If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video is much more… to reword, a cliché. There is no doubt that videos are a popular choice in eLearning courses today and training managers and instructional designers are eager to include them in their courses. There are many reasons why videos have become a hot eLearning trend; chief among them is their ability to help in learning, retention, and reinforcement.
Videos are the ideal format to convey important information in a succinct way. In this blog, we will explore the effects of video on learning, retention, and reinforcement.
Impact on Learning
Organizations today are looking for ways that will make learning absorbing and sticky and videos are the pertinent answer. Reading reams of text to gain knowledge can put off the average learner, but give him a 3-minute video to watch and you are bound to have an engaged and attentive audience.
Suppose you give your learners an exhaustive document on fire safety, with a list of dos and don’ts to read, the very length will put off your learners from reading them. However, the same topic will get their attention if it is covered in a 5-minute video.
Learners with short attention spans being a given, any training that fails to engage the learner will fail to create an impact. Videos are the alternative and they enable training to be presented in ‘short bursts’ and their inherent visual appeal will hold the learner’s attention.
While online learning can or cannot be self-paced, video-based learning is truly self-paced. When learning through videos, learners can choose how many times they want to see a video, the sequence in which they want to see the video and more importantly, since these videos are available on mobile devices, when and where they want to see them. This convenience also makes videos crucial for offering reinforcement and on-the-job support. This gives them control over the learning process and allows them to integrate it with their workflows and processes.
Organizations are warming up to the idea and developing device-agnostic courses, with videos as the primary content. Presenting short chunks of information through video enables employees to solve challenges immediately or seek information at the moment of need.
Video-based learning facilitates a step-by-step learning process, where learners can absorb each point more accurately. They result in better learner focus because of their visual impact, this can be especially useful to create a vivid and lasting impression with courses related to safety or technical training.
As we mentioned earlier, videos that are device-agnostic allow learners to access them during the course of their work. Studies suggest that such kind of learning is better retained compared to what takes place in a classroom.
Videos are of short duration, so there is no cognitive overload, which results in better retention. They break monotony and provide some variation in the course material. For instance, for a course on product training, PowerPoint presentations on the product features can be monotonous. Interspersing the course with short videos about the features will engage the learners and aid in better retention of the content.
Videos provide an immersive learning experience to which learners become empathetically attached. The emotional connection they are likely to have with the content greatly increases the chances of its retention. A video on safety training that emphasizes how important it is to follow safety procedures in order to go back home to your family every day, will strike an emotional chord.
Research suggests that 80% of courses fail to be recalled by employees. All the effort that goes into creating training programs and implementing them can be a waste, if learners cannot recall what they have learned. So, there is an equal need to focus on methods that will reinforce learning.
Once again, videos come to the rescue. After an intensive training session, employees will be all charged up and eager to try what they have learned on the job. But two weeks down the line, how much will they remember? Not much. Once again, videos can come to the rescue.
After two weeks, sharing a 1-2-minute video, highlighting the main ideas of the training session will jog their memory. The more information that is reviewed through these videos, the more can be recalled. Bite-sized videos which are delivered in spaced intervals, which learners can access wherever and whenever needed, will have a better impact.
Other ways to reinforce learning is to provide videos of recorded classroom sessions, the interactions of senior sales reps with clients, or a brief summary of the main points in a course in a 2-3-minute video.
Videos are a great asset when it comes to learning, retaining, and reinforce training, the three learning mantras crucial for effective learning.