Why video should be part of your learning strategy

When most adults want to learn how to fix something, learn a new process, or simply need information, we typically do a search or watch a video on the Internet (ie; YouTube). So why wouldn’t we apply the same rationale at work? According to the Masie Center, “Video is changing the format of content, collaboration and knowledge publishing in the workplace. Our employees are increasingly turning to video as their media of choice to access updated knowledge, skill development, corporate storytelling and even peer-to-peer social collaboration.” There’s certainly a reason why over 4 billion (yes, with a “B”!) videos are watched every day on YouTube, and it’s not just for entertainment. When it comes to utilizing video for learning, studies show that it is far more effective than more traditional methods. According to Nick van Dam, Chief L&D Officer at Deloitte, “90 percent of learning comes from informal training activities like apps, social networks and… VIDEO.”

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So, when someone asks me, “Why should I use video in my learning strategy?” my response is simply “Why wouldn’t you?” If there is any truth behind the saying that a video is worth 1.8 billion words1, and that people retain information 200% more with video than with audio alone2, then you are missing a significant and effective learning asset in your strategy if you are not utilizing the power of video. Face-to-face training is expensive; video is a cost-effective, but a personal way of getting your message out there.  Training via video can slash your training spend and save you a fortune. Video can also take the benefits of face-to-face training and combine it with affordability, convenience and anytime, anywhere access. Videos can also be re-watched, re-wound and re-visited as often as the user wants and needs. They can even be used as part of an e-learning course, as a pre-requisite to classroom training or as performance support where learners can refresh themselves rather easily by watching a video tutorial that summarizes the main points of a longer training program.

This ensures that they are able to get to grips with any element of the content they’re not confident with, before moving on. Furthermore, with a video content management system (like www.videonitch.com), videos can be hosted on a single platform where students can share and comment to promote collaboration.

Video appeals to the largest volume of people. People like to learn through visual and audio stimulation. It gives students the ability to see complicated things in a way that keeps attention and shows how and why it works. 3 days after learning something, our brains retain 65% of what we see and hear. Compare this to the 10% we retain of what we read! People are immediately drawn to watching a video in a way that is lacking in a book, or a downloadable resource.  Remember at school, when the teacher said, “We’re going to watch a video today”? I don’t know about you, but I LOVED those days!

Despite what some people think, videos can be quick to make and can engage the audience.  Aside from using them just for training, videos can be created quickly and affordably to promote, what I call, “Corporate Glue”. These are videos of senior leaders in an organization that give focus to key messages and reinforce significance. By utilizing video, these messages can reach employees around the world, regardless of time differences, and can ensure that everyone is hearing a consistent message, unlike PowerPoint, which can be amended or ignored. After all, the video is the same for all who see it, so the message will remain unchanged.

Let’s get back to why one would use video in a learning strategy. When e-learning was first introduced in the late 90s, most organizations weren’t ready for it. Not because they didn’t think it was effective, but because they didn’t know what e-learning was. There are many similarities between e-learning in the 90s and video learning today. For example, when e-learning was first introduced, authoring tools were very complicated and very expensive. In most cases it took someone with an html coding background and an understanding of instructional design to produce an effective self-paced course. Over a number of years e-learning authoring tools became much easier to use and certainly much more affordable. Today, anyone that understands basic instructional design can create e-learning courses with very little technical expertise – and definitely do NOT need to know code. So how does this relate to video learning? Companies have been creating training videos for many years, that concept isn’t new. However, producing traditional training videos used to be very expensive and time consuming. Like e-learning, the tools to produce video content today are MUCH more affordable and anyone that can point and shoot can create effective videos. Why use video in your learning strategy……WHY NOT?

1 Dr. James McQuivey’s Forrester study “How Video Will Take Over the World” , 2008
2 Yankee Group’s Anywhere Enterprise:  2010 US Unified Communications FastView Survey, 2010

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