One thing that intrigues me about learning is how we train various topics. For instance, do we more commonly use instructor-led training for specific types of training and rely more heavily on blended learning environments for other topics? When it comes to video learning, there is a three-way tie for the most commonly trained topics, according to Brandon Hall Group’s 2015 Video learning research:
- Compliance (ethics, safety, policy, etc.)
- Job-specific technical skills
- Job-specific soft skills
What surprises me is that I would expect something like compliance to be more commonly covered with video, but I would expect job-specific skills to be captured in other formats. When you think about it, delivering ethics training to a thousand employees is going to be pretty standard and would be a great opportunity to tie in video to make it more engaging. It’s more difficult to do that for job-specific skills when your workforce utilizes a broad range of soft and technical skills to get the job done.
Making Compliance Work
It seems that companies often forget, but compliance training is only valuable if people pay attention to it and it influences behaviors. If it’s not an engaging experience for the user, it won’t get the job done.
We published an excellent case study on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina earlier this year that emphasizes the opportunity to incorporate visual elements into compliance training. In the picture below you can see the comic book/noir elements. The story is engaging and draws the learner into the experience instead of merely taking them through a handful of PowerPoint slides crammed with text.
I have noticed a different level of understanding for trainees when I would offer them scenario-based examples that required critical thinking on the spot versus simply telling them everything they need to know. A course like this one forces users to read and make choices. And while some options may be simple, when it comes to areas like ethics, it helps users to understand just how easy it can be to get tripped up by multiple choices.
Job Specific Skills
The other two areas that are commonly covered with video include job-specific soft and technical skills. We see that about one-third of companies choose to outsource soft skills, but technical skills are more commonly handled in-house.
One case study on Salesforce was especially powerful when it comes to job skills covering both areas. The company was attempting to train staff on sales techniques, and users were actually encouraged to create videos of themselves pitching products. Those videos were then filtered into a social platform for peer feedback/commentary and scoring by managers.
The twist of leveraging user-generated content in a social atmosphere instead of solely using video as a replacement for one-way instruction allows users to get more out of the experience.
The power of video is being harnessed by companies around the world, both large and small. How has your organization delved into video learning? What training areas are you supporting with video content?
—Ben Eubanks, Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall Group