From the end of the 19th century, motion pictures have been a powerful influence on the sensibilities of the masses. From the silent-motion pictures of the bygone era, to the digitally enhanced special effects of today – films have always created a lasting impression on audiences. Though initially created purely to entertain, power of videos to influence and teach soon became evident. Filmmakers doubled up as champions of patriotism and propaganda with movies during the World War 2, fueling national pride or influencing young minds to work for the cause of their country.
As video-making evolved, so did the increase in its utility as a medium of instruction and learning. Televised learning shows taught young minds the simple ABCs through rhyme and songs. Science and History shows caught the interest of older children and adults alike.
Evidently, the pedagogic use of film and video has been well established. On the downside, what restricts its widespread use has been the associated production costs and delivery difficulties. However, in recent years, the costs of video production have fallen with easy-to-use video cameras and multimedia formats that align with multiple delivery platforms as well as viewing devices. On the other hand, the web has emerged as a mainstream educational distribution medium which takes care of effective delivery of video-based content.
Creating the ‘Right’ Video for Learning: There are multitude ways that videos can be utilized for learning:
‘Talking head’ videos: Though videos can incorporate a lot of onscreen action, a ‘talking head’ series can also create a string connection with the intended audience. A talking-head video essentially focusses on a person, who holds the attention of the audience through powerful content – duly complemented with audio as well as visuals. Company profile, client testimonials, CEO message or even a e-course summary/ review can be highlighted with a ‘talking-head’ video.
Interview Videos: Interview videos can be used for multiple applications. A well-executed interview with probing questions can provide content for multiple short-form videos or a longer more in depth video. Getting the views from an expert is a very effective way of including useful insights on any topic. With practical tips and examples, an interview is a great way to create video content that is simple, engaging and provides a worth of knowledge.
Tutorial Videos: Complex processes or products can be much better explained with a video-based approach in contrast to lengthy text-based product manuals. Videos require much less effort from the viewer, and the information can be shared as well as retained better. So if you’re going ahead with the creating a tutorial video, be sure to include a text version of the content as well. This is well increase the reach and utility of the video to include learners who prefer just reading. The text alternative to a tutorial video is also useful for returning learners who wish to search for a specific topic or refresh their memory by skimming the content.
Animations videos: While conceptualizing a video, a lot has to be taken into account – the right actors, the right location, the right context and so on. When on a budget and a tight time-schedule, animation videos can be the go-to solution. Not only a myriad of topics and contexts can be built into an animation video, it also takes care of various biases which can creep in while talking to learners from different demographics – social, geographical or economic.
Simulation videos: Creating live-videos is often not an easy task – especially when creating learning videos for industries like Mining, Aviation, Medicine or Manufacturing. With the advancement of graphics and special-effects, life-like simulations can be created that provide the learners the actual ‘feel’ of flying an airplane or conducting micro-surgery – along with the room to make mistakes and learn from them.
Delivering Video-based learning with the ‘right’ Technology: Video-streaming technology has been under research now for many years because of the importance of this new tool in the delivery of video-based content to learners. Using streaming technologies, the delivery of audio and video over the Internet now reaches many millions of people on their devices (desktops, laptops, smartphones or tablets) offering not only live sports, music, or news, entertainment but live lectures, conferences and other on-demand learning content. Thus video-streaming is moving beyond the entertainment area into training and learning. Aided and abetted by tremendous advances in mobile learning, the popularity of on demand video-based learning is on a steady rise. The benefits of video-streaming for learning delivery are many:
- A wide variety of content can be provided though video streaming, giving the learner the right to choose the most appropriate learning material. Video-streaming also provides the additional opportunity for deeper learning by being able to stop, rewind, fast-forward, and replay content as many times as needed. This makes sure that the impact of learning is strong and the learner is able to understand concepts well through streaming videos.
- Videos that are streamed online, are automatically optimized for every viewer-desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone. This ensures uniform quality of video delivery and a lifelike viewing experience with minimal delays or buffering.
- With the use of video conferencing streaming and recording technology, learners from all over the globe can view live learning events or demonstrations. With most of these events being recorded, learners can watch them again as per need – to refresh or review specific details they may have missed.
So, while the benefits of streaming video technology are established, the challenge is the way you deliver it to a global audience. Learning videos maybe large in size, which often poses a problem when hosting them within the LMS on a normal server. The hosting charges for a streaming server may prove to be expensive. Another challenge is to maintain the confidentiality of the videos so that viewers do not have the option of unauthorized downloads.
Most modern LMSs, including our proprietary G-Cube LMS, have inbuilt video-content hosting capabilities that ensure uninterrupted viewing as well as addresses security concerns. With inbuilt video-hosting capability, it is easy to upload as well as manage video-based learning content. A visually attractive video interface along with the capability to support multiple resolutions makes sure that learning videos are easily accessible and a treat for the senses as well. Social media inspired features such as ‘comments’, ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and ‘playlists’ increase learner engagement. For administrators, comprehensive usage reports and dashboards can be an added advantage – built in to ascertain effectiveness of video-based content and understand learner preferences.
In conclusion, with video-streaming, it is not only easier to make learning videos available but it is also effective in increasing the impact of learning videos. With effective strategies in creating videos as well as choosing the most appropriate platform for video content delivery, the learning experience can be uplifted – providing increase in uptake as well as overall ROI.