Seeing is Believing: Video for Learning

Perhaps you are old enough to remember when teachers would wheel a bulky film projector into class. Do you recall the sense of relief as you thought, “Finally, a break from the lectures!” Students would pay far more attention to the flashing images projected onto the tattered screen at the front of the room than anything the teacher said all year long. Cut to today, when arguably the world’s biggest instructor is YouTube, with its millions (billions?) of how-to videos. Then, throw in TikTok for a little extra zing.

Even though video is the go-to for quick, engaging and impactful learning, many organizations remain somewhat slow on the uptake. More than one-third of companies in Brandon Hall Group’s 2021 State of Learning Practices study say they offer very little or no video at all to learners.

For all the talk of adapting learning to meet the natural ways people learn, video seems like a no-brainer. We all watch videos, probably at least once a day. Whether it’s to get a quick how-to or observe a cat falling into a fish tank, online videos are a ubiquitous element of everyday life. The technology to incorporate video abounds, especially now that smartphones record video in high definition. Video can be used as pre-work for a class, an element within a course, as a follow-up activity and as a part of a continuous, flow-of-work learning experience.

And we are not only referring to videos of people explaining things. Animations make it possible to communicate a wide variety of concepts and knowledge that are often too complex for the printed page or PowerPoint slide. Videos and animations are learning tools the organization doesn’t need to “sell” to the workforce — they’re already looking for these things. When people need information in the moment to be successful in their work, quick video tutorials or refreshers are indispensable performance-support tools.

To learn more about how videos and animation fit seamlessly into the learning environment, join me and Erick Prospero, CEO of Ninja Tropic, for a webinar where we discuss why videos and animations are key elements in the digital transformation of learning.

– David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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David Wentworth



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David Wentworth