Creating engaging online training courses is the best way to encourage learner uptake and to deliver new skills. So, what’s one of the most effective tools to make a Learning Management System work for your company? Video content, of course! Think about it; most of us regularly head off to YouTube to find answers or instructions in our daily lives, so why not utilise the power of video to boost employee interaction and course understanding?
What Are The Benefits of Video Training?
Video is one of the most popular ways we consume information these days. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, (and not forgetting newcomer, TikTok) present us with a constant stream of video news reports or entertainment daily. Since it’s a format we’re turning to more and more, there’s good reason to deliver online training experiences in the same way.
1. Varied and Inclusive Elearning
There are solid reasons for including videos in your eLearning modules. Firstly, they’re going to add variety to the delivery method across the sweep of content on offer for your employees to learn from. A successful LMS should be attractive to learners, and variety always keeps things interesting. Secondly, the combination of moving image and audio makes online course content extra memorable. And thirdly, video content can be more accessible to employees who may struggle with traditional text-based learning.
2. Micro-learning With Video
Another reason you should be looking at adding video to your online training LMS offering is time. It’s a great way to deliver e-learning courses quickly and with clarity, meaning bite-size training or microlearning is easy to access. Who wants to read pages and pages when you can click on a fun video instead? One of the best ways to get information across is to show, not tell, and video is the perfect way to do this.
3. Should I Shoot My Own Video Courses?
Many Learning Management Systems give you the option to buy in video content from external sources, but for really effective training, you should definitely consider making your own. This way, you can tailor online courses to your needs, hone in on topics that are genuinely relevant to your business, and pitch eLearning at precisely the right levels for your teams. Plus, doing things in-house can be more cost-effective in the long run too.
Getting Started With Video For E-learning
It may sound daunting to start shooting your own video courses, but in truth, you really only need a few basic bits of kit to get going. A decent camera is great if you have one, but a good phone camera will do the trick too. Either way, a tripod to eliminate the wobbles is also a smart idea. Ultimately though, before we talk set-up, it’s important to remember that content is king. Even the most high-tech film set won’t produce a great movie if the script is a turkey, so let’s delve a little further into some points you need to consider when creating your own quality online training videos.
1. Seek Feedback for Original Video Concepts
For the best results, you’ll need to write some great first-hand content. Identify your training objectives and make your script or narrative relevant to where you want your eLearning course to get your trainees. Consider that feedback can be useful here; perhaps you can workshop online module ideas with staff and LMS admins to find out what video courses they’d like to see on your course lists. Your Learning Management System can even assist you with this as most have a forum or group discussion feature.
2. Where Do I Find Video Course Content Ideas?
Take a look at courses you already provide – can you spot any gaps? You might currently offer a course that folks are struggling to complete. Would reimagining it as video content make it more straightforward and more palatable? Other areas to raid for content inspiration might be any manuals or procedural documents you have. Some of these might be already languishing in your Learning Management System’s document library: bring them to the fore and make it easy for everyone to brush up on this info!
3. Writing Training Video Scripts
Once you’ve settled on your video learning topics, think visually when developing your scripts and try and unspool the information in a logical manner to your viewers. Break up topics into a series of videos if need be, to ensure the course curve is apparent. Essentially, the goal is to keep it snappy – any visual material much longer than six or seven minutes at a time might feel too long. You want your video eLearning to be supremely engaging, so there’s no harm in a little (appropriate!) humour finding its way in there too.
4. Which Visual Elements Help In A Training Video?
Video allows you to include all sorts of dynamic elements, so write these in if you can. You can emphasise points with slides and images using slideshow software – and there are plenty of user-friendly programs out there for you to try. You may plump for a presenter format, with someone talking to the camera, but there are additional creative ways to relay course content. Role-play scenarios, for instance, are great for customer service eLearning and can demonstrate exactly how you want employees to deal with specific situations. Consider a screencast to walk viewers through a software training video lesson, or perhaps an animated video if you want to liven up a short explainer module.
How do I Make A Professional-looking Video?
A successful training video that is going to be a real asset to your eLearning program is one that looks and sounds professional. The key is to be detail-oriented. If you’ve developed a video with a presenter speaking to camera, keep the content brief enough that they can talk naturally about the topic, rather than read it out. The result will be much more engaging. Eye-contact with the camera is essential too, as is minimising any fidgeting or shifting about!
1. Recording Successful Video Settings & Sound
There are a few technical considerations to get right when making your own videos for eLearning, but the sound is a biggie. Ensure you’re recording great clear sound – items like a lapel mic can be a good investment and needn’t cost a fortune. Also, consider the background of your shot. Unfussy is best and can be as simple as a neutral wall, a table and a plant. But if you want to get creative with your video content, a green screen offers a world of possibility and gives the whole production a much more professional look.
2. Tips for Video Background and Lighting
Continuity is an oft-overlooked element to professional training video creation. You may need to shoot over a number of days, and so the same location or set of locations will pull things together into a coherent whole. Don’t forget lighting too. Try and use bright, natural (or natural-seeming) light and keep the level the same if you can. This way, your learners will focus on the course content rather than getting distracted by shifting light levels or too many types of background to take in.
3. Adding Attention-grabbing Text
Another professional element you might want to include is text sometimes appearing in the lower third of your video – especially if you have a speaker or a couple of individuals on screen. You can use this to emphasise points you want viewers to take on board as it often prompts note-taking or refocuses the attention of those who might have missed something.
4. Review Your Training Video
Once you’ve made your video, take the time to watch it back (more than once!) to make sure there are no stumbles, editing errors, typos or funny things happening in the background. Send your course video out to a focus group for feedback, too, as the success of your training content relies on how engaging and interesting it is. Listen carefully to any comments, and make alterations or improvements if need be. Is it too long? Too vague? Or too confusing? Make sure you iron out any kinks before launching it on your online training software.
To sum up, the whole point of including videos for eLearning is to grab everyone’s attention, make module topics fun and help learners retain critical information. Filming in-house gives you the freedom to deliver courses in a way you think your employees will positively engage with and to cover specific content that external providers might not deliver as well.
Your first video may not be Oscar-worthy, but if it’s engaging, clearly relevant to the course and free of technical screw-ups, then there’s a good chance it’ll do the job. Then move on to making the next one as it’ll get easier with practice.
We’ve covered the basics here, but ultimately, as you progress with generating your own video online training content, you can boost production quality and respond creatively to new course demands. Your Learning Management System can help you see which video content is succeeding via integrated reporting tools and your employees will surely let you know when the content you’ve created really hits home; be it through performance in their job or course scores, or via plain old feedback.
Good luck and happy filming!