Using interactive video in elearning

Posted on Aug 21, 2014

Interactive video

One of the greatest things about elearning is its capacity to allow participants to interact with the content from which they are acquiring their new knowledge. It’s engaging in a way that no other form of learning is. Long gone are the days of the endless slideshows which was the platform for pretty much all of elearning once upon a time. Now everything is beautifully enhanced with 2D and 3D graphics, audio, text, quizzes, and of course video.

Video is one of those mediums that, if used well, can hold a learner’s interest over a longer period than other, more traditional methods of teaching. And a lot of this simply comes down to its ability to entertain as the learner engages with the new ideas and concepts that are being imparted.

Video in elearning

If you create your own video content, you can make it more interesting, unique and practically relevant to your workplace than anything that you can bring in from elsewhere. You can even put the information you are communicating into context by building it into some sort of narrative – people retain information much more effectively this way.

You can use it also to demonstrate any tasks or procedures that need to be completed – again this is a much better way of making these points stick in the learners’ minds and memories.

A step further – interactive videos

Today, the making of videos is even easier and cheaper than ever. Smartphones and tablets, GoPros and other relatively inexpensive video equipment are all available for you to make very decent, very professional-looking videos. And your editing can be done yourself too – many cameras that you buy come with editing software ready to install onto your computer, or if using a smartphone or tablet, there are many apps, a lot of them free, that allow you to do the same thing on your device.

The trick to making your elearning more engaging through the use of these videos is in finding a way to embed them into your course’s structure. And a great place to start when thinking about how to do this is to use the videos to make what would otherwise be just simple bullet point information suddenly become alive and visual.

Video demonstrations

So, for instance, if it’s an instructional course that you’re running, you can now include the option to ‘click for video demonstration’ anywhere and everywhere you like. Or, you can offer step-by-step video instructions for practically any task that your business needs completing on a regular basis. And what is more, these videos are of course readily available to your learners and your workers from their tablet or mobile devices wherever they are on the job.

Articulate Storyline software

Above are very basic examples that require simply a camera and a computer to employ. But you can continue to take the interaction element of your video in elearning even further if you invest in some more powerful software. Articulate Storyline allows you to make videos on which viewers can click to change the direction or narrative that the video is taking.

So for instance, you could create a mock walk through of your workplace environment and have your learners clicking on all the potential health and safety hazards that they spot. You can even turn this into an actual test with a point scoring system based on the amount of hazards that your learners correctly identify.

Another way to use this platform is to make ‘spot the mistake’ videos in a production line or any other process. Pop-up quizzes or single quiz questions can even be added at any point with the video being held on a pause until the correct answer has been given.

Scenario-based videos

A further use of interactive video is to create situations that form a scenario-based elearning experience. You can, via this method, place your learners in particular situations that replicate your workplace environment where the choices they make affect the outcome. This can be a really effective and safe way of ensuring that your learners have taken on board what you have delivered and are ready (or not) to be ‘released’ into the real world workplace to apply their new knowledge.

Put simply, getting your workforce to engage in interactive video elearning is a sure fire way of making sure that the information that you want them to have is firmly implanted, and that they are continuously engaged throughout the time you provide them to further their knowledge of their work.

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