At my company, Interactive Services, we have long been advocates of blended learning, and one of the increasingly ubiquitous elements of the ‘blend’ is video for corporate learning. It comes with a caveat, however, as the way in which video is produced and digested is changing.
The rise of YouTube, Instagram, and Vine has legitimized the development and inclusion of video that’s user-generated – and at a fraction of the cost of opting for commercial video production.
It’s also worth noting that the increase in mobile and tablet-based learning appears to be linked to an increase in the use of video. The out-take from all of this is that video is very much a preferred medium for both practitioners and learners.
But before you rush to generate video content for your own corporate training program, here are five key considerations that can guide you in getting it right the first time around.
1. Will it work across all platforms?
We’re not overstating the case when we say that slow loading times kill the video experience before it’s even begun. Production of video content is one part of the equation, but of equal importance is the task of testing, testing, testing until you’re absolutely certain the video can be viewed across different platforms and different devices. Streaming services like VIMEO can be useful in this regard, but don’t leave things to chance – don’t post content anywhere until you’re positive it can be accessed by all.
2. Managing Expectations
Production of video content should not be regarded as a ‘quick fix’ solution. Great final product is often the result of extensive shooting and re-shooting – with all the cost implications that this involves – so it’s important that expectations are managed in terms of what can be produced, within what timeframe, and for how much. An honest assessment of the expected delivery levels can save a lot of disappointment after the content is delivered.
3. Minimum Quality Standard
With massive national and geographical variations in broadband speeds, it pays to be realistic in terms of how fast a service may be needed to access your video content. Quite simply, reduced Wi-Fi speeds should not equate to ‘unwatchable,’ and we strongly recommend that organizations should consider producing a ‘guide to making video’ for their internal community. This will ensure a minimum quality standard for user content – and a higher level of accessibility as a result.
4. Opt for an Authentic Approach
YouTube, in particular, has led to an exponential growth in citizen journalism and citizen production. And while the quality may often be basic, it scores highly in terms of authenticity and ‘real world’ credentials. The lesson from this is that you should resist the temptation to be overly-slick in terms of your video production. Rather than smacking of professionalism, it can leave the YouTube generation feeling that it’s out of touch with the learning community.
5. Brevity is King
Just because you can produce a lengthy video doesn’t mean you should. Remember that attention spans are short – even for quality video content – so don’t fall into the trap of ‘padding’ your video. Brevity is the soul of wit – and it’s also the soul of great video material.
We ran a major research campaign on blended learning in 2014 through which we generated some interesting feedback on the use of video in learning. The infographic below highlights some of the key data points on video that our research produced.
Have you experimented with video in training programs at your company? What’s been your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Image by Abby Kahler
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