​Next generation video learning

22nd August 2018

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How to optimise your training videos


Adults spend an average of 53 minutes per day consuming online videos. Whether you’re watching a cat doing something cutesy or a seriously intense MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), we’re all hungry for video content whenever we go online.

It’s no surprise, then, that video has played an increasingly important role in professional education; a trend that, with the rise in popularity of e-learning, is only going to continue.

The way we consume video online has a strong bearing on how we learn from it. Unless you are trying to teach something practical and simple – such as how to fix a computer glitch – a video must do so much more than show. As such, today’s learning professionals design videos with the latest pedagogy in mind.

That said, learning principles change very little when new technology is introduced because the way we are hired-wired to learn remains constant. The latest technology does give us more options in terms of how we present and personalise content, but the actual rhythm, length and substance of a video must be properly thought through for it to be effective.

Cegos has long been at the forefront of e-learning development, so here are a few tips on how to make sure your training videos achieve the desired effect.

1. Get them hooked

Attention spans are decreasing, but if you hook your learner right at the beginning, they are more likely to stay engaged. Make sure the first minute or so really captures their imagination – perhaps with a surprising fact or a call to aspiration – and then keep up the pace. At Cegos, we don’t believe that videos should be very short just to accommodate shortening attention spans. By its nature, a short video is unlikely to contain anything of substance. Instead, keep the learner wanting to know more, just like an author does with a story. Speaking of which…

2. Tell a story

Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of engagement we know. But it also is an extremely useful tool for learning. According to the psychology of storytelling, information delivered as a story is more memorable and therefore more likely to stick, and be acted upon, than information presented in a traditional form.

3. Encourage practical application of the learning

Videos should demonstrate how to apply learning in practical terms, not just show the learner what to do. You can incorporate other mediums here, such as online surveys, PDFs or simply set a task via the video itself. For example, people can find out how to play the guitar by watching videos on YouTube, but they will only be able to play it by picking up a guitar and practicing what they have learned. Guide the learner on how to practically apply learning every time unless it’s obvious.

4. Personalise your content

Personalisation is increasingly popular in the L&D world and, thanks to complex algorithms, videos can be selected depending on an individual learner’s needs. In some case, through bot technology, learners can ‘converse’ with a virtual person as they would a tutor on a course.

As technology progresses, learning professionals will be given ever more exciting options to engage their learners. Virtual Reality is already a thing in professional learning and will no doubt become part of the mainstream sometime soon.

People expect more flexibility and mobility with their professional learning these days. So, however you package your learning programme, think seriously about using video to its full potential.

If you would like to know more about how to use technology to support performance, download a copy of our free Innovation Handbook here. The handbook includes lots of inspirational articles on everything from change management to advice on the latest thinking in Learning and Development.