My clients are starting to expect more and more videos of software demonstrations. Interestingly enough, the sales teams are also asking for videos, but of a different type. Lastly, my department is also starting to ask for marketing-style videos that introduce clients to our various services.
VIDEO IS BECOMING EXPECTED
It should be fairly obvious to most Instructional Designers and eLearning developers that video is becoming a desired content medium because our capability to deliver various types of media has become stronger and sites like YouTube become a more prevalent as a way to deliver training content. Learners like seeing faces, watching processes, and being entertained.
At Learning Solutions, this was one of the primary discussions that was happening. When should you use video? How do you create these videos? How long should these videos be? What role does “interactive video” play in your training delivery?
We can’t really ignore this medium for much longer. Development costs used to be one of the primary barriers. Another barrier was the skills needed to edit video. A third barrier might be how to deliver these videos to your customers. Most of these barriers have now been removed.
YOU HAVE MOST OF WHAT YOU NEED IN YOUR POCKET
Most of us have the base requirements to shoot video and get acceptable audio right within our mobile device. YouTube has lowered the level of expected quality so that most of us can create an acceptable video without much assistance.
On your mobile device (especially if it is an iPhone or Android device) you have a video camera that probably records HD quality or just below. Surprisingly, the audio recording on these devices is pretty good also.
On this site, you will find various videos of interviews I shot while I was at the Learning Solutions conference. These videos were shot with my Samsung Galaxy 5 and that’s it! I was a little concerned that the audio quality would not be there, but it is alright and you can certainly hear the people I interviewed. Remember, I was in a loud expo with crowds of people all around me.
They were not edited on my phone. They were edited on a pro-sumer editing tool – Sony Vegas Movie Studio 11. But, I only paid about $80 for it a few years ago. They are about two more versions in at this point. In the end, the editing required was minimal and the cost of practically nothing.
HOW TO USE VIDEO
This is a little bit more of complex question, and I am sure that over time, I will address many aspects of this across various articles. The best and simplest advice I can offer is to keep it simple. Use it to punctuate a topic, rather than be the entire topic. In other words, use it to introduce a topic, close out a topic, demonstrate a task, or things like this. You can use it for brief interviews with Subject Matter Experts.
Just don’t try to replicate a one-hour course using all video. It is probably too complicated and time-consuming to jump in and attempt that. Plus, people don’t have the attention span for a long, instructional video like that.
While at the conference, I got an opportunity to chat with a friend of several years, Steve Haskin. He is the award-winning principal of Industrial Strength Learning. Steve has been creating video for several decades now and is well respected in the Learning industry. He is an author for the eLearning Guild as well. In this short video, he gave me his thoughts on how to use video for learning. He even felt compelled to give his opinion on the newest trend in video, interactive video.
WHAT IS INTERACTIVE VIDEO?
I don’t think this is a new concept. What is new is how easily we can create it.
Think of the ability for a designer/developer to layer information within a video and the viewer can choose which layer of information they receive.
Here is how I see myself using this concept.
I am a proponent of showing a demonstration of a software task and then breaking that task down and explaining it further. As a viewer, maybe you want to watch someone perform this task. At various points in the demo, there are things that occur that probably require a deeper discussion. Rather than actually having that discussion in the video, I put a button on the screen that is a tip-style button. If you, the learner, want to learn more, you click the button. The video pauses and opens a new window that offers a chunk of content that is the deeper discussion. When the you are done, simply close the window and click the play button and continue the demo. This repeats several times during the single video. With this, I can effectively present 30 minutes of content within a 5-minute video, because the bulk of the content is not actually in the video – the video links to it as needed.
I got a chance to see David Anderson, of Articulate, show how to create this type of video and was very impressed with how simple it was…and how obvious it was to do it. I am a Captivate user, so within a matter of days, I was trying this out in my own software to see what I could create. I successfully created some functional test projects. In another video, I will show you what I did to make this work.
Once you understand this concept, you can apply it to things like scenarios, role play, and even create interactive case studies.
HAVE YOU USED VIDEO IN LEARNING?
I think it would be interesting to have a larger discussion about how each of us uses video. If you have seen success with this, feel free to share.
- Have you used Interactive Video? Was it successful?
- How did you deliver that video to your customer?
As more of us develop in this medium, the answers to these questions will become very valuable as a resource.