Videos are a great tool to use in eLearning. Not only do they help in cognitive load reduction, but they grab viewer attention and add to learner engagement. In this article, I show you how you can leverage eLearning videos to train digital learners.
Why Are eLearning Videos a Powerful Medium in Employee Training and Digital Learners?
There are several reasons why the use of eLearning videos makes for a powerful learning experience for your digital learners.
- There’s none so compelling a motive for the use of eLearning videos than the fact that they compel consumption and improve retention levels. Given a choice of reading a 5,000-word lecture transcript versus watching an 8-minute animated video illustrating the lecture’s central idea, it’s easy to say which one is the preferred learning tool.
- Interactive eLearning videos create more engaging courses, and the emerging trend of using 360 degree eLearning videos deliver an immersive experience beyond the standard “point and record” video content.
- More importantly, the power of video, as an eLearning tool, lies in the fact that it is a cross-generational resource. From Gen C (the YouTube generation), to Boomers, Gen X, Y, and Z – workforces across the generational divide can benefit from the use of eLearning videos.
What Tips and Strategies Can Make Your eLearning Videos Engaging for Digital Learners?
Here are 5 proven tips for using transformational strategies that’ll turn “ordinary” eLearning video content into highly engaging and addictive eLearning resources for digital learners:
- Spark curiosity: It’s no coincidence that NASA names its Mars rover “Curiosity.” This is an innate human quality that drives the urge to learn through exploration. eLearning course creators would do well to tap into that aspect of human nature. One way to do this is by featuring snippets (of the more interesting bits) of the video as explainers or as the introduction to eLearning videos. Tactics, such as the use of teaser videos, help spark curiosity and raise awareness among digital learners, and fan their desire to know more about the featured topic or module.
- Hook your audience’s attention: Upon igniting a learners’ curiosity, it is imperative that trainers retain that attention throughout the video lesson. One way to do that is to use analytic tools to gauge which parts of the video grab the most attention: Upon launching the videos, are learners quickly forwarding to a specific section? Do they most frequently replay/rewind and watch specific segments? Understanding learner behavior at this level allows course designers to revamp and re-work video content. Do it to leverage the more attention-grabbing segments of video lessons to keep digital learners engaged. And…keep them short (3 to 5 minutes each)!
- Use eye-catching visuals: The way to make learners benefit from eLearning videos is to make the content appealing. Avoid boring PoV-type videos. Instead, give your digital learners eye-candy video treats by incorporating graphic imagery, breath-taking animation, and high-fidelity video quality.
- Leverage audio: As quickly as eye-catching visuals can draw learners to your videos, poor quality audio can turn them off. Make sure the video and audio are synched perfectly. Avoid using overbearing background music/soundtracks during narrations. Most importantly, use a narrator with a strong, powerful, and accent-less voice.
- Incorporate storytelling: Audiences love a good story – and those watching eLearning videos aren’t an exception. The secret to successful use of video content, as an engaging digital learning aid, is to weave elements of suspense, purpose, cause-and-effect, and final outcomes/accomplishments within the video.
- Build your course around a defined narrative – for example, a production issue on the factory floor – and use micro video modules (in concert with other elements of the course) to move the digital learner through a journey of discovery – from understanding the issues to finding a resolution.
- A good strategy is to create eLearning videos around a plot or storyline – but one that’s relevant to your learner audience. Use a customer success story, a work-related case study, or an appropriate use case to gradually (in 5-10-minute snippets) advance the story throughout the course. It is essential that the video component of the story perfectly aligns with other aspects of the course – the audio, text, slides, exercises, and assignments.
What Video Formats Should You Use to Accelerate the Impact of eLearning Videos?
The effectiveness of eLearning videos can be accelerated by adopting the following approaches:
- Learner-generated videos are a great way to foster informal learning.
- Micro-module-based scenario and simulation videos are exceptional in delivering “mock training” to digital learners in a safe (behind a screen) environment.
- Moment-of-need videos are great to provide reinforcement training as and when employees need it. These include Lesson summaries, “How To,” “FAQ,” “Watch and Learn,” and “Key Take-aways” type videos.
- Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) videos spliced as microlearning videos are great for formal eLearning courses.
- Teaser videos can be used to generate awareness, spark curiosity, and create excitement about eLearning programs.
- Practice and apply forms of videos are great as supplemental exercises, drills, and simulations.
- Reinforcement videos serve as great review and reinforcement tools and act as excellent job aids to bridge the “Forgetting Curve.”
eLearning videos are a great tool in any instructional designers and learning development professional’s toolkit. They build learning awareness, stimulate interest, foster engagement, and result in better course completion rates compared to courses that don’t use these tools. They also result in higher levels of knowledge retention and on-the-job skills transfer.
I hope my article gives you the eLearning video strategies you can use and keep your digital learners hooked. Meanwhile, if you have any specific queries, do contact me or leave a comment below.
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