How to Make Video Education Work for You

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Introduction

Video-based learning has been a common topic of conversation in the last few years, as many industries had to make a shift to elearning and video education practices due to the pandemic. It may seem like it came on quickly, but in reality, instructional designers and other elearning experts have been turning to video as an educational resource for many years.

Despite what people may think, video courses are not only beneficial in traditional academic settings. While e-learning through YouTube math tutorials and pre-recorded university lectures are great, video courses also have a place in the workforce and for people who just want to learn something new or pick up a new skill.

Perhaps your workplace has already been using e-learning technology, such as SCORM technical standards or Adobe Captivate software, but you’re looking for new ways to engage your employees when it comes to providing them with education. Online quizzes and static learning tools aren’t as exciting as they used to be, which is why it might be time to switch to video.

When it comes to business, video education can be a great way to create a more efficient and safer workplace. Using video to train employees in tandem with person-to-person training can yield better results, resulting in more successful staff and fewer workplace accidents.

The following blog post discusses why you might want to turn towards video courses–both learning from and creating them–and how to go about making effective videos for educational purposes. Then, we’re going to give you some tips on good instructional design practices when using video to make e-learning as effective as possible for your needs.

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Why Video Courses?

There are many benefits that come with video-based learning, which is great news when you consider how common they are becoming. No matter what you are trying to learn, there is likely somebody who has created a video teaching about the topic

Outlined below are a few ways that video courses can benefit both students and those who created the course.

Saving Valuable Resources

While creating a video course takes time and effort, in the long run, having a video course can save your company time and money. For example, if you create a video course that coincides with training for new employees, it reduces the amount of time the onboarding process takes.

By providing the video course, you are also giving your employees a resource that they can access anytime they need a reminder of how to do something, further creating a more efficient workplace.

Retention

For those who are the viewers of video courses, learning via video can help them retain more of the information they are being presented with. It has been found that people remember 80% of content that they watch, versus only 20% of content they read, so video is an incredibly valuable tool when it comes to not only learning new information, but actually absorbing it. This point brings us into our next, which is engagement.

Engagement

It likely goes without saying that audio-visual content is more interesting to audiences than its static counterpoint. For that reason, video classes and lessons allow the audience to be more engaged with what they are learning, versus if they were to just read a document.

If you’re creating a course for people, especially one that requires payment or subscription, you want to keep them interested in the content so that they feel that the course is worth what they paid. Find ways to increase engagement, perhaps by asking questions, using interesting visuals that relate to the content, or adding some sort of interactive element.

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Accessibility

One big perk of modern technology is that content can be consumed pretty much anywhere, anytime. This includes video courses!

Unlike attending an in-person class, where you have to be at a certain place at a certain time, video courses are often offered asynchronously, meaning that you can work on them on your own time. This is great for people who have busier schedules or don’t want to have to commute, as they’re now able to learn from the comfort of their own home (or office, or car, etc.).

As long as someone has a device they can access video on, whether that be a computer, phone, or something else, they’re good to go!

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Information Equality

Another perk of video is that the content being consumed is not going to change. If you’re learning in a live setting, such as a lecture hall or training for work, it’s not necessarily true that the information the students in the Tuesday lecture, for example, will get the exact same information as the students in the same lecture on Wednesday.

On the other hand, if the lecture is pre-recorded, students know that no matter what section of the course they are in, they’re going to receive the exact same information as all of their peers, creating an equal learning environment.

Continuing the example with a work environment, if Employee A trains Employee B, and 6 months later Employee B trains Employee C, the information provided by Employee A and Employee B might be somewhat different, resulting in a job being done differently or incorrectly.

If video is brought into the training process, it makes sure that all trainees start off on the same page and with the necessary information to succeed in their position.

Video minimizes risk, as it is a neutral resource. There’s far less chance of miscommunications that lead to avoidable errors.

Creating an Effective Educational Video

When you’re creating an educational video, you want to make sure that you come across as an authority in your field. Having a high-quality, well-put-together video can help you with this. Whether you choose to create video content independently or work with a video production company, there are a few guidelines you can follow to ensure that your content is the best it can be.

Signaling

Signaling is the use of graphics and visuals in a video to point out certain elements or emphasize certain information. This can look like keywords that pop up, little arrows that point to specific content, or using different fonts or colours to make certain text stand out.

Take a look at the video Tetra Films created for Softball Canada. As you can see, arrows, circles, and other similar graphics are used to draw the viewer’s attention to certain things on screen so they know where to be looking and so that the proper pitching technique is emphasized.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=GT3VNQBQZ_E%3Flist%3DPLYG9ejvP2OvUzgADrr3VXnE2OlozAO1Ww%26rel%3D0

Short Videos

Creating a series of short videos on your topic, rather than one longer video, is good for preventing your audience from getting overwhelmed. Segmenting the content makes it easier for people to follow along, and gives you time to individually break down different topics or steps.

Be Mindful of Extras

While adding things like background music can make your video interesting, be considerate of accessibility standards and how many extras you’re adding. You don’t want to distract or take away from the main content of the video by adding music too loud in the background or being too generous with graphics.

You certainly still can include these elements, and they can add to the video, just use them responsibly. This will help make it easier for the viewers to focus on what’s important and take more beneficial information away from the video.

Audio and Visual

Make sure that what audiences are seeing on screen matches what they are hearing. If your video is animated, make sure that there is an audio element that goes along with the animation, explaining what is happening on screen. Having visuals can be greatly beneficial to increasing people’s understanding of what they’re being told.

The below video is an example of an animated educational video we created for Newmont, and shows how audio and visual elements of the video work together for an engaging, clear narrative. The voiceover audibly tells the viewer about a situation, and they watch it play out on screen, giving the viewer two ways of comprehending the content. The way the video is partially structured as a narrative story can also make it more engaging. Using video in this way is also ensuring a safer work environment for those at Newmont, as it clearly and directly establishes workplace boundaries.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=PbwkaW-WJMo%3Flist%3DPLYG9ejvP2OvUzgADrr3VXnE2OlozAO1Ww%26rel%3D0

Language and Tone

Make sure that you are using appropriate language in your video. Your script should be speaking to your desired audience. If you’re creating a video that’s explaining something to people who are beginners or likely know very little about the topic, don’t start using jargon they might be unfamiliar with. If it makes sense for your video, try to use conversational language that’s easy to understand. This can help make the content more palatable.

Further, try to keep your tone interesting. If you’re speaking in a monotone voice, there’s a fair chance that your audience will get bored of your video and look for help elsewhere. You want to keep them engaged and interested in what you’re telling them, so they’ll return to you for more education in the future.

Interactive Features

On the topic of engagement, you could consider including some interactive elements in your video lesson. This could include questions that the audience can answer as they work through the course, or small tasks to complete that let them show they’re keeping up and fully understanding what they’re being taught.

If you’re offering a video course where the students will need to understand one concept before moving on to the next videos, small deliverables can be a great way for them to check in with themselves and make sure they’re ready to keep going.

By following these guidelines, you’re helping your audience get the most out of your course, and are contributing to a less stressful learning experience for them. You’ll be able to lower their cognitive load, making it easier for them to absorb the new information.

Choosing the Right Video Course

Now that you understand the benefits of educational videos, and what goes into making useful ones, let’s explore different types of video courses and how they are delivered, so you can choose the right team and create the right videos to meet the needs of your audience.

First, you’re going to want to make sure that the style of video being created suits the needs of your audience. Before creating your content, think about who they are, what style of video will be most advantageous to them, and where they’re going to be willing to seek out educational content.

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“View on your own time” Educational and Training Videos

If you are using video for internal purposes, such as employee training and safety, you will obviously want to provide these resources to your employees for free. How you go about this and what the instructional design looks like is up to what works best for you and your company, and what is required of the positions.

If you’re creating a series of videos on workplace safety, for example, a collection of narrative, animated videos such as the one created for Newmont above, in a private playlist on YouTube or loaded onto your company’s training platform paired with interactions and quizzes could be an option. If you are creating a video course on something that a large number of people are likely going to want to learn about, such as commonly used computer software, YouTube can be a great option. These could be one-off videos, a series, or something that your channel is dedicated to. For these types of videos, you’ll probably want a more basic instructional design so as to not overwhelm your audience.

An often overlooked benefit to YouTube is that you can still make money off of it, even though the content is free to your audience. This makes it a best of both worlds situation. By turning on YouTube’s AdSense and following the platform’s guidelines, you can make a passive income from the videos. The more views your video gets, the more money you will earn. One thing to consider, though, is that your channel will have to meet a certain amount of watch time before you are eligible for the payment program.

Subscriptions

Another option would be to offer your video course on a subscription platform like Skillshare, in which teachers and experts post video courses on a wide variety of topics, and students pay a subscription fee to access the platform’s catalogue. It’s still a relatively low commitment for students, as they have the freedom to choose what and when they want to learn.

As these are paid courses, you might want to make your instructional design a little bit more thorough than you would for a free alternative. With Skillshare, you get paid per minute watched of your courses, so you’ll want to make sure that they are engaging to your audience, whether that be through animation, quizzes, small assignments, or other interactive elements.

One-Time Paid Opportunity

If someone has an interest in your industry, or perhaps even specifically your company, they might turn to your website to look for video courses that you offer. For example, Tetra Films offers both a free video course and a paid video course. If someone is just getting started with video production or wants to learn how video could benefit their business, the free video course could be a great place to start. If they are already somewhat familiar with video production and want something that requires more commitment and that they’ll get more out of, the paid option is available as well.

The below video is an example of a free, industry-specific course. It’s the introduction to the free “What Video Can Do For You” course that Tetra offers. It’s available both on YouTube and the company website and has deliverables that students can complete in their own time.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=NQ9Mocquuac%3Frel%3D0

If you work in an industry that comes with a learning curve, as video production does, the free course is great for establishing a connection with people and introducing them to the company. After that, they may be more inclined to pay for the more extensive course, as they trust that you are an authority in your field.

Again, once the video courses are completed, this becomes passive income for your company.

Conclusion

Video education has become increasingly prevalent in how people are learning in the last few years. There are numerous benefits to video courses for both learners and teachers, as they can lead to a more efficient and effective education.

If you want to create a video course but aren’t sure where to start, reach out to a video production company that has experience creating educational videos and experience with instructional design. This will ensure that you come away with well-planned, high-quality content that will be incredibly beneficial to your audience.

Please do remember that while video education and e-learning are great tools, they are not the end-all-be-all to education. It is important that students/employees/etc are not required to rely solely on videos, and that they have access to in-person resources and education as well. Integrating video with other educational elements will yield the best results for everyone involved.

Ready To Get Started?

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