Videos in e-learning are an effective way to meet learning objectives, as they strengthen the visual appeal, and elicit learner interest. They are particularly useful in product demonstrations and can also be used where the content is text heavy, such as in the description of a process or procedure.
However, that does not mean that you simply dump videos into e-learning courses indiscriminately. It might not really help to achieve the desired learning objective. You need to factor certain challenges involved in including videos as a part of your e-learning course. Here are some challenges that are typically faced while including videos as a part of e-learning courses.
Budget and Resources can be demanding
Producing videos is time consuming; it requires equipment to shoot the video, actors to cast, lighting, sound technicians, and the software to make edits. This adds up to the cost of producing the video and ultimately your e-learning course.
File Size can be a deterrent
One of the biggest challenges in using videos in e-learning is file size. If the file size is large the video will take longer time to load and learner will have to view the video with halts. It can seriously mar the learning experience for the end user.
Videos take lot of space and require high bandwidth to run, even when compressed they still don’t get smaller. Some of the techniques you can use are chunking the video in to small segments, limiting the width and height of the video.
Hosting and File Format constraints
You need to decide carefully the file format of the video that will be embedded into the course. It is important to make sure your e-learning authoring tools and LMS are video compatible. You can check the video compatibility with your authoring software. You must also ensure that the learners’ device supports the kind of video format (such as MP4, FLV, .SWF) that you want to embed in the course, because .swf will not be supported by IPhones and IPADs. Keeping these factors in mind before creating videos and including them in e-learning courses ensures that you save valuable time, money and effort.
Seamless integration into the course without overusing
A course composed only of video would be boring and monotonous. Videos should complement a course by engaging learners. Videos can best be used to illustrate content, and to emphasize key points of the course. The length of videos should depend on content requirements. The longer the video, the lesser is the attention from the learner. Bite-sized snippets of 1 or 2 minutes are very effective in garnering learner’s attention.
These are some of the challenges that one needs to factor before including videos in e-learning courses. However, when used effectively, they can provide high impact learning experience to end users. Have you tried to include videos in your e-learning courses? What are the challenges that you had to face in the process?