Thursday, January 22, 2009

How We Can Use Video in e-Learning

clapboardVideo can be a great compliment to e-learning courses. Here are a few ways you can use video in your courses:

  • Vignettes of experts providing advice/tips as it relates to the course's content. I will usually place the video in a box in the corner with a play button. Once the user reads the content they can then "hear from as expert." FYI: I want the video to add to the content, not overshadow it.

  • Narration - a talking head can narrate each page. Personally, I am not a big fan of this. It just annoys me and I end up turning the sound off. I only ask that you give users the option of turning the sound off and that they have the option of moving forward without listening the entire narration. User control is very important in e-learning. It is, please believe me on this. You can also get fancy and show a narrator's full body imposed over the page. You can have them walking about the screen and pointing out specific elements of the content.

  • Demonstrations of psycho-motor activities. For example, assembling a widget.

  • Showing role-plays. For example, how customer service is done properly at your organization. Or perhaps how it is not executed properly. Better yet, create stopping points where the user makes decisions and the video branches dependent upon the user's choices. That is a lot of work on our end, but if done right it is well worth the effort.

  • Simulations - add a setting or background to your simulations. For example, the interior of a store, building or factory where the sim is set. This can add an element of realism, like customers coming and going, machines moving, etc.

These are the uses of video that come to mind, but I am sure there are other uses I have excluded. Please let me know how else we can use video in e-learning.


  1. Kia ora Jeffery!

    The video is splendid in elearning course as you have said. I use the 'movie', not necessarily a video, for many purposes in (distance) elearning in Science.

    It is especially useful where a moving illustration is needed:

    * if a resource needs viewing and explaining in a way that can't be done easily from a text

    * if a particular resource is too expensive for learner access such as a view through an electron microscope of a prepared specimen

    * a particularly dangerous device, that would require learner supervision, can be safely viewed by the learner

    * remote and unusual or unlikely occurences, such as a volcano eruption or earthquake, can be viewed to order (and safely) or the inaccessible interior of a combustion engine or valve function in the chamber of a heart (perhaps through animation but not necessarily) can be displayed.

    The most useful video devices in many instances are those that can be interrupted to provide learner interaction. This can be done through a series of clips perhaps showing different stages or schema.

    Catchya later
    from Middle-earth

    The real benefit of the video is, of course, that it is a moving image and has the potential for showing this motion in more than two dimensions.

  2. Hiya,

    Since we introduced Video to our training platform back in August 08 it has really taken off. We find our customers are using it to upload & deliver portions of the same courses they would otherwise give in a classroom / boardroom situation, over the web. Whether it's a course on Health & Safety, product knowledge, staff induction or Massage, Clinical Research or Languages, videos create that visual link that diagrams and powerpoints just can't.

    Captivate and Camtasia are awesome for recording screencasts and audio as well, we use them to create our own demo-videos on how to use our system (although these are now dated and need to be re-done, so not a very good example).

    Video just works! I feel it's also very apt right now for Gen Y who demand techonology provide ease, immediacy and a visual connection to their trainer. It provides a face behind the material to personalise the whole experience.

    One last thing - our Health & Safety providers use our tracking system to log who has watched the safety videos and can also see who started it but didn't finish it etc and make sure they follow that person up. But this record of a trainee watching a video on 'work site safety' for example, actually holds up for them in court as a legal record in the event of something going wrong on the worksite.
    For clients like that, video training has become an absolutely essential part of the way they do business and so much more cost-effective than traveling around the country, getting groups together during work hours, to sit around in a room just to go through a video, sign a form etc.


  3. [...] should not use video?  Absolutely not!  In fact, video has never been more useful in training.  Smart instructional designers are realizing that incorporating the video as short clips with interactive elements provides the [...]


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