Most of my previous articles have explicitly established the importance of online learning, online teaching, and so on. In this article, I would be focused around one of its most important elements that contribute significantly to its success, and that is the video learning. Though online learning modes are increasing in popularity (online enrolment in the United States currently is 33 percent, showing a sharp increase since last few years[1]), yet unluckily, it is taken as a broad technology and thus its elements on an individual level, are often neglected, resulting in unsatisfied learners and instructors. Video learning is one of the graphical elements of the online learning experience, which not only enhances the understanding level of material, as indicated by the latest MIT research[2] but can also be improved to an amazingly appealing level, both for the learners and instructors.

The internet is able to get a lot of the same activities students to take in while having learned in traditional classroom settings. For instance, video conferencing in real-time enables instructors and students to interact visually, and message boards and chat rooms help construct relationships, make it easier for the students to help one another and enhance accessibility to the instructor. These classroom tools and resources are always at learner’s fingertips so that they can also access past lectures, communicate via the message board and interact with their fellows when it is easier for them[3]. This makes sure that students are least likely to miss or fall behind any lecture, since class information, lectures, and resources are always available online.

It is to be noted that video learning is not confined to academics at all; rather it’s also becoming a concrete part of corporate pieces of training and online learning experiences. I recently came across one such case. The head of the sales training in a big manufacturing entity had the task of giving his team members the new maintenance processes. With the range of video technologies available, it would definitely have not been wise of him to just provide them with written guidelines and how-to-do manuals. Instead, he presented a video with all the information regarding new procedures while demonstrating the new maintenance execution. He also connected supporting documents to the video he made, as reference material. Eventually, he found out that video put a greater impact on team members in learning and storing important information in their minds.

Most big companies have employees spread all across the world and it’s quite difficult to keep an update of each and every team member at a time. What can be the solution? Are you thinking of going the traditional road and route out an email and hope it would be read by everyone and is effective? While the email might help you attain your end objective, distributing the on-demand video would be more beneficial. On-demand video is there whenever, wherever, just like the email would be, however, the video brings personal touch, making employees feel clearer and more comfortable about the message delivered. Multi-language closed captions may also be integrated for non-English speakers in the team[4]. With video, all win, especially those who are time zones away.

When it comes to maximizing the value of video learning, certain design tips can just be great. Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed its own system for annotating videos, in which lessons were split into discrete sub-goals and were labeled on a site named Crowdy[5]. The site functions by capturing instructional YouTube videos from learning sites and stopping the watcher periodically to watch the part of the video he or she wants to.  The responses of the users made the college decided to generate the sub-goal label. The purpose behind subgoal labeling was to break the video matter into more hierarchical and sensible how-tos. The label came up as a great hit for the users.

But which format to use for videos?

The major factor that implies which format to use is the goal of the online course, MOOC and the course content. The video format is selected by the course design team during the course design phase when the instructional strategy is developed, for instance, the video formats are selected, the content selected for each, related student tasks, activities or assessment selected, etc.

Another factor is based on the resources (dollars and human resources) available for video formation. This is determined on the basis of the program, tool or hardware that is to be used for video production. Recent research conducted by the edX MOOC platform showed the following findings that can be used as tips for maximizing the value of video learning[6]:

  • Shorter videos tend to be more engaging since learner’s engagement level drops after 6 minutes.
  • Engagement trends vary between two video formats; engagement is higher with lecture style videos because of more personal feelings, as per researchers.
  • For demonstration or tutorial videos, the format at Khan Academy that draws tablets and narrates was revealed as a tool for engaging students more effectively than the screencast.



Copyright  Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.


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Bryant Nielson is heavily involved in the Corporate Training and Leadership and Talent space. He currently is the Managing Director for CapitalWave Inc and the training division, Financial Training Solutions. He brings a diverse corporate experience of organizational development, learning and talent development, and corporate training, that also includes personal coaching of top sales individuals and companies of all sizes. For the prior 4 years, Bryant was the Managing Director and Leadership and Talent Manager for Lengthen Your Stride! LLC. In this position, Nielson was the developer of all of the courses for MortgageMae University (MMU), the Realtor Development Center (RDC), and of Lengthen Your Stride! (LYS). In that position, he developed material, refined over many years of use and active training, and condensed the coursework and training to be high impact, natural learning, and comprehensive. Bryant has over 27 years of Senior Management experience encompasses running his own Training and mortgage firm, in New York City. He strongly believes that the corporate training is not to be static but should 'engage and inspire' students to greater productivity and performance.


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