Lights, camera, action! Everybody likes watching good movies and videos in general. Whether it’s a video tutorial on what the fanciest features of your new smart phone or a funny clip of your friend’s child playing a guitar, videos can be engaging and catchy and leave a long-term memory.
Video is an excellent addition and important element of an e-learning course. Adding a video to a module, however, should not be an end in itself. The video needs to maintain the same high quality of the entire course and add value to it.
Below you will find why the video is important for a successful e-learning course and a few tips how to do it properly.
When to Use Video in E-Learning Modules
There are several reasons why you should use a video in your e-learning lessons. The main ones include:
- To explain complex ideas – about 80% of learners are visual learners and therefore visualization and animation are a suitable tool to convey a message. The video allows you to give a practical example of how a concept can be implemented in real life situations;
- To make the course more entertaining – an animated module or a video with a famous speaker will definitely make the course more attractive and preferred by a bigger number of learners;
- To maintain high retention levels – since people get attracted by visualization, the video will keep the retention levels higher compared to the same content presented in an ordinary way;
- To deliver a message by a leader – in the context of company training, choosing one of the leaders to deliver part of the training is surely a success story. You have to find the right person, though. Someone who is charismatic, loved by the employees and who knows how to behave in front of a camera;
- To present scenarios and simulations – if you want to use role play as a model, then the video is your best option. You can make it interactive by giving several possible scenarios and asking the learners to choose one or another depending on the situation.
Which Videos are Effective for E-Learning
Keep in mind that not all videos are equally useful when it comes to including them in an e-learning course. There are a few features of the right video:
- Short – longer videos tend to get boring and loose the attention of the learners;
- Interactive – include a quiz or multiple scenarios to opt from, in order to make the video even more attractive;
- Creative – strive for both creative content and presentation style. You can mix video with animation, turn it into a game or use a famous actor to present the concepts;
- Professionally made – both in terms of the tools and voice-over talents used;
- The right size – if possible the video should be compressed, so that it is easy to download the e-learning module and is compatible with different devices and internet speed
- Include a transcript and/or subtitles – this is very important, since it gives the learner one more possibility to understand the video. It also makes the entire e-learning course suitable for people with hearing challenges as well. Yet another benefit is that it makes the video easier to translate and localize in other languages.
How to Produce a Good Video
As e-learning professionals you are aware how important quality is. No doubt, you have created top notch content complimented by excellent design features and therefore, the video that you are going to add should live up to these high standards as well. Here are the three things to consider when you are planning the budget:
- Professional equipment – get a good recording system and a mike, don’t rely on the camera microphone. If possible use a sound-proof booth for the recording. Use professional tools to edit the video afterwards.
- Professional actors/voice-over talents – if possible hire a professional to do the recording. The main benefits of using voice-over talents are that you get a professional end product, the recording is done faster and it is cost-efficient in the longer term.
- Studio – if possible use a studio for the recording to reduce the ambient noise that is hard to remove afterwards.
The best advice here is that if you cannot produce a quality video, then don’t bother adding a video at all. It will just diminish the rest of the great work and instead of adding value, it will cost you your profit and/or good reputation. Try to entertain the learners with some other interactive elements like games, quizzes, etc.
TIP: Make Use of YouTube
YouTube is the largest video platform, used by both individuals and business to share and watch videos. Similar to social media, YouTube can be a very powerful channel for e-learning professionals to promote and improve their e-learning courses without much effort or cash investment. Some of the best YouTube features that are quite useful for e-learning are:
- The possibility to create playlists on a certain topic and then share it with the learners and/or peers;
- There are privacy settings that allow to share specific content only with specific group of people;
- You can use links and annotations to direct the learners to other useful sites or give additional information.
At the end of the day, a high-quality video is an excellent asset of a great e-learning module. It helps engage the learner at a different level. Make sure that the content is fresh and current and that the video is properly localized along with the entire e-learning course, so that it can reach a broader audience.