The Rise of Video in eLearning and Online Training

The Rise of Video in eLearning

Let’s face it: Videos are popular. Really, really popular. eLearning and training notwithstanding, the personal and professional public at large seeks videos out at every opportunity – giving rise to video juggernauts like YouTube – forcing organizations to adopt more videos into their training.

Why, you ask? Because, from instructor-led training interspersed with anecdotal or contextual videos or videos that simply disseminate instructional information, videos are the medium du jour – and their popularity shows no signs of waning.

Ready for some cold, hard facts about this white-hot training medium?

The ‘how-to’ video content statistic is especially telling as it puts a fine point on exactly how people, both in their personal and professional lives, seek to learn more about any given subject: videos.

The Science of Learning

In order to appreciate how videos promote learning, it’s important to first understand how, exactly, people learn. It’s a science, after all. But according to the Harvard Business Review, despite spending roughly $164.2 billion on learning and development programs, many executives still struggle to improve and enhance eLearning and training’s effectiveness.

Why?

Because many fail to make the connection between how the brain processes information and the best tools to deliver that information.

The missing component? Microlearning.  

Microlearning is a method that uses small moments of learning to drive job performance and employee development. Short and to the point, microlearning is based on a topic or problem, and can be easily searched by asking a question or entering keywords.

According to brain science learning theories, the concept of spaced learning, best explained by the original research conducted by Hermann Ebbinghaus in the late 1800s, discovered that progressive injections of new knowledge had a rapid memory decay in the brain.

To the contrary, his spaced-learning theory suggests that ‘ … learning is better when the same amount of study is spread out over periods of time than it is when it occurs closer together or at the same time.’

Ebbinghaus found that repeated practice would enable people to remember and retain knowledge with each repetition of content review. In fact, neurological research has proven that we learn best by being exposed to new skills and ideas over time with spacing in between.

As one expert put it, ‘Do you really want a bunch of 20-minute videos? Or would you rather have a system that allows [an employee] to learn just what they need for five minutes a day – and follow up by posting their own videos and evaluating their colleagues?’

And that’s the biggest win for microlearning videos: Meeting employees where they are, at their exact moment of need and availability, using a delivery method they prefer above nearly all others.

Why Video Works in eLearning

Consider the case for – and popularity of – TED Talks.

Available online and via apps, this burgeoning cultural and educational phenomenon has capitalized on the public’s growing demand for video-based learning that provides learner control of content selection.

The global workforce already gets information outside of work in little chunks and snippets as we watch videos, access Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, shop retailers, and check our emails several times a day. Everything comes into our brains very quickly and in small chunks.

If this is how people consume content outside of work, then we need to reach learners in a way that is most comfortable and natural for them – with short snippets of information, available through apps and mobile devices, that are ready and accessible when the user is ready and available.

It’s all very ‘push-button-get-banana.’ ‘I want it. I get it. I consume it.’

And one of the most critical attributes of video is its use of both auditory and visual cues. Visual cues provide a primary source of information, while the audio cues expound upon the information.

In fact, according to a report by Software Advice, more than 50% of respondents indicated that they would use their company’s learning tools more if the courses were shorter as longer courses were not only more challenging to digest and retain, but that taking them got in the way of their daily work.

Give Learners What They Want

Video has become an integral part of how people consume information, so it’s no small wonder that its popularity has infiltrated eLearning strategies. At Vector Solutions, our eLearning solutions are adaptive, evolving to provide quick snippets of information through the use of videos to meet learners where they are today to educate and train the workforce of tomorrow.

Take, for example, this nearly 3-minute 3D video that allows workers to take a closer look at equipment while performing installations.

Transmission and Distribution: Working on Distribution Poles Video by Vector Solutions
Click Here to Watch Video

Short, engaging, and on topic for the audience, this video can be easily accessed and utilized at any time, including on a mobile device out in the field.

Have you adopted video in your instructional design yet?