video into your eLearning content. Now, put on your executive producer hat and start creating! 🙂
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