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Integrating Video Into The Learning Strategy Ecosystem

This was originally posted on on March 29, 2019.

Best Practices Of Integrating Video Into The Learning Strategy

The mark of effective training is the ability to connect with learners and grab their attention. Knowledge acquisition happens faster with a captivated audience, as do the desired changes in behavior and performance that come as a result. That being said, how can you best connect with your audience? What can you do to make sure that your training earns and holds their attention? Integrate video into your larger learning ecosystem.

The video is increasingly becoming the standard medium through which we share information and entertainment. YouTube has become the world’s second largest search engine. A recent Hubspot research report shows that four of the top six channels, where consumers watch a video, are social channels, even more so than video-specific hosting sites like Netflix. Video content is becoming more and more prominent as digital media platforms adapt to host, share, and encourage engagement with video. There’s no escaping from it, in terms of digital experience, video engagement is the norm.

Our training is most successful when we connect with our learners where they live, and all the evidence indicates that they live with video. This is a key component of why talent development leaders are shifting toward thinking of learning environments as ecosystems: constant and interrelated opportunities for employees to build hard, soft, and social skills. Building a robust learning ecosystem goes hand-in-hand with increasing engagement. Again, this is where video sings! Employee engagement surveys bear this out. According to Forrester Research, employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails, or web articles. To stay ahead of the curve, your overall learning strategy needs to plan for intentional and creative application of video.

Relying on video at the beginning of a course or module is an easy fix, but it’s not always the best use of resources. Focus on what added value the video can bring. Embedding a video in an onboarding activity as a question prompt or response adds texture and novelty. Using a motion graphic in the flow of an instructor-led leadership course adds variety in terms of the cognitive process. There are a variety of creative ways to weave video content into your larger learning ecosystem, whether you’re using web-based or Instructor-Led Training, or a blended solution.

Integrating Video In Training

Video offers two key benefits: it drives consistency and adds texture to ignite empathy and emotion. Capitalize on these key components by using video accordingly:

  • Demonstration Videos
    A digital show and tell. Use video to reinforce a concept or present instructions; this is especially useful when teaching a process that has a visual or physical element.
  • Documentary Videos
    Give context to the training. Use these to capture reality and give a sense of the real-world impact of the performance.
  • Dramatization Videos
    Key for giving depth to a concept or scenario. These scripted videos are an opportunity to celebrate strong storytelling and model best practices, from sales training to conflict resolution and everything in between.
  • Description
    Talking head testimonials allow your stakeholders to connect with your learners by sharing their story or expertise, reinforcing the importance of the material in the context of your organization’s development.
  • Motion Graphics
    This is a free for all, rich with creative opportunity. Use text, logos, illustrations and dynamic animation to tell whatever story is most appropriate; the possibilities are endless!

However, you choose to integrate video into your larger learning ecosystem, remember, ease of consumption is fundamental. Keep all videos short, dynamic, and clear. Leverage the emotions activated by video, but don’t exhaust them. It is important to use this material strategically if you over-rely on video, it loses its impact. Finally, don’t forget about accessibility; add closed captioning or transcripts to all video components so you don’t exclude those with hearing challenges or even those learners that just don’t have the tech capacity.

The majority of L&D thought leaders agree that the learning landscape is changing. Learning and Development programs are no longer siloed or sidetracked. Instead, they’re being valued as a key player in business growth, and an organization’s best bet to overcome existing skill gaps. The 2017 Deloitte Human Capital Trends report shows that, across markets, the focus is on building a culture of continuous learning, adaptability, growth, and personal development, and engagement [3]. Mindfully integrating video into the scope of your learning ecosystem engages learners, earning and keeping their attention. It is a foundational tool for leveraging digital technology to provide learning experiences that empower employees to build skills quickly, easily, and on their own terms.R