Did you know that our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than text? This is a great statistic to keep in mind when you begin creating training materials as breaking up long portions of text with a visual element helps reengage learners.
One option is to consider using video in elearning modules to create emphasis or to call out important information you want your learners to remember. Though, before you begin creating these videos, here are some tips that will help you create more effective video content
1. Keep video length top of mind
Yes, videos can be a very effective tool in breaking up large pages of text and engaging your learners, but pay attention to the length of your video as lengthy videos can be just as bad as too much text.
Data on the optimum length of an elearning video varies (especially depending on the information you’re presenting – think TED talk videos) but, generally speaking, topics broken down into 6-10 minute videos seem to do best. That doesn’t mean your videos can’t be shorter or longer, but keep in mind that sometimes more than a minute or two is needed to explain information in its entirety and viewership tends to steadilydecline after 10 minutes.
2. Create a script
This doesn’t have to be an Oscar-worthy script, but you’ll want to brainstorm at least an outline of what the video will cover so you can ensure the video is kept on track. This helps with timing and making sure the important pieces of information are included.
This can also be very helpful if you plan on utilizing internal resources to create the video through the use of employees as actors. Scripting out the scene and giving either exact or loose dialogue can help those unused to being on camera feel more at ease.
3. Include real-life scenarios
The most beneficial types of video training are real scenarios your viewers may find themselves in. If you include an obscure occurrence that rarely, if ever, happens then you run the risk of either omitting the more important real-life scenarios or create unnecessary work and confusion if you choose to include both.
Keep your video training simple and to the point in the way that your learners will most identify with and make use of.
4. Make sure videos are good quality
I think we can all tell right away when a video looks to have been made back in the 80’s. And, whether consciously or unconsciously, your video may lose credibility if viewers see the information as outdated.
Instead, commit to spending some time and making use of a few key resources like video editing software to make your videos as good as they can be.
This doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune, but invest in a decent camera, video editing software, a good lavalier microphone and you’re on the way to creating a great video.
HINT: We also recommend giving some thought and paying attention to how you see movies, television shows and other videos filmed as you can get some great ideas of how to keep your viewers’ attention, i.e. multiple angles, music, etc.
5. Make your videos as accessible as possible
This tip may apply to some, but not all. Some organizations need to maintain proper security on the videos they create and will need to make sure those outside of their users aren’t able to gain access.
Otherwise, make sure your elearning videos are easily accessible to those who may need to reference them more than once. This could mean making them available in one common place on your Intranet, having them in their own separate playlist on YouTube, on a shared network drive, or using them as part of the training you deliver via a learning management system (LMS).
It’s hard enough at times to get learners to complete training without also making it difficult to find.
6. Break up that text!
Besides quickly and visually being able to communicate particular pieces on information or how-tos, videos are also a great way to break up the monotony of numerous text paragraphs or text-only modules.
Similarly, you can also use other visual content such a pictures, infographics, charts or graphs, GIFs, etc.
It doesn’t matter if you have a large budget and can pay someone else to produce your elearning videos for you or if you’re operating on a shoestring budget and will be producing the videos yourself. Keeping in mind these six tips for using video in elearning will give you a good base on which to create your videos and engage your learners. And, ultimately, create a more effective elearning experience.