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Donald Taylor on Video in Training

­­­If you’ve been online for at least an hour or two, chances are you’ve watched an online video. Anything from highlights of last night’s sporting event or a 15-second clip of a cat playing with a box. This all points to one key behavior of today’s learners – we derive much of our knowledge, entertainment and general information from video. And the same goes for training.

More and more frequently modern employees expect video to be a factor in on-the-job learning. And not simply a dry, one hour VHS training course of the past. Good, relevant video content that impacts performance. We’ve outlined a few guidelines on improving onboarding with video here.

As we delved into video in training, we spoke with Donald Taylor, Chairman of the Learning and Performance Institute, to gauge his thoughts on the role of video in onboarding for the coming year.


Donald Taylor

In an international poll each year, reaching over 50 countries, I ask people: “What is hot in L&D this year?” The choice of ‘Video’ has fallen down the table of ‘hotness’. In other words, it’s no longer considered exciting. This isn’t a bad thing – it means that it’s increasingly seen as a part of the regular mix for L&D, as something that learners expect and training companies and L&D departments should provide.

In other words: video is now part of the way we live and learn today.

We also know (just look at the exponential growth of YouTube) that video is an area which L&D pros have to invest in, as employees/customers expect it. With this expectation comes the responsibility of making sure the content is compelling.

Video is superb for touching the emotions, for grabbing people and making a deeply resonating impact – when it is done well. Done badly it’s no better or worse than any other format. It’s down to L&D professionals to invest in themselves and ensure they can produce great video – either internally or by outsourcing well.

One important thing to add here: this is not an issue of millennials or non-millennials. Yes, the younger generation is more accustomed to using certain tools such as YouTube, but video is universally appealing – witness the enduring success of cinema. We are visual animals, and good video will appeal to us all.


So, what do you think? Are L&D pros investing enough resources into video training courses? Video has the unique power of engaging employees and helping them retain information learned during onboarding like no other medium. According to Forrester Research, video is the fastest-growing digital content category, and they expect by 2017 more than 90% of the online population will regularly watch online video.

With the constant rise of video in everyday learning situations, can your company afford not to invest in video?