Video is everywhere. If all we look at are YouTube statistics, they report over 1 billion people use YouTube, or a third of all internet users. As of May 2019, 500 hours of video was being uploaded to their platform every minute. Yes, every minute.
What does that mean for e-learning? When so many people are accustomed to tapping into video to learn how to use a new device or fix a dripping faucet, they are going to look for video for other learning tasks as well. And they’ll expect to find it whenever and wherever they choose to access it.
Steve Penfold, writing for eLearning Industry, lists three ways video achieves results in training:
Video delivers small bites of information to make assimilation easy. Most learners, like the rest of us, watch the kinds of short videos that are often posted to social media like Instagram. “Since learners are already accustomed to watching short videos for entertainment, watching short videos to learn for work is an easy option,” points out Taryn Oesch, editor at Training Industry. “Online videos are also a great way to introduce new topics and model skills or behaviors.” She and others dub these short burst of training microlearning.
Video tells good stories, which is how humans learn best. Because video engages more senses than the written word, it is a great way to tell a memorable story. We witness the power of story to engage our learning brain every time we watch a TED talk. TED speakers are prepped to share stories as part of their presentations, and you’ll notice they usually open with one and then circle back to it at the end if not before. In your e-learning course, a short animation might tell a story. So could an interactive “Choose Your Own Adventure” type of video or the inclusion of a clip with a voiceover.
Video improves holistic training to include behavior, culture, and emotion. Communication experts teach that just 11 percent of communication happens through the actual words. The rest is nonverbal. Facial expression, posture, setting, and tone and timbre of voice, to name a few, carry the rest, and they require video and audio delivery. In fact, says Christopher Pappas, also with eLearning Industry, incorporating different types of audio with the video heightens the emotional connection experienced by users even more than video alone.
In addition to these three benefits, video makes sense when we think like educators, because providing diverse modalities increases the potential for comprehension and retention for individuals with a range of learning differences.
“Thanks to technology, video is scalable and accessible,” says Oesch. “Providing video content on an LMS or internal website makes it easy to share, and that content is increasingly accessible on mobile devices as well.” It does need to be well done, however, as part of your overall training strategy rather than an afterthought. You don’t want sloppy, boring, or disconnected video to distract from the important information or skill you want users to absorb.
As you think about what to include in your e-learning courses, we can help you consider where video might make sense. Feel free to call us at 303-219-7227.