I have a confession: I'm not a big fan of videos. Any time I see one on a website or in an online course I'm interested in, I tend to click away. Or look for the transcript of the session. That leaves me in the minority, however, as recent studies say that 98% of all organizations include video in their learning strategies. So learning professionals, I give you this challenge: can you create an engaging and effective training course that would work for a cynical and non-video lover like me?
The Top 5 Ways to Make Great eLearning Videos
1. Keep it short.
There's nothing worse than starting a video lesson and seeing that it's more than 30 minutes long. Chances are I'm going to have to stop watching at some point, and I'll probably have forgotten what you were talking about in the interim. So keep the video short, so that I get through the whole thing the first time I watch. Chunk out the information into smaller bits so I can absorb them quickly and easily. And don't forget to emphasize all the key points you want me to learn.
2. Use good production values.
That means using good video cameras and microphones so I see and hear everything you want me to, the way you want me to. Professional training courses shouldn't be filmed on your smartphone; a mid-range video camera will do. Get one that records in HD so the picture quality is good on any viewing device.
Good production values also mean you've got all the accessories needed to film the training video, like tripods, stands, lights, and clip-on microphones. All of these things help you create the best training video you can, making it more likely I'll watch it. It shows me you're serious about your work, the topic, and helping people like me learn more.
3. Use someone who's comfortable on camera.
The person delivering the training should be comfortable being in front of the camera. They should understand how to speak clearly so viewers can understand them. Most of all, they should be engaging when on camera. An engaging personality will help make any lesson seem fun and interesting regardless of how 'boring' it really is.
4. Make it a How To or How Not To video.
It's true; I admit that I'll almost always watch a How-To or How-Not-To video because I know it's going to be relatively short and give me good information that I'll be able to use right away. Consider sprinkling these types of videos in your training courses to keep people like me interested.
5. Make the videos viewable from everywhere on everything.
Today's learners are taking training everywhere they can take a tablet, smartphone, or laptop, so make sure your videos are viewable on all those devices. Videos should be downloadable too, so I can watch it when it's convenient for me, like on the subway or commuter train ride home.
Trend watchers, surveys, and stats say that video is here to stay, whether I like it or not. Videos in eLearning can provoke discussions, invite learners to analyze what they're seeing and thinking more deeply about it, and engage more of your learners than regular course work can. It might not work for me, but if you create videos using these five characteristics, you've got a better shot.
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