Using Video in your eLearning Projects



Research has found that global video traffic will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic by the year 2020 (Training Industry, 2017).

Society is engaging with video more than ever, whether it’s through sharing a video on Snapchat, binge-watching a TV series on Netflix, watching videos on Instagram TV (IGTV) or video chatting with friends. Video has become a part of our everyday life.

Video is not new to the learning world. We still remember watching educational videos on TVs that resembled the size of a tumble dryer in comparison to the slim plasma, iPad and mobile phone screens of today. It’s not only the platform that we watch videos on that has changed, the videos themselves have evolved significantly over the years. A dull and staged monologue of a person in front of a screen no longer has the impact that it used to. Our modern learners expect more, they know what is possible and they decide very quickly as to whether they will engage with the video or not.

At Belvista Studios, we have been incorporating videos into our projects for quite some time and this has enabled us to gain insight into what works and what doesn’t. Therefore, we want to share with you what we have learnt, so that you are able to learn from our mistakes, understand which projects will best benefit from videos and create videos that capture and retain the attention of the modern learner.

1. Connect the Learning to the Real World

It is critical that your learners understand how content relates to the real world and videos are a great way to do this (Vzaar, 2013).

Imagine that a group of learners need to be trained on how to put out a house fire. You can either train them by providing them with:

- A step by step list

OR

- A video showing what would happen in the real world

Whilst a step-by-step list is useful, a video adds a whole other dimension of learning. In this case it would allow learners to see what putting out a house fire would realistically be like.

You can read as much information as you like about putting out a house fire, however, you will never quite know what it’s like until you are in the situation yourself. Putting out a house fire doesn’t just involve a step by step process. It involves smoke that makes it hard to breath, a racing heart and potentially distressed and emotionally driven people in your company. Whilst video doesn’t physically put the learner in the situation, it brings them one step closer to what experiencing that situation would be like. The more realistic the learning experience is, the more likely the learner will be able to apply their learnings when they are required in the real world.

Next time you have an eLearning project, ask yourself how important it is that the learner has a deep understanding of how the content relates to real-life situations. Also consider if you believe the learner would be confident in achieving the desired behaviour from solely ‘reading’ the content. Asking yourself these questions will support you in discovering the impact of video on the project.

2. Make the Learning Personal

One of the best ways that we have seen videos used in our learning projects is through video interviews.

If you are designing an induction module, rather then having your learner click through screens of text, show them what the company is really about by enabling them to hear from people within it. Video enables you to not only deliver the information that the learner needs, it can spark emotion, make the learner ‘feel’ something, give them an understanding of the culture, receive practical advice and even enable them to familiarise themselves with key faces in the company.

For your next eLearning project, consider if the learner would benefit from hearing first hand from a subject matter expert. We as humans have been learning from each other for years, adding the personal touch of a real person speaking about a topic is a great way to enable the learner to see how the content aligns to the real-world.

3. Curation is Your Friend

Curating content can be defined as, “Finding the best content from multiple sources, usually external content, relevant to your topic or audience” (Walsh, 2017).

The videos that you include in your eLearning projects do not need to be created by you. “Let’s face it. The internet is made of videos” (Andriotis, 2017). Whilst it is often preferred to incorporate videos that align with your corporate brand and feature content from your organisation, there is a whole world of content out there that could potentially be the perfect addition to your eLearning project.

Let’s say you are developing a course on ‘Communication Techniques’. Does YouTube have any videos on ‘Communication Techniques’? Most definitely! You now have an opportunity as a learning professional to incorporate this outside content into your course. Curating content means that you are using content created by others, so don’t forget to reference appropriately!

4. Use Existing Video Platforms


Use existing video platforms to host your videos such as YouTube or Vimeo. The benefit of doing this is that they are responsive and have pre-built video controls. This enables you to present your videos in a simple and organised way.

We used Vimeo for one of our recent eLearning projects. The platform provided us with a variety of tools to customise and organise our videos, and in turn enabled us to deliver a great project. The platform allows you to track changes to your videos (specific to different users/team members) so you can monitor the progress of your project, create customisable controls such as volume control, speed control and enabling ‘full screen mode’. You can add your own logo to the video screen and even show suggested videos at the end of each video, directing your learner to more videos related to your project. Another great interaction tool that was available was to incorporate a ‘call to action’ in each video. This can be reflection questions related to the content or you can even encourage the learner to take action outside of the video environment. Overall we found a platform such as Vimeo really useful for organising and customising our videos and would recommend utilising a platform such as this one for your video projects.

That’s it for this blog on using video in your eLearning projects. I hope that these tips and insights support you in successfully implementing videos into your eLearning projects. If you are really serious about creating engaging and quality videos, we also highly recommend speaking to a videographer, being the gurus in this space, they know the ins and outs of video production and can support you in delivering a great project. Another tip before we reach the end of this blog is to take the time to scope out the requirements at the beginning of the project. Plan what content should be delivered through the videos, what devices learners will be using to watch the videos and determine whether the videos will require accessibility (video captions etc.) prior to filming. In other words, determine the outputs prior to recording.

Video is one of the most engaging eLearning tools available (Andriotis, 2017) and if you see it adding value to an eLearning project, it is well worth the effort to incorporate it! If you have any questions about incorporating videos into your eLearning project, please don’t hesitate to speak to our founder, Kim Tuohy on LinkedIn or by emailing kim@belvistastudios.com.

                                                            References

Andriotis, N. (2017). 5 Reasons to Use Video in eLearning. Retrieved from https://www.talentlms.com/blog/reasons-use-video-elearning/.

Training Industry (2017). Using Video in E-Learning: Why, When and How. Retrieved from https://trainingindustry.com/articles/e-learning/using-video-in-e-learning-why-when-and-how/

Vzaar (2013). Using Online Video In E-learning – An Effective Learning Tool? Retrieved from https://vzaar.com/blog/2013/02/20/using-online-video-in-e-learning-an-effective-learning-tool/


Walsh, S. (2016). How to Bring Your eLearning Back to Life with Curated Content. Retrieved from https://blog.anderspink.com/2017/06/how-to-bring-your-elearning-to-life-with-curated-content/. 


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