Effective Video Training – Breaking it down
From Social Learning Blog
It’s no surprise that the use of video in corporate training continues to gain in popularity among corporate Learning and Development departments. Brandon Hall, the research firm based out of Delray Beach, FL, polled over 300 training professionals back in 2011 and found the top 2 reasons for using video in training – effectiveness and high engagement.
These two concepts seem to go hand in hand. People respond to video. It catches our attention. Combining moving pictures with audio in a compelling way draws people into the subject. A good training video can bring out a similar level of engagement as a good movie or television show. I always find it interesting that people would often rather watch other people on a screen than interact with them in person (Hitchcock had it right – there’s an element of voyeurism in each of us).
There’s an art as well as a science to making a good training video. Marie-Claire Ross wrote a blog post conveniently called How to make the Best Training Video.
In this post and others she’s written, Ross cites research that learners can more easily understand material presented in video that allows them to both hear and see the information. The combination of video and audio reinforces the content in several different areas of the brain – increasing the likelihood that the material will be stored in long-term memory. In this post and others, Ross points out several characteristics that make for quality learning videos:
- Match the visuals, titles, and voiceover – a seamless integration of these elements seems effortless. But it takes a careful editor to make sure they all reinforce the same message throughout the video.
- Instructional design principles are still paramount. This is still training after all. She suggests that the script be written in a way that enhances learning and adheres to ID principles like any other training format.
- Take a cue from cable – change what’s on the screen every 5-7 seconds. Keep people engaged (!) by using a variety of methods – titles, voiceovers, different camera angles, music.
- Show people doing stuff. Go back to my earlier Hitchcock comment. People like looking at other people.
- She reminds trainers that our brain absorbs information in a fairly linear way. The content of the training should always be given from start to end without any confusing jumps. Structure is key whether it be in an e-learning context or a training video.
- The script must be friendly and very conversational. Keep it simple and use everyday words and sentences.
- Structure the training video into a range of titles and subtitles and make them easy to skip to. It helps to focus the viewers on what they are going to learn next.
Training videos are an incredibly effective method of training people quickly and thoroughly. More importantly, they help viewers to retain the information much more than if they were to read the information or even hear it. More than perhaps other training techniques, there is a fair amount of art that goes into making video training as effective as it can be. It’s definitely worth looking into for your organization.