The future of video in e-learning: Demystifying the selfie video and more

Within training, video can be an effective platform for displaying critical information, making it easy to digest whilst commanding your learner’s attention. However, despite its clear benefits many L&D professionals still hesitate to use video as there’s fear of high costs, excessive planning or need for new technologies.

That’s no longer the case chances are your smartphone can shoot a pretty decent HD video! So, it’s time L&D overcome these barriers and leverage the potential of video in e-learning.
According to a recent report from Cisco, 82% of global consumer internet traffic will be video by 2020, proving more and more people are using it as a way to access and interpret information on the internet. Video also works great on mobile and is something that’s highly shared, with 92% of mobile video consumers sharing the videos they watch with others.

This behaviour clearly shows video is something your learners have grasped. But why is it so successful? Video enhances the e-learning experience by using engaging rich media that emotionally connects with your learners and hooks them in. Humans tend to learn better by example and video makes training easier to absorb and apply to a real life scenario.

With 1/3 of all online activity spent watching video, it’s clear video is a popular outlet to learn, and one that your users are already finding excellent value in. So, today we’re going to explore what’s next for the direction of video, how you can leverage this media in different ways and how it can enhance the overall e-learning experience.

Selfie video

video in e-learningDid you ever think you’d hear the word ‘selfie’ used in the context of L&D? We didn’t think so either. But selfie videos are a simple yet powerful way to incorporate more video and rich media content into your training. They are a short, unscripted and informal videos that are usually filmed by the speaker themselves using a smart phone or front camera.

Selfie videos can be an impactful platform to convey an important message and ultimately humanise your learning experience. They can be very effective for storytelling, as they connect the learner with someone they can relate to, contextualising the learning in real-life scenarios. They also give your audience a voice allowing them to share their personal experiences; any employee who has a story to tell can ‘star’ in your selfie videos. Here are some examples:

  • A Managing Director or CEO discussing how they began the company and welcoming new starters
  • A Production Line Manager explaining the consequences of compliance failure
  • A Shop Assistant sharing her achievement/reward for excellent customer service
  • To raise the profile of your key stakeholders – perhaps an introduction to your head of department for example

The power of selfie videos lies in the authenticity and realism of the speaker. Your learners build trust and emotionally connect with someone in their organisation they can relate to. Humans are social creatures, so we are more invested when we are learning from real person speaking. Selfie videos also help your learners put context behind the theory being taught and understanding how others have applied their knowledge to real-life practices will motivate your learners to retain more information, knowing it could be helpful for them in the future too.

Making a selfie video is cost-effective, quick and really straight forward to produce. All you need is a smartphone, and according to a recent report from Deloitte, 76% of adults now have one, so there’s no excuses. It also means you can easily create videos in-house without outsourcing from different providers, saving you time and money on production costs, check out our top tips to creating selfie videos below.

The tricky part is finding a voluntary staff member to take 10 minutes of their time filming, but choose wisely. You still have to ensure the speaker is engaging and will tell a valuable story your users can learn from.

Interactive video

Interactive video contains hot spots and opportunities which allow your users to actively explore and interact with the learning content, or even change the direction of the story with more complex branching scenarios. It’s not a new concept – I’m sure you remember spotting the road dangers whilst taking your Hazard Perception theory test – but it’s an effective way to further enhance your video assets.

Videos by themselves are great. But going beyond static video allows the user to turn a passive activity into something interactive, which can deepen your learner’s engagement and create opportunities to drill down and explore a topic further. However, unlike selfie videos, interactive videos usually require a production cost so tend to be outsourced in order to be created effectively.

So, how can you incorporate interactive videos in your training offering? You could set tasks based on a video, then have questions pop up throughout, provoking thought and concentration from your learners. You could even take a leaf out of the hazard perception book and get your learner to spot health and safety hazards, giving them the opportunity to dive deeper into each specific hazard and learn more about them. By finding different ways to embed interactive video into your e-learning course structure, this will add value to your current training offering, enriching the learning experience and keeping your learners connected to their training longer.

Video personalisation

People tend to be attracted to things that are customised to them as individuals. As you know in the world of learning and development, your learners can sometimes feel overwhelmed with information overload. Personalisation helps your learners to feel unique and as if the learning experience has been created exclusively for them.

Combining video with personalisation is becoming a major trend in marketing, with some saying it’s the future of video marketing all together. Just like a sophisticated marketing email, it uses personalisation tokens to create a more targeted user experience that the learner can emotionally connect with. Personalisation uses the information you already hold in your LMS to create a better journey and a more targeted user experience. Facebook recently launched personalised videos to celebrate “World Friends Day”; using an algorithm the video showcases previous Facebook memories, friendships and pictures, pulled from the data on your profile page. Proving popular with users, personalised video memories is now a continued feature on Facebook. See an example here.

Of course, you will need to collect some data from your learners to do this, and might need to collaborate with an external supplier to help produce the video template itself, but it can be an extremely effective way of delivering a more unique and relevant learning experience, especially if you have a significant campaign or message to convey.

Social video

Did you know YouTube has over a billion users worldwide and they upload over 60 hours of video a minute? That’s a lot of content available to watch online. Social video utilises social platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to host and share different video content. With LinkedIn recently introducing auto play video to their timelines too, it’s something that’s performing extremely well with users on social media. But how can you leverage this in your training?

It’s all about tapping into the way your learners are teaching themselves at home and learning in their own time. Think about when you need to find a new dinner recipe, you Google it, end up watching a YouTube video then next thing you know you have a perfectly cooked Beef Wellington. You’re not the only one; your learners are using social video to learn at home too.

You know your audience the best so if they’re regular LinkedIn users, why not create a new showcase page and use it to share helpful resources such as simple ‘how to’ or ‘explainer’ videos? Or you could create a private Facebook group and use that to post selfie videos and encourage comments and discussions. It’s a great way to discover different channels that reach your learners, and this is one you know lands well with your audience already.

Using video in your LMS

If your LMS can host more than just digital learning, why not upload some video too? Leveraging video in your LMS (separate from the e-learning) can contribute to creating a more holistic ‘hub’ like approach, where your learners can explore different resources and content to improve their skillset. Marco Giacomini, the Organisational Development Administrator at Lewisham Homes, agreed video compatibility was a key requirement when choosing their new LMS, commenting:

“One of the things that interested me the most about Learning Pool’s LMS is the ability to create blended programmes with interesting resources like video clips.”

As well as hosting rich media, LMSs like Learning Pool’s allow you to embed video into forum posts – tapping into the social video element we mentioned earlier. Ask your Trainers or Managers to utilise this in their training programmes in order to mix up how you’re delivering knowledge and messages. They could post a relevant selfie video, asking a question which then encourage learners to contribute their answers or reflect on what they’ve just watched. Or perhaps your learners can use this feature themselves as an effective way to share informative YouTube videos and demos that have helped them learn something new – this encourages a more collaborative way of learning with peers too.

According to ReelSEO including a video on your homepage can increase conversion rates by 20% or more. Try applying this to your LMS by embedding a video on your homepage or main dashboard and see how it affects your course completions, or even the amount of time your learners spend exploring your LMS.

Another example of leveraging video in your LMS could be for induction or training on a new platform, which our client National Express has done to great effect. They required an engaging way of introducing their new learning management system and educating staff members on how to use it. So, they created an introductory video which is hosted on the homepage of their new LMS and is played the first time any learner accesses the platform. The video consists of screencast tutorials, audio and rich visuals to distribute knowledge on how the platform works and how they can make the most of its functionality. Incorporating video in this way is a great opportunity to dip your toes into the realms of video in training, to see how your learners react to it!

What’s next for your organisation?

Ultimately, video is a powerful platform that can be leveraged and applied to e-learning in many different ways to captivate your learners. It’s a method of learning that your audience is already acquainted with and one that will only continue to increase, so use these top tips to get a jumpstart into the future of video in e-learning to better engage your learners and drive results.

Interested to find out more about future L&D trends? Check out this blog post outlining our forecasts and predictions for next year and beyond.

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