eLearning Design

Video for learning

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Video for learning

Last month I was lucky enough to attend the Learning Technologies Conference, and I really wanted to share my findings with you from one of my favourite seminars.

First up, was ‘Video for learning’ from Martin Greenbank, Head of Advertising Research & Development, Channel 4 and Louise Joyce, Group Sales Training Manager, Arnold Clark Automobiles Ltd.

How Channel 4 use video for learning

First, Martin shared his insights on how Channel 4 operate in the modern world. Notably, how they measure everything that’s watched on TV, how that information is shared, and how this process has changed since their launch in 1981. So how does Martin share this information and statistics with a very creative audience? With video, of course.

The process of capturing and sharing data has changed in recent years, leading to Channel 4 launching ‘Project Dovetail’ and creating short videos to explain the process (you can check them out here).

Making video engaging

I’m sure you agree that these videos are captivating, but why do they work so well? Martin shared his thoughts on what made it so effective:

  • Avoided a total talking head video; blending footage from popular shows to keep the viewers engaged.
  • Took analogies from advertising. Martin noted that some adverts have very little to do with the product or service at hand, and are designed solely to entertain, so that viewers might remember the brand.
  • Kept it humorous. Despite the statistical research nature of Project Dovetail, the videos were humorous, which increased engagement.

This approach to creating videos worked for Channel 4, people didn’t just watch the explainer videos but also watched all the FAQ videos hoping that there would be some ‘entertaining bit’ in the videos. It was so successful that it set a higher standard for similar activities within Channel 4.

Video for learning at Arnold Clark

Arnold Clark is Europe’s Number 1 independently owned family-run car dealer. So how might they use video in learning? Louise Joyce shared her experience of creating training videos in-house.

From her experiences, Louise shared her top tips on making video work in learning:

  1. It’s okay to make mistakes, but always allow time for re-shoots when filming.
  2. Remember, videos are not for everyone, always provide alternate forms of content, such as PDFs.
  3. Ask your family for feedback, they’ll be the most honest. (Apart from your Mum, we know Mums are always nice!)

Tips for making effective videos for learning

In summary, here are the top tips I gained about creating video for learning:

  1. Use multiple angles, not just one.
  2. You don’t have to purchase expensive equipment, but if you regularly create video content, invest in:
    1. Good mics
    2. Backdrops & lights
    3. Sound proof areas
  3. If you are recording someone who has supplementary slides, cut to the slides throughout.
  4. Think about your audience size, if you’re creating learning for a small audience, video may not be worth the investment.
  5. Write a script to keep your video on track, you want to portray a concise message within all videos.
  6. If appropriate, include humour in your videos, it’s a great way to keep the viewers engaged.
  7. Keep your videos short, 2 minute clips are ideal, but 10 minutes should be your absolute maximum.
  8. Never be afraid to make mistakes.