Imagine going through an e-learning course without any audio and visual elements. Will it engage your learners? Certainly not. It is important to use a variety of media to deliver learning and hold the attention of the learner. This is why videos are an important element of online courses.
Learners love videos and when the choice is between reading something or watching a video about a particular topic, most will choose to watch a video. According to this article in Psychology Today, “Videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. Think about the load on your cognitive system when reading an article vs. watching a video clip! Humans are hardwired to avoid demanding cognitive strain, so this tendency towards “laziness” will, more often than not, invite us to choose information that is easy to process over the form that makes us put in a lot of effort.” This is why videos have become an important trend in e-learning. Let us look at a few reasons why videos are a powerful e-learning trend.
1. Videos engage the learner and add interest
Videos keep the learner engaged and help him retain information better. Complex topics such as product demonstrations can be efficiently explained and better understood through videos because they simplify the explanation by visually showing how a product works. This is easier to understand than reading about the product.
Videos add an element of interest because they break the monotony of reading text or looking at graphics. They add variety when used in the course.
- Videos can be used as text breaks or for introducing sections or providing instruction.
- Having short, thought provoking chunks of information in the form of videos will help your learners retain information better than heavy text.
At the same time, do not go into overdrive while adding videos to your courses as this can overwhelm your learners. A better strategy is to use them:
- At the beginning (as the introduction), to get the attention of the learner
- In the middle, to demonstrate something
- At the end, to summarize the points
2. Videos can cater to multiple learning styles
Even though it is primarily a visual medium, the voiceover in videos appeals to auditory learners. Text describing the key points will appeal to those who prefer reading. For kinesthetic learners, demonstration videos will prompt them to try out the skills explained via the video.
Thus, videos create a multisensory learning experience that benefits learners of all learning styles.
3. Videos can teach behaviors and responses
When teaching courses on professional development, human resources, or soft skills, videos are a useful tool. Actors in the videos can display appropriate behavior through their language, gestures, body language, responses, and voice modulation. These videos will help learners model their behavior and responses based on what they see in the video.
If the course objective is a behavioral change, including motivational videos in the course or having one with a powerful story will inspire learners to change.
4. Videos are useful when explaining procedures and processes
When you want to teach procedures and processes, videos are a powerful learning tool.
For instance, teaching a procedure such as starting a machine and the steps to be followed can be better understood in a video rather than reading the instructions, especially if the steps are complicated. The learner must remember the steps and a video helps him retain this knowledge better.
Videos are a better alternative for processes that are learned better through visual demonstration rather than a narrative explanation. If the learner has to remember the steps of the process to operate or troubleshoot, videos give him visual reinforcement to do these tasks.
Videos are no doubt, a powerful learning tool, but they may not be feasible at all times. Creating videos can be costly and scripting videos can take time. So using videos may not be a good idea when there are budget and time constraints. You need to consider these pros and cons before deciding to invest your time, efforts, and resources into preparing and using videos in online courses.