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Updated July 2021. Previously posted September 2019.
Video-based learning is a huge trend in instructional design right now, and it’s here to stay! For good reason, video-based learning is widely accepted as an effective method of instruction.
A learner is likely to remember a whopping 95% of what they see in video content, according to elearningindustry.com. This is compared to only 10% of text-only content and 65% of visual content.
So jump on the video-based training bandwagon! If you’re not already convinced (or you want a few more reasons to stick in your back pocket for when a boss or client needs some extra convincing), let’s look at even more reasons why video-based learning might be the most effective method for your next project.
Why I Prefer Video Learning
There’s a reason why videos will clog up an already brimming memory card so much faster than text documents – it’s all about the layers. You’ve got a flowing visual medium (that can also contain still images), audio to accompany it and text elements to boot. Though we may just categorize it as “video content,” each video you watch is really a multimedia presentation.
What does this mean for instructional designers looking to improve learner engagement, info retention, info accessibility, and cost-effectiveness? Well, it means they should use video content whenever possible, of course! Especially in the current media consumption climate, videos are becoming more relevant than ever. I have eight irrefutable reasons to back this up. Let’s start with some fresh stats, shall we?
1. Video Learning Speaks the Modern Learner’s Language
On YouTube alone, users watch an average of approximately five billion videos every single day. The same source I just linked (Android Authority) reports that 500 hours of content are uploaded to this platform every sixty seconds. See the potential here? By packaging your content in video format, you’re speaking the language of a staggering amount of information consumers – almost a quarter of the entire planet. And that’s just YouTube…
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are even greater proving grounds for video content, considering that they host text posts, links, and images in the same environment for videos to compete against. Still, it’s no contest – videos on these social media giants are shared a dozen times more than text posts and links put together.
And dare I even mention Tik-Tok? From middle school to middle-aged, Tik Tok trends are consumed, learned, and recreated by users in the blink of an eye!
What does this data tell us? Video content is more engaging, shareable, and memorable. It makes a greater impact on people than text or still images. It is the adopted “language” of the modern information consumer. If you want to reach an audience in an impactful way, you have to speak their language.
2. Video Learning Enhances Clarity
I could pull every study on the internet to compare user stats between different mediums, but some things are just unquantifiable. For example, the difference between reading your way through a stepwise process versus simply being shown.
Let’s say you are developing training material that will teach new team members how to navigate the company’s CRM (customer relationship management) system. If you were to lay this out in a text document, it would be hard to avoid creating a monstrous, 60-step list with plenty of wordy workarounds to describe what could just be viewed in a video. “Now click on this link in the upper-right hand corner between that button and this…” blah blah blah.
The point here is that video content greatly enhances clarity in almost every situation. If you could physically see how to navigate the CRM, it would be just like looking over the shoulder of a trained professional. It’s like the difference between a GPS navigator and a paper map. In the same way that a GPS visually guides you through unknown territory, video content helps you to achieve unmistakably clear instructional materials.
3. Video Learning Maximizes Engagement
For better or worse, the average attention span is being hacked off from both ends. As avid consumers of information, often from three or more sources at once, we are constantly splitting our attention and shifting from one source to another. For this reason, the most engaging video content features rapidly changing imagery and ideas. To best approach the shrinking attention span, we have to mirror the world that created it. This is one very important way in which video content maximizes engagement.
That’s great in terms of “portion control,” but how does video content address different learning styles? Oh, wait! Learning styles aren’t real…or are they? Honestly, who cares. A quality learning video will appeal to a variety of our senses as well as hit on several of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.
See where this is going? Of all the presentation mediums that trainers commonly use – text documents, traditional classroom-style presentations, and so on – video is the most all-encompassing in terms of engaging a learner in a variety of ways. It’s a multisensory experience that casts the “widest” net for learners of all types. When being instructed via video, you can see, hear and physically practice what’s being demonstrated.
You might be thinking, “Well, you can get all of that from the traditional classroom setting, can’t you?” That’s true, but the classroom setting leaves much to be desired in terms of the on-demand accessibility of video, which I’m about to cover in two seconds.
4. Video Learning Maintains High Accessibility Levels
You can’t put a classroom-style lecture in your pocket and use it when you’re on the go. You can’t replay an in-person lecture whenever you want, and you certainly can’t share it with someone who wasn’t in the building. This is why video content trumps in-person lectures – for starters.
Video content allows you to learn while you complete other tasks. It can be accessed at any time. For example, you can review a video immediately before a meeting to brush up on your (or someone else’s) presentation material. It’s processed 60,000 times faster than text, according to a really interesting blog post authored by Liraz Margalit, Ph.D entitled “Video vs Text: The Brain Perspective.”
Most relevantly, video content is accessible on multiple devices. Most of us have a phone, PC, or tablet within five feet of us for the entire day. We can quickly access video content, digest a few minutes, switch devices, and continue based on our environment. This affords instructional designers a whole lot of freedom when developing content; thanks to the unparalleled accessibility of video content, they don’t have to feel like they have a single 40-minute window to make their mark.
Jeez, that’s like fifteen reasons in one! See what I mean about accessibility? Given that you don’t have to compromise one iota on quality, video content is simply unmatched in this domain. Increased cost has to be the catch, right? Wrong.
5. Video Learning Shrinks Costs
Consider the costs factored into conventional training – especially for larger companies. In many cases, training teams have to shuttle people from across the country, usually including lodging and food for these travelers. Sometimes, they have to pay for an off-site venue, event planning, food catering, and so forth. You can easily avoid every single one of these expenses with video content. This allows you to focus on the only metric that matters: effectiveness.
Take IBM for example. They reported that, after switching about half of their training methods from traditional delivery to eLearning, they saved about $285 million dollars per year! Microsoft also chimed in, reporting that their per-person cost of training plummeted from over 300 bucks an hour to a paltry 17 dollars.
6. Video Learning is Highly Consistent Throughout Departments
The point about cost-effectiveness kind of goes hand in hand with consistency. When everyone has access to the same video content, your training doesn’t have to worry about consistency. In traditional settings, where training departments may distribute information through an ever-shifting pool of on-site trainers, there’s much more room for varying interpretations because of different training styles and presentation material.
Growing companies especially have a problem with this. In some instances, it’s okay to encourage a little autonomy when it comes to applying learned concepts, but when it comes to some matters, even the tiniest misinterpretation can wreak havoc when it spreads far enough into the company. See how video can remedy this? It enforces a perfectly uniform understanding across the board. Also, when misunderstandings do arise, video can be referred back to much more readily than lecture material.
7. Video Learning Allows for Easy Sharing and Collaboration
Let’s branch out from your training team for just a bit. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just “send” other departments and companies your training material without a ton of hassle? Just embed the video in an email, and you’re done.
Specifically, I’m referring to other departments and companies that can facilitate your trainee’s roles. Third-party vendors who distribute your company’s products, for example, can be sent the training video for inspiration to add to their own sales processes, training strategy, and so forth.
Internally, you can share video training material on company messaging/media platforms, via email, and so forth. The recipient can easily pick and choose the most relevant snippets and re-package the video to present to their own teams in a way more relevant to their departmental responsibilities. Everybody wins!
8. Video Learning is Magnetic!
Not all trainings, of course, are completely mandatory. Some trainers don’t have a captive audience; they have to sell people on their services just like a digital marketer promoting a site and/or product. This means that you need to actually care about your CTR (click-through rate), which represents the percentage of people who, after seeing your email, proceeded to click on your “sign me up” or “learn more” button.
Thankfully, even the mention of the word “video” in the subject heading can improve CTR by a staggering 65%. The statistics help, but you can test this effect on yourself in a very mundane and common sense kind of way. Just imagine you’re on your way to training. How would you feel if you knew it would involve a lot of reading and listening to a lecturer? Conversely, how would you feel if the training team said it’s completely video-based?
People just like videos more. The end.
Wrapping it Up
Using videos in the training projects you work on can lead to more learners meeting the objectives. The more learners that meet the objectives, the better their organization will be able to meet the business goals those objectives support.
To put it simply, your project is more likely to be a notable success!
It’ll be your job to recognize when a proposed training would benefit from getting the video treatment. And now you have 8 great reasons to back up your suggestion to the higher-ups!
In my next article, I’ll walk you through my ultimate guide to easily make instructional videos.
The Hangout is a great place to add your questions and engage with other instructional designers on different topics related to instructional design, so jump on in and join the conversation.
If you’re still in the early stages of your instructional design journey, you should also check out the Instructional Design and Tech Accelerator System. From analysis to evaluation, you’ll learn it all! Plus, you’ll get in-depth training on developing and designing video-based trainings using tools like Premiere Pro and Articulate Storyline.
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The Testimonials are In:
Working with Shanwtay and Katie at the Instructional Design Company was a dream come true. Their creativity, expertise, and professionalism throughout the entire process was beyond top notch. I engaged them to help turn my first book into a training course, and I could not be happier with how the final product turned out. If you have an instructional design project and you’re considering which company to work with, you can stop your search and thank me later. They are truly the best in the business.
I joined the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program because I struggled to find jobs in instructional design beyond the development phase. I’ve done a couple of training programs with lots of random projects, but I was overwhelmed, not connecting the dots, and not good at structuring my writing to hit learning objectives. I was looking for motivation and direction at beginning a better Instructional Designer.
After taking the Instructional Design & Tech Certificate program and joining my fantastic team for support, I found the structure and approach to be what I need to take my next steps, evening improving my skills in the development stage.
Teacher, Future Instructional Designer
I love how this course let’s you work at your own pace. I got great tips and learned many things. The ongoing support for multiple people and groups is what I love the best. You are never alone in this process. I have been able to adjust my resume and began creating a portfolio of work I’ve completed to add when applying for jobs. I use many of the PowerPoint skills in my lessons and trainings. I would highly recommend this for anyone wanting to become an instructional designer.
Teacher, Future Instructional Designer
I have searched for the last few years to find some suitable career change where I wouldn’t have to earn another degree and where I could use the talents and skills I already have as a teacher. When I came across the Instructional Design Accelerator course, I loved the fact that Shawntay was a former teacher and could relate to a teacher’s need to transition from the classroom. This was what sold the course for me. Her experiences are invaluable especially when translating teacher duties to instructional designer duties. I would (and have) recommended this program to other teachers I know who are looking to transition out of the classroom. I do appreciate ALL of her feedback on my projects!
L&D Project Manager
The Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator certificate program is one of the most comprehensive ID programs out there for beginners. If you’re looking to grow your schools in ID and development then I highly recommend this program. Not only will this program give you an overview of theory, but you will receive a thorough walkthrough of how to apply what you have learned. Although I had already secured a position in Learning & Development when I bought this course, it helped me to move up into a new position as a Learning & Development Project Manager!
Future Instructional Designer
If you have any interest in ID, sign up for this program NOW! Shawntay and her team are top notch! The course content exceeded my expectations in a big way and the encouragement and support continues to be so valuable. You will not feel alone going through this course, you will learn so much, you’ll have many cheerleaders, and you will have fun!
Future Instructional Designer
I am really enjoying this program! It’s prerfect for someone who is thinking about a career shift to Instructional Design and does not have a lot of experience. This is my first real introduction to Instructional Design and it’s been the perfect beginner course to help me get my feet wet. The modules are broken down well and it’s great to go at your own pace and at your own time. The modules themselves are very comprehensive and you learn a lot from all of them. I really like how each one build upon each other and you’re working towards the bigger project of designing your first training course from scratch. I’m learning so much from going through this course! I was provided great feedback from Katie and Shawntay through the process via Trello Boards, comments on the Google documents, and Facebook group. This course has been well worth the time and effort and I appreciate the fact that I will always have the resources available to me after I complete the training (just in case I’m not quite ready to transition yet).
Future Instructional Designer
I can’t say enough great things about the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program! The length of the program is perfect; it doesn’t feel rushed and there’s just the right amount of structure to give you the accountability you need. There are so many opportunities to get live answers to any questions you have related to the course content or anything ID-related! This program gave me the support and structure I needed to both feel affirmed in the relevant skills I already had coming in and to fill in the gaps I had as a career-changer going into ID. Shawntay, Katie, and all the coaches are super helpful and supportive. I now feel confident that I have the tools and access to resources I need to apply for ID jobs without wondering if there’s something I’m “missing” in the preparation process. I’d highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to transition into ID or who just wants to brush up on their skills in the field.
Krista Johnson Awomoyi
Freelance Instructional Designer
I’d highly recommend the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program. I’m blown away by how much I learned in just 12 weeks. I had ID experience prior to taking this course and was just looking to get a better understanding of applying adult learning principles. This course well exceeded my expectations! Not only did I gain a clear understanding of adult learning principles, I was also able to apply those principles by creating assets for your portfolio using PowerPoint, Adobe Premiere Pro and Storyline. The hands on support that we received was top notch.
This program is one of the most robust yet fulfilling L&D programs I’ve seen. I learned so much about the industry and about the limitlessness of my own capabilities. I am so appreciative of Shawntay and all of the trainers who took part in the program. They went above and beyond with not only guiding, but communicating live and working one on one or in small groups. If you are on the fence, I say take the leap and you will not regret it! There’s so much to learn, not only from the trainers, but also the learners in your group. Everyone comes in with their own skills and can be additional support and guidance for you. Thank you for creating this program!
Instructional Designer Training Facilitator
Shawntay is an amazing individual. She is very knowledgeable in all aspects of ID and eLearning. She is also very compassionate and loves to help and see everyone around her grow and prosper. Shawntay has been a great mentor to me and she has helped me mature as an instructional designer and eLearning developer. She has provided me with opportunities when others have overlooked me. I am very grateful to have met and built a lifelong relationship with Shawntay.
I recently got hired into my first instructional design / training position and Shawntay was one of the first people to congratulate me!
Freelance Instructional Designer
My teacher-to-instructional-designer journey began two years ago when I left my teaching comfort zone and started my first freelance ID job. Now, I’m stepping out of the classroom and taking my freelance work full-time, so I’m thrilled to be joining the Tech Accelerator program. Adding technologies like Articulate 360 and Adobe Premiere Pro to my qualifications will help me take my courses to the next level and attract more clients!
Teacher Transitioning into Instructional Design
I am genuinely grateful for this course. I wanted a real-world perspective and feel like I got it. I’m teaching now, but nearing retirement age but can see myself working as an instructional designer well into my retirement years. My other goal is to take as many courses in statistics as possible in hopes of bringing some mathematical precision to the ROI question. Like you say, getting accurate metrics to measure ROI can be a challenge, but I intend to work on that part. That’s unimportant right now, what is important is the fact that I feel like this course was well worth every penny I spent and I would to it again in a heartbeat. I have too much going on right now, but as soon as I get some time freed up I intend to take your course in project management.
Turns Your Written Thoughts Into a Masterpiece!
Shawntay Skjoldager can turn your written thoughts into a masterpiece. She is great to work with and the most organized person I know!
President and CEO, The Creative Entreprenuer
Shawntay has been incredible!
Shawntay has been incredible and her team is responsive and effective in translating my training programs into professional presentations. Don’t hesitate to contact her for your project.
Beth B. De Lima, MBA, SPHR-CA, SHRM-SCP
President and Principal of HRM Consulting, Inc.
IDC is My Secret Weapon to Soar Above My Competition!
The IDC team has been my secret and special weapon of success. They have delivered above and beyond with every single project out in front of them. They have met and beat timelines. They have been Uber responsive every step of the way. I keep them on speed dial and have and continue to recommend them to friends and clients. If you are in need of instructional design and plenty more, this is THE ALL-STAR team that will more than deliver and help make you and your project soar above the competition.
LT. COL. Jason O. Harris
U.S. Air Force Officer, Special Operations Pilot, U.S.A.F. Academy Instructor, Motivational Speaker
A Tremendous Asset to the Project Team!
Working with Shawntay and the Instructional Design Company has allowed our university to meet the growing demands of our programs. Shawntay’s expertise allowed for the course development to be completed on time and met all of the university requirements. Shawntay’s project management skills were phenomenal and allowed my team to work on other areas while she completed this project for us. Her work is of high quality and her professionalism and willingness to help made her a tremendous asset to the project team.
Academic Quality Assurance Specialist, Abilene Christian University
Creative & Highly Talented!
Shawntay is a creative and highly talented instructional designer. She brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and leadership that enabled her to own the design and creation of a full scale facilitator curriculum and train-the-trainer program. It was a pleasure to partner with Shawntay, her project management and communication skills ensured the project was on time and on budget.
Breaks Down Mammoth Projects
“Shawntay is quick study and carefully synthesizes information for presentations that are clear, concise and captivating. Her personality draws the audience in and her content mastery is excellent. A team player and organizer, Shawntay has the ability to break down mammoth projects, keep everybody on time and on task.”
Author, Speaker, Strengths Coach
“I have had many opportunities to work with Shawntay—mainly in the support of implementing new eLearning initiatives. I have been very impressed by her ability to quickly learn how to use rapid eLearning development tools and effectively use them to create multiple courses within a short timeframe. Shawntay’s enthusiastic nature, attention to detail, and dedication to her work make her a pleasure to work with and a great asset to both Texas A&M University-Commerce and the broader training community within the Texas A&M University System.”
Director of Learning Strategy, Caveo Learning
Top Notch Professional
Working with Shawntay has been an immense pleasure. She is atop notch professional who brings enthusiasm and extensiveexpertise to professional curriculum development and execution. Her knowledge of tried and true techniques to maximize the effectiveness of presentations is invaluable.
Nancy Drapeau, PRC
Vice President of Research, CEIR - Center for Exhibition Industry Research
Fortunate to Find Shawntay!
“I was fortunate to find Shawntay when our organization was looking to expand and update our educational offerings. Shawntay proved herself to be an educational and personal development expert who immediately made an impact with our clients throughout Europe. Everyone who came into contact with Shawntay was immediately impressed by her level of expertise and willingness to share her knowledge with those around her. I would not hesitate to recommend Shawntay to anyone looking for an education subject matter expert.”
Director of Qualifications and NSD Services, Mary Kay Inc.
Short Turn Around. On Time. Under Budget!
“We hired Shawntay to develop a training facilitator’s guide and PowerPoint slide deck for an operations manual heavy with technical content. The project was made more challenging by a very short turn around, 5 business days, and the fact that the operations manual wasn’t complete and was being updated simultaneously with the facilitator’s guide and slide deck. Despite these challenges, Shawntay delivered as promised. On time and under budget.”
Dave Beeman, CPP
Vice President, Andy Frain Services
Need an Expert Who Consistently Delivers?
“Working with Shawntay you will immediately notice her professional presence and poise, but over time her tenacious pursuit of excellence and her skills in instructional development and adult learning will really impress you. I worked with her at Mary Kay, and was able to experience firsthand her great rapport with regional partners in Europe, understanding their unique sales force training needs. In addition, Shawntay consistently exhibited grace under pressure, made executive decisions to move business forward. If you are looking for an expert who consistently delivers and goes the extra mile to get things done, contact Shawntay!”
Marketing Director, Academic Partnerships
Quality Products & Solutions!
“I had had the pleasure of knowing and working with Shawntay on more than a few occasions. I found her to be a very good business partner and very committed to delivering a quality product or solution in a timely manner. I have always had a positive experience in partnering with Shawntay and would recommend that you consider leveraging her talent.”
Judy Owen, CPC
Transformational Leadership Coach
“Invest in yourself and take your skills to the next NEXT level!”
Get yourself signed up for Shawntay Skjoldager’s Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program today and be on your way to success! Within the first week of taking her course, you will experience growth! Be sure to plug into her Facebook Q&A sessions for personalized help, too. This is THE course to take if you are new to instructional design or have landed on the training team and need help getting started.
Managing Partner, PHiG
“Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!”
Shawntay has exceptional knowledge and experience with all aspects of creating and implementing effective, performance based training for adults. She is exceptional at needs analysis – identifying target audiences and collaborating with business owners to keep training focused on business needs. And she is great to work with – always providing great support to get projects done on-time and on-target. She is always on the look-out for new and more effective ways to engage learners. Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!
eLearning Developer/Instructional Designer, Vivos Therapeutics
I have known and worked with Shawntay as a education program director and use the expertise of ShawntayMichelle for the development of my presentations. The service has always been “spot on” with professionalism, care and attention. Shawntay’s recommendations to my ideas make me look good to my clients.
Al Lomas CMP, CEM, CMM, CFE
Owner, Certified Consulting Services
“Shawntay Skjoldager reached in and made my training life so much easier!”
I am new to the training design and development world and I was SO excited to get in there, but I really lacked the real-world knowledge that would set me apart from my peers. And, then Shawntay Skjoldager walked into my life with an outstretched hand and a seemingly endless list of ways to knock every training out of the park. From the Training Analysis Form to the Tay Tay tips, this course made my life so much easier and even ironed out the review process that I had been struggling with for months.
Take time to invest in your own learning and make sure to put Shawntay Michelle at the top of your personal development list!
Training Specialist, LegalShieldCourses