What Are The Video Learning Benefits For YOUR Organization?
How can you leverage video learning for learner engagement? The goal of any training program is to give participants enough information to be able to influence their behavior. Whether that behavior is improved customer service skills for call center employees, closing skills for sales staff, or safety skills for warehouse workers, the key to getting learning to stick long enough to affect actions is engagement. Learner engagement is the extent to which people are motivated by and interacting with your material. In simple terms, the more drive they have to learn, the deeper their involvement will become and opportunities to create lasting impact will increase.
Video presents a unique opportunity to influence learner engagement–especially animation. Animated video can be an effective complement to any blended learning strategy. In corporate training, video can introduce culture, enhance self-paced modules, or deliver key messages from leadership. It’s versatility, however, that has helped video become its own standalone learning strategy.
What is Video Learning For Learner Engagement?
Video-based learning is when training is delivered primarily through video as opposed to other media, like podcasts, modules, live lectures, or written materials. With recent improvements in technology, streaming and on-demand video for entertainment purposes helped set the stage for video-based learning. We consume video to learn about our world. It’s no wonder people watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos every day.
From an instructional standpoint, video is an effective tool not just for blended learning, but for any learning initiative. That’s why 51% of US adults use YouTube videos to learn new skills. This exposure means students know what to expect from the medium and can focus on the content being delivered. That improved focus benefits corporate training and adult learning programs in three significant ways.
1. Clearer Understanding Of The Material
Animation and video in a learning environment can transform the way we grasp and engage with new material by supporting clarity. Clarity, in this instance, means the learner can identify what they are supposed to gain from the material without having to sort through irrelevant or illogical information.
For example, if you were putting together a compliance training on ethics, what constitutes a violation and how to report one would be front and center as the most important parts. Information about theories in ethics and its history are more suitable for an academic setting, not employee training, and would not be included. Because video training tends to be shorter in nature, learners get to the heart of the matter quickly, as there is no room for excessive or inessential messages. Removing clutter helps a viewer focus on exactly the behavior they should adopt.
Animated videos for training can also make the content clearer using scenarios. Through scenarios, you can introduce a concept in your video, like the appropriate steps to de-escalate an irate caller, then show an animated character walking through the desired behavior. An animated demonstration further illustrates the key points with context and removes any doubt in the learner’s mind about what they should have gained from watching the training video.
2. Better Retention
John Sweller’s groundbreaking Cognitive Load Theory neatly divides our learning process into three sections: sensory memory, working memory, and long-term memory. A piece of information must be committed first to the sensory memory before it can make it to working memory and finally to long-term memory. According to the Cognitive Load Theory, learners are very selective about what information they commit to memory. If you can’t appeal to their sensory memory, there’s no way you’ll get through to their long-term memory.
The Video-Based Learning Solution…
Enter video. Video combines visual and auditory cues in a way that facilitates connections in the brain, maximizing learners’ memory. In fact, video helps adult learners retain a lot more information, which is the key to changing behavior. Studies have shown that students can forget up to 90% of what they learn in a traditional classroom course. However, training content delivered via video is 83% more effective. Additionally, learning in bite-sized formats like video is 17% more efficient at transferring skills to a learner’s job.
With so many employees working remotely these days, having a clear path to learning retention is even more essential. Before, your company’s staff could participate in routine refreshers or classroom remediation to keep their skills fresh. Now, a solid distance learning strategy is the key to maintaining, or enhancing, the skills of your workforce.
Animated videos for eLearning solve the first part of the memory equation by getting a learner to engage their sensory memory when interacting with the content. You can engage a learner’s working memory by making use of simulations or reintroducing scenarios. Animation is great at storytelling and presenting a learner with a situation to think through or comment on uses higher-level cognitive functions. This re-enforces the key points of the training, boosting the chances of retention until the employee can put it into practice in the real world.
3. Appeals To All Learning Styles
Video learning merges audio and visual cues, brevity, and context in a way that makes it exceptionally good as a teaching method.
Visual learners are those that need imagery, charts, graphs, or other depictions of the material to deepen their understanding. Simply reading words on a page or listening to someone describe a product or situation will leave them scratching their heads. To best reach visual learners, a training needs to illustrate its content. Video learning provides an easy way to show concepts and information rather than relying on the student to form a mental image based on their own understanding.
Auditory learners are those that need to hear the information to absorb it fully. These users engage best with content when there’s a narrative or storytelling element to it. Listing facts or reading from a technical or policy manual, are both common examples of the wrong way to engage an auditory learner. It’s not the human voice that triggers the learning, but the ability to follow the thread of a scenario for key points to commit to memory. Using video learning means your script and narrator will enable students to engage with your materials in the way they learn best.
You might be wondering how video learning can engage the third learning type, Kinesthetic learners. For that answer, we turn to animation. Animation can help a learner better grasp new material because it offers one unique element: movement. Think of it this way–would you rather watch someone point at a few indistinguishable gray objects on a desk or watch someone put each of those tools to use?
The latter is not only more entertaining, but it also allows learners to engage with what they are seeing by using both their sense of sight and their sense of hearing. Finally, when a learner can interact with the animations, they are committing the new information firmly into the long term memory bank.
Developing A Learner Engagement Strategy
If you are ready to consider introducing video learning to your corporate training plans, you’ll want to think about your strategy for actively engaging learners. To help you get started, here are a few questions to answer:
- Which learners am I trying to engage? You should always have a clear audience in mind when starting any employee training project.
- What does engagement look like to me? This could be something as simple as more views per course for optional trainings or something as measured as recommendation scores on the course evaluation.
- What types of content do my learners find most engaging right now? Remember, training should always be learner-centric. That means even though you’ll have your own ideas for observing and measuring engagement, your training shouldn’t be built solely based on what you find engaging. Take the time to learn about what your audience likes.
Where can video best shine? When you’re starting out, you want to target video learning to the areas it can be the most effective with the least expense. Many companies have found orientation, customer service and/or safety videos to be excellent starting points. The key is to focus on specific pain points or L&D gaps, then bridge them with top notch video learning activities.
Download the eBook How To Implement Video Learning And Animation: A Guide For Training Managers On A Tight Budget to discover more insider secrets to launch video learning for learner engagement and make the most of engaging animations.