3 ways of creating video-based online learning: An e-learning perspective

Posted on : September 4th, 2014
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It is a well-known and accepted fact that videos improve the effectiveness of online learning. Videos engage the cognitive processes of learners and promote constructivist learning – where the learners make sense of the learning material by creating a coherent mental representation of the same in their minds. The knowledge gained thus stays with the learner for a longer time. The learner is also better equipped to apply it in the sphere of practical work.

video-based online learning

There are many ways of creating a video-based learning module. Here are three strategies that have shown exceptionally positive response from our cauldron of online learning experience.

Short video-based learning nuggets

One of our clients, a leading training organization, believes that the approach to acquiring good communication skills must include more than assimilation of knowledge. This client’s chosen training medium had always been the classroom environment, which is definitely a strong platform to impart communication skills because it provides opportunities for close social and inter-personal interactions. However, it also has some definite shortcomings – primarily low retention rates and lesser reach.

  1. To overcome these limitations and provide the learners with a continuous learning experience, we created an online/on-demand library of modules that extends and expands learning beyond the walls of the classroom.
  2. To create the videos quickly and efficiently, we studied the classroom learning material and extracted the moot points from each module, which will become the base content for online learning course.
  3. We then suitably arranged and packaged these points to create visual appeal. With bulleted format and soothing background as well as colored text, the content was easy to read.
  4. Keeping in mind the need for quick re-enforcements, each module was kept short – providing relevant tips on presentation and business communication to help the learner retain and apply more.
  5. Graphics were kept to the bare minimum –to make sure that the attention of the learners did not waver. Also, this helped in keeping the videos light, so that they could be accessed on all devices and with varying internet speeds.
  6. Audio accompaniment made sure that the learner could choose to just ‘hear’ the module and learn instantly – without the need to look at a screen.
  7. Multi-device delivery enabled learners to access the videos through a desktop or a laptop, at home or at the office, and even while travelling through smart-phones and other handhelds. The classroom training was thus re-iterated, enhanced, and re-enforced to create an online learning experience that best benefited the learner.

Incorporating real-life images and videos

For another client, a leading automobiles manufacturer, we created a series of video-based online learning courses to imparttraining on the technical processes involved in the manufacture and maintenance of cars. Considering the budgetary constraints and the limited timelines to develop the courses, we created the courses with the help of real-life videos and images.

  1. We interacted closely with the client and the SMEs to gain clear understanding of the industry and its working. We extracted the  content for the e-courses directly from the SMEs through verbal dialogs with them and through photographs and video as well as audio recordings.
  2. The photographs and videos were also utilized as part of the online learning courses.
  3. To keep the videos simple, we shot them at actual locations – like the factory floors – showing the learners the nitty-gritty of the various processes.
  4. Audio accompaniment was added later and synched with the videos to make the delivery more impactful.
  5. The real-life videos made sure that the learners find an instant connection with the online learning material. It also provided practical know-how on the actual workings of many machines. So, even if the learner was entering the factory floor for the first time, the e-courses made sure that the setting, machines and various processes where familiar. This increased the learners’ confidence – and it boosted productivity.

Animated videos

A popular grouse against videos is that they are not easy to create – at least not the ones that have a lasting effect on the learners. You need good actors, appropriate settings, lighting, and so on. It also takes considerable time to shoot and prepare an impactful video. But these problems can be tackled using the new technologies in graphics and animation, and hard-hitting animated videos can be created on a variety of subjects.

video based elearningWe used these technologies to create a whiteboard animation video for a client, a leading serious games company. The subject of the video is ‘how to avoid bribery.’ The video was incorporated as a part of an online learning game. It provided information to the learner to perform better – both in the game as well as in their professional roles. This made the whole learning initiative stronger and increased its scope as well. The learner not only gained experience by playing the game but also learnt something useful.

  1. Three distinct chunks of information were delivered through the animation video: a background on anti-bribery law, the offences covered in the law, and the ways in which an organization can protect itself from prosecution under the law.
  2. In a bid to forge a connection with the learners, G-Cube created a character called Dave – a young employee, who lacks confidence in the face of new responsibilities and sometimes gets overwhelmed by them. By creating such a character and a scenario, we were able to create a certain amount of empathy in the learners.
  3. The content was infused with humor and light-hearted camaraderie that often exists in working relations between employees. The humor also helped to make the characters real – with real fears and real lives. This provides relief for the learners as well as ‘humanizes’ the characters, so that the learners can further identify with them and thus learn more.
  4. The whiteboard animation helped to explain a serious concept like ‘bribery’ and illustrate the ways of dealing with it. The animated characters make sure that any racial or other biases do not creep, and so the video is suitable for a variety of audiences.

These three examples are only a few of the many ways to build videos into an online learning & training program. The sky is the limit where videos are concerned – even after adhering to budgetary allowances and development timelines. To know more about our experiences of creating video-based training solutions, write to info@gc-solutions.net or fill the form below:

Arunima Majumdar

Arunima is an e-learning blogger and likes discussing innovations in training & learning for the new-age corporate sector.

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