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5 Ways Of Bringing Training Videos Into The Future

This was originally published on on February 18, 2019.

Bringing Training Videos Into The Future

Video is a staple of the training industry. Usually, in the form of lectures and online tutorials, video is often the go-to for those wishing to mimic a classroom experience. But video can accomplish so much more. When used purposefully, training videos can be an impactful learning tool that engages learners and helps them to see concepts in a new way. Gone are the days of viewing only lectures or learning from instructional videos. The future of video lies in a more interactive, realistic experience. Training companies are often hesitant to go this direction due to budget or time constraints, but it’s possible to take your video to the next level in simple, cost-effective ways just by changing the way you use it.

Look at a few ways that training videos can be used to not only teach but enhance learning in new and interesting ways.

Choose Your Own Adventure

The newest trend in movies is allowing the viewer to choose. Shows on Netflix like Black Mirror and Puss and Boots allow watchers to choose what will happen in the story. This trend can also be used for effective training.

Think about it: allowing a learner to see the consequences of their choices in a real-time simulation. Not everyone has the budget or time to design web-based activities around this technology but doing things like having interactive questions can simulate this by giving learners choice and feedback based on those choices to further the story and illustrate concepts. As training companies expand their technology and video budgets, it’ll be interesting to see how far this idea can be taken.

First-Person Experience

Want to simulate a more realistic experience? Try first-person storytelling. Put the learner in a situation and let them see how it plays out. The first person has been a big trend in gaming for many years. Audiences like the idea of stepping into another personality or role and seeing the world through their eyes. In training, this can be used to effectively give someone a real experience or to build empathy.

Think about a harassment compliance training where you experience what it feels like to be harassed. Or consider a customer service training where employees get to see an experience through the eyes of their customers and understand how empathy can play a role in a great experience. Pair this with interactive questioning and/or reflection for an impactful learning experience.


For those who don’t have the budget for a choose-your-own-adventure video, using a rewind method might be a great option. In training, video can be used to provide great examples and non-examples of behaviors. A low-tech way to do this is to put them together in the form of a rewind. Showing a non-example and allowing learners to understand what not to do is effective but giving them the opportunity to see what they should do will help to provide context and a good basis for behavior. Using the rewind also gives a sense of storytelling and works great with interactive video and questioning options to allow learners to use critical thinking to examine.

Feedback From An Expert

Feedback is often an afterthought in web-based training. We are so set on testing and telling a learner whether they are right or wrong that we often forget that feedback is a great tool for teaching. What if we used it as a memorable teaching tool instead?

Every company and every field has its experts. What would it be like to have the chance to learn from those experts, not just in a general sense, but in specific, pointed ways? After all, questioning is a big part of training. We love a good multiple-choice question and, if used effectively, these questions can be used as learning tools, not just to test knowledge.

What if, when you answered the questions, you not only got feedback but got expert feedback? Training videos are a great way to enhance this feedback and provide a memorable and useful learning experience. When learners answer questions, they get feedback in the form of expert advice and opinions from those who have done it before. This allows experts to become advisors, not only teachers. They can give feedback on choices, advice, and personal experiences that will help learners understand a concept and learn from humanized experts that impart wisdom.

Powerful Storytelling

Everyone loves a good story. Using narrative storytelling takes any video of any budget to the next level. Video has a powerful ability to feed the imagination and speak to emotions; if used correctly, it can make learning memorable.

Use videos for more than just imparting information, use them to show what that information will do or how it affects the lives of those who learn it. A great way to do this is through storylines that follow characters through scenarios. Video can be used to introduce characters or show key moments along the way and be supported by information, questions, etc. This technique can be used for a whole course or for one activity. The keys are powerful storytelling and realism. Using realistic characterization and situations and showing, not telling, can make the difference in how impactful a video can be. Making the video an experience in itself and using it for more than just explanation will engage learners in the material and help them to retain the information more readily. So, when you’re making your videos, consider your audience and what will really speak to them.

Think about the ways you use video in your training. Is there something you can do to engage your learners in new and interesting ways? You don’t need a giant budget or a film studio to use video effectively. All you need is creativity and the will to try something new.