The modern world is an age of rapid growth in scientific knowledge, much of which is quickly utilized in the creation of new technology. Science and technology have also made the world very small, so that we no longer live in the confined world of our town, region, or country, isolated from what is happening in the rest of the globe. This has changed the way we consume information and we expect more out of our learning experiences.
The role of videos has always been positive in delivering superior learning experiences. Videos promote constructivist learning, helping learners create a coherent mental representation of the learning content in their minds. The assimilation of knowledge is thus more and it stays with the learner for a longer time. With the visual cues provided, the learner is also better equipped to apply the knowledge gained in practical work – thus justifying the entire purpose of effective training. So, while the learning industry is sold on the idea of utilizing videos for learning, most of them are animations or slide-based presentations with a voice-over.
The next is about going up a level on the production of learning videos and creating Movie-based Learning. No more same formal videos, but action packed “Learning Movies” to impact the learners can be the next big thing in the world of e-Learning.
How Movie Based Learning & Why is it going to be different?
- Pack of Emotions: Video-based learning begins with a script but in most scenarios, the execution of the script is kept basic and content delivery is the main aim. With a movie, it is not only the content that is transmitted, but experiences of all kinds. A movie includes emotions, feelings, attitudes, actions, as well as knowledge that provide a true context of what is being taught. This context forms the foundation on which the assimilation of knowledge rests.
- Gripping Scripts & Stories: Most video-based learning is created by the collaboration of SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) and the instructional design team. This might suffice for a basic learning video, but for making a movie it is imperative to include professional Script Writers to create a tight script that encapsulates the learning content through a gripping story – yet another powerful mode of learning delivery.
- Professionals Characters: To ensure that the movie does justice to the script, it might be a good idea to hire actors or models to enact the story. Professional actors or models will give a ‘polished’ look to the movie that will appeal to modern learners who have heightened visual sensibilities — developed with a steady dose of high-quality audio-visuals seen in television or on the internet.
- Or Real Characters: But hiring professionals might not always be a good idea. For one, it might prove to be a costly affair and create budgetary strain. Also, if the learning content has to be kept discreet, many organizations do not want outsiders to be involved with the production of learning material. In this case, people from the organizations can be roped in to play the characters in the movie and bring it to life for the employees.
- Effective narrative: A movie is a multimedia narrative form, based on a physical record of motion pictures as well as sounds. The narrative and music within the movie play an equally important role in delivering the message. Instead of the much-utilized stock sounds, using effects like surround sound can give the movie an extra edge. Songs or lyrical poems can also be created that provide entertainment and can be utilized as a learning tool as well.
- Different Genres: Movies can be made in several formats – Comedy, Tragedy, Satire, Drama or Interviews. Comedy or Drama can bring real situations alive for the learners while Satire can deal with sensitive issues without treading on any toes. As per the content as well as the learning objectives, the script of the movie can be created to fall under the tenets of popular genres.
Challenges of Movie-based Learning
Being a new idea, it is not going to be an easy path. The early adopters will be met with several hurdles:
- Cost Prohibitive: Though it may sound good on paper, making a movie can cost remarkably more than creating a plain-vanilla learning video. Many e-learning budgets may have a production cost limit that does not take into account creating a high-quality movie.
- Time prohibitive: A learning movie is a collaboration of many heads coming together – the scriptwriters, the editing team, the sound team, actors as well as learning professionals from the ID team as well as SMEs. Seamless collaboration between all these people may take up time. Also considerable time has to be spent on shooting the movie, creating audio as well as editing. All in all, it is a time consuming proposition.
- Resource availability: Most learning departments within an organization would not have the resources to create a movie in-house. Most e-learning organizations too will face the same problem and will have to engage third-party vendors for the same. However, with such a matured industry around us, it is not going to be that difficult.
Why Movie-based Learning
- Far more engaging & effective: Movies are extremely high on the learner engagement quotient. Most learners are enthralled with the visual appeal of movies and can effectively learn from them. The engagement with the medium is unfaltering and this makes sure that the learners assimilate the entire message given out with the movie.
- Attractive & Instantly Appealing: Learners do not have to be coached to like a movie. It is an instantly appealing medium which is unanimously liked by all – irrespective of learning preferences.
- Handles Complex subjects well: Complex and delicate issues can be handled very well with movies. With characters and a story that learners can relate to, issues of gender or racial bias in the workplace or even the benefit of developing soft skills can be well highlighted with movies.
Moving around roadblocks
Sure, there are many roadblocks to the creation of an ambitious project as a learning movie. There is the budget to think of, as well as cost implications. To move around some, available locales or settings can be utilized for shooting a movie. For instance, shooting within the office premises will save up some money while making sure that the learners connect with the environment presented. Many actors are vested in lending their talent to create social awareness videos and such. Roping in such enthusiasts might bring down the production budget of a learning movie.
In conclusion, movies can provide very real contexts and can engage learners very well. They create an environment that makes difficult topics easy and boring stuff becomes interesting. It is certainly interesting way of custom elearning as well as an effective one.
Thus the way ahead for video-based learning, if it needs to stay ahead is – movie based learning.