If there’s one thing that the 21st century learner loves, it’s video content. With the ability to rewind, fast forward, pause, and playback material, this content type is a real crowd pleaser – especially among Millennials. But creating custom video content for learning can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know where to start.
What’s the point of investing so much time and energy into creating video content for eLearning when instructional manuals and traditional wikis work just fine?
The Benefits of Producing Your Own eLearning Videos
When done right, this multifaceted format comes with many benefits that will keep your learners immersed on your content, including:
- Higher Learner Engagement: Today’s learner is already used to spending hours a week consuming video content across their various devices. In fact, the average American spends up to six hours a day watching video on some platform. Including video in your eLearning strategy is a surefire way to meet your learners where they are.
- Increased Learner Control: Need to pause for a second and jot something down? No problem. Video content is a great way for learners to take more control over the pace of their own learning. It also means that they can squeeze learning at a time that’s convenient for them (instead of pushing it aside altogether).
- Improved Accessibility: Using video in your learning strategy can also help to improve your options when it comes to overall accessibility. Video content allows you to include visual and auditory queues like closed captioning and subtitles, and its audience-friendly format is a great way to overcome illiteracy in the workplace.
Whether you’re updating your established learning strategy or exploring new territory for yourself and your team, video offers a great way to interact with the modern day learner from every background. Keep reading to find out the top three most important steps to creating your own eLearning videos.
Before Getting Started
Before you invest too much time and energy into your first video, consider your reasons for making it in the first place. Sure, the benefits of a good eLearning video include higher retention and learner engagement - but not every subject needs to be brought to life on a screen.
Consider whether your video helps learners achieve the goal at hand, or if the format itself improves the learning experience in some way. A video may or may not be what best supports a learner's performance or best encourages learner empathy.
The 3 Steps
Now that you’re ready to start your first eLearning video, you need to know where to start.
1. Match your Format to Your eLearning Goals
The first step in creating a good eLearning video is to decide what style it should follow. Start by mapping your learning objectives to the benefits of the different types of video formats, and decide what suits your learners' needs best. Knowing what your audience is trying to accomplish will save you lots of time and energy down the line.
For example, imagine how video can be used to support just-in-time learning in the workplace. Screencasts, role-plays, and animations that demonstrate proper procedures are perfect formats to keep everyone aligned with common processes and desired outcomes. The short format of these videos will not only reduce the amount of time you spend in video production, but it will also help the learner focus on getting the support they need to achieve their goal.
Below are some of the different types of video formats used across eLearning, and what kind of learning they support:
- Screencasts: To be blunt about it, screencasts are used to cast a view of your screen. These videos are a great way to support employees that are looking to accomplish specific tasks related to their jobs, and they are a great way to onboard learners to new software or computer systems. Screencasts can be as formal or informal as you would like, and they can be made easily with some of the free software that comes with your computer, such as like Quicktime.
- Role Play Scenarios: Role plays are a more traditional form of eLearning, and they typically involve more than one ‘star’. Although this video format requires more planning and production time, it also helps the learner develop problem-solving skills by introducing them to potential scenarios that they will experience in practice.
- Interviews: What better way to learn from a subject matter expert than to hear it directly from them? Recording interviews with your subject matter experts is a great way to create learning content that can be used and reused throughout your course.
- Animation: Animation is a great way to engage learners without having to invest in lots of production time and coordination. Animated video formats like cartoons, infographics, or animated text are a great way to illustrate abstract concepts or processes.
2. Don’t Neglect Your Script and Storyboard
Whether your video is ten seconds or ten minutes long, a good piece of content always tells a story. While you might be tempted to wing it once you hit ‘record’, producing an effective video takes planning and preparation.
Start by creating a script of what you want to demonstrate and how you will show it in your video. Consider things like who will be speaking (if anyone at all), where you will film, and what types of angles you will need to capture.
Once you have your script nailed down, create a storyboard to go along with it and guide the video-making process through mockups of key scenes or concepts. The storyboard should be a rough representation of what your video will look like as a final product, so don’t spend too much time getting your visuals just right.
3. Choose and Use the Right Tools
You don’t have to break the bank to create videos that meet your content needs. You can find lots of free editing tools online, and there are MOOCs of every variety to help you boost your video making skills.
Choose tools that make it easy for you to use and re-use your video content in as many ways as possible. Since you’re already investing more time and energy into video content that shines, you might as well make it work in more ways than one.
By turning your videos into reusable learning objects, you can leverage the support of microlearning or just-in-time learning. Even better - since today’s learning objects can be searched, stored, and inserted into content digitally, you can deploy video updates to your entire team across all of your platforms at once.
The face of the modern-day workforce is changing by the day, and learning strategies are changing with them across every industry and institution. No matter what your reason is for incorporating video into your learning strategy, be sure to take the time to research, plan, and most importantly – have fun.