Video-based learning is the use of video to facilitate the teaching of knowledge or skills. It is likely that you’ve learned something from a video in your own life, whether during a school history class or no doubt from a YouTube tutorial (YouTube boasts two billion users worldwide – approximately a third of the internet).
Video is one of the essential assets in your e-learning toolkit. Combining camera footage, animation, graphics, text, and audio, videos create a multisensory learning experience that is unlike any other e-learning format. It’s no wonder that video-based learning is becoming a dominant standard of online training.
Video-based learning comes in a variety of formats that serve unique purposes. Here are some real-life examples of video-based learning:
Animated explainers: Animated videos are visually appealing and are effective in demonstrating abstract or complex topics that would otherwise be difficult to explain. There are plenty of educational YouTube channels that make use of animation to teach various topics.
Expert-led explainer videos: Advice from experts is always valuable, but when it’s delivered directly by experts themselves via an explainer video, it creates an inviting experience that emulates a lecture or one-to-one instruction. Expert-led channels covering almost any topic you can imagine are again a popular feature on YouTube.
Interactive videos: Videos don’t have to be entirely passive – interactive elements can be used to create an immersive experience in which learners impact the content based on their decisions. For example, learners can be given a choice at the end of each video clip that determines how the story proceeds (branching scenarios).
Here are some key benefits of video-based learning:
Improves knowledge retention: Videos offer higher recall and retention to a captive and attentive audience when compared to text, still graphics, or audio alone. Video improves retention of information by 83%. Videos can comprise a variety of elements from visual and audio effects to interactive activities that require users to click or type responses. Thus, videos can engage learners through multiple senses, which not only creates a more stimulating experience but also improves memory retention.
Enables micro-learning: Videos can be short, communicating a single idea. Learners have lots of competing demands on their attention, but by crystalising a video into a micro-learning format gives learners time to pause for thought, which results in changes in how they think about what they’ve just learned. Sharing bite-sized chunks of information by way of short, engaging videos also aligns with fleeting retention rates and can create a more meaningful learning experience.
Widely accessible content: Video content can be made available within the learners’ workflow so that they can gain access to relevant bites exactly when and where they need it (just-in-time learning). Videos can also be made more accessible by including transcripts or closed captioning. As more learners become mobile-first users, it’s important for e-learning professionals to optimise their content for small screens and keep pace with the trend of mobile learning. Video is a format that can be widely accessed across multiple devices such as tablets, smartphones, and even smart TVs.
Cost effective: You can get a lot of use out of a single video, and at the same time save money on pricey trainers or in-person meetings. Videos can be reused, easily updated, and focused on specific needs. Whether created in house or by a partner, videos are an extremely cost effective and efficient way to educate learners.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while implementing an effective video-based learning strategy:
Keep content concise: The passivity involved in watching a video can sometimes limit what’s gleaned from the material – this is particularly true when the content is overly long. Online attention spans are getting shorter and shorter and it’s important for e-learning content creators to deliver knowledge quickly. When learners only have to absorb smaller chunks of information at a time, they will have an easier time engaging and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the subject.
Select relevant topics: It goes without saying that you’ll risk losing your learners’ attention if the topic covered in a video is irrelevant to their needs and interests. It’s important to decide your intended learning objectives before starting the creation process. This gives you a clear end goal to work towards.
Make it interactive and engaging: Make your videos interactive by including questions every few scenes. This invites learners to participate with the content and apply their newly acquired knowledge directly and immediately. Include a range of animations, graphics, and video clips to keep the content engaging.
Give learners control: Improve the usability of your videos by giving learners more power over their viewing experience. Include a 2x speed button for viewers who wish to learn at a faster pace or who become bored with the standard speed. Use time stamps so learners can skip to the relevant content as they require.
Video-based learning is unlike any other format as it combines elements into a multisensory journey. Learners gain a deeper understanding of concepts and are also able retain them more easily.
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Written by Rob Ewart