4 Ways Video Can Enhance Learning Experiences

I love a good vid. In this age of Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Now and YouTube, you can be pretty much guaranteed to find something you want to watch that is engaging and entertaining. Practically anything you want to learn these days can be located in a 3-5-minute video or series of videos.

Unlike a traditional presentation of information where you read about a procedure, view some diagrams or pictures about it, and then trying to apply it in a real situation, video enables you to see, listen and review application all in the one package.

Video is an extremely powerful learning medium, because it gets a lot of information across in a short period of time, and the viewer is engaged through sight, sound and a ‘real life’ situation. The success of websites like YouTube are a testament to the popularity of video and show how this medium can be used effectively in a learning environment. So, what about our eLearning modules? As developers, what are some ways we can use video to capitalise on its learning power and provide an engaging experience?

1. Provide a personal touch

You can add a short video to an induction module welcoming new starters by the CEO, Executive team, HR team, direct manager etc. Great to put a face to a name! Also makes it easier for the new starter to know who they are looking for if they need to find a particular person.

2. Observe a Process

The process might be an interpersonal one, showing an example discussion around a customer service encounter, or a performance management session etc, or even how to use a product. For example, how to put on and take off personal protective equipment when doing a site inspection. Or allow learners to observe a process and then answer questions about what was done well, and what could have been done better.

3. Case Studies

Another great way to use videos is to play out a case study. Rather then the learner read through a document describing the situation, the learner is able to watch it ‘live’ as the situation unfurls, and how the situation should be dealt with as best practice.

For example, a bank may like to demonstrate a best practice approach for completing a personal loan for a customer including all of the must ask questions required to process the loan as efficiently as possible, and also show the expected legal obligations they need to cover off while completing the transaction. The feedback is invaluable for the learners to see the required behaviour modelled, and assists them in understanding the various requirements.

Another example from our experience is a video around ladder usage and safety. What was quite a graphic video allowed the learner to see the consequences of falling from height, and what sort of safety precautions should have been in place to avoid it.

4. Scenarios

What about a ‘choose your own adventure’ branching video scenario? The learner watches a situation occurring, and in various places the video pauses and they need to make a decision. When they make a decision, the next video shows them the consequences of their decision, and may prompt them to make further choices with other consequences. It is those choices and consequences that provide the learning experience, and assist the learner in gaining the new knowledge required.

Video can be as simple or complex as you like

It all comes down to your experience and the resources you have available. Start small and build to bigger and better engaging scenarios as you get more comfortable with producing video and as resources become available.

Have fun with it! You don’t need to be Hollywood to create great learning videos, with good instructional design you can create video on the cheap that is effective, and has the learning impact you are after.

Some are more involved with more professional production values, but both can be used effectively to engage the learner and get them involved in the story. When you are starting out with video keep in short and sweet but visually exciting for its 2-3 minutes, don’t just use a talking head – boring! Get your visual design hat on.

Now take a look at some ways we can use video in Articulate Storyline to create interactive and engaging learning experiences.

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