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Bringing Focus to Video-based eLearning

Bringing Focus to Video-based eLearning

The world around us has changed dramatically in the last decade. The delivery and acquisition of knowledge are happening at speeds not even dreamed of just a few short years ago. Much has been written about the death of traditional media, but even data formats that were very recently considered cutting edge are being dropped in favor of more efficient information delivery methods like e learning.

As I watch my kids play on the iPad, I’m reminded of my own hours in front of the TV growing up and how much more engaging and interactive this new media delivery tool is.  For another example more geared to the workplace, seven years ago usability expert Jakob Nielsen declared PDFs were “unfit for human consumption“, and yet for their usage continued to increased dramatically to deliver all kinds of information. But recent security concerns and changes in the expectations of consumers have led many to declare the PDF dead. I think we should wait and see on that one, but it’s interesting food for thought.

What we can’t deny is that websites like TED and YouTube have shown users they can receive powerful messages rapidly, and without having to read textual documents. I wonder if, for a time, we tailored the way we learned to the limitations of the PC and available bandwidth but with the new freedom of high speed wi-fi, we find ourselves reverting to the passive state we knew and loved watching television as children. The learners of today want the information in much more rapidly digestible formats. Info graphics, video and 3d animation are no longer just nice to have window dressing, they’ve become the required format, especially with younger audiences. Luckily, tools like the tablet and smart phone make striking a balance between this more passive learning state and engaging interactions not just possible but powerful.

At Allen, we’ve been watching this trend for quite a while and have expanded our capabilities to keep pace with the changing expectation of our customers and their learners. We’ve improved our team with talent drawn from the advertising and film industry, and meshed those capabilities with our already exceptional courseware development team. Some questions to ask as you develop your own organizations approach to 2012 video-based learning are:

  1. Can my Video do more than just engage the learner’s attentions? How will I create interaction and support the call to action?
  2. How will I market and support the media piece through social tools that exist natively in most video distribution channels such as Vimeo and YouTube
  3. What is the message in the medium? It’s important not to get carried away with the idea that engagement in the video can replace the need to support the learner in ways that will impact the execution of the task at hand.

We all know that no matter how many videos we watch on a topic, engaging with the content will never be replaced as the vehicle of transfer from knowledge to competency.

Much like we did with the development of the award winning DesignJot, we like to use internal projects to hone our skills. In this case, the “How Can We Train Your World” promotional video was a playground to show off some of our most engaging learning interactions as well as our cutting-edge graphic and motion design skills. Executed entirely using internal Allen resources, the video was fun for our team to develop and does a great job of showing what we can do for our clients.


Learn more about our instructional design services.