April 19, 2014

Thinking e-learning strategy? Think video

Every day, 98 years of video is being uploaded onto YouTube (reference). YouTube is now the second most commonly searched platform, after Google. It has 2 billion visitors a day, and handles 10% of all Internet traffic (reference). YouTube is strategically owned by Google. Can you imagine the pipeline of ideas Google has for video? Take Google TV . Not to mention the growing use of video watching on smartphones and tablets (reference). 

Video is permeating the way we have traditionally accessed information. Well scripted video answers the ‘what we need to know’, succinctly and with the multimedia advantage of sound and visual.

If you are embarking on an e-learning strategy to support the way your staff learn and access information, think video.

Three types of video for learning

  1. Expert opinion. These videos help us to glean new perspectives, ideas and approaches. TED Talks is a great example of this, available on internet and App. But it could be your head of department, head of operations or a pivotal staff member about to retire. Storytelling forms part of this video subset.
  2. Briefings. These videos help us to quickly digest what’s new, such as a new product launch or new procedure. These provide high level explanation.
  3. Instruction. These videos provide guidance on how to ‘do’ something. Examples include screen recordings of software applications and video demonstrations of a process.

What do you need to support a video strategy

1. You need a platform to house the videos in one location

This could be your intranet or Sharepoint platform. Be sure to think about the size of video that your platform can manage (both in dimensions and in duration). Think about how well the videos can be easily searched, retrieved and saved as favourites. Finally, think about how well your platform can adapt the video download to meet local PC bandwidth demands. 

If you are looking for a proprietary video platform (software as a service), have a look at:

Video webcasting is also a growing trend for educating staff and clients, such as conferences and product launches. Take a look at:

2. You need video equipment

The quality you are striving for your video strategy will influence the equipment you purchase.

  • For expert opinion and some briefings, I use a Canon HF M52 (great in low light), tall tripod, Audio-technica lapel mic and an iPad teleprompter App – About A$1100 total.
  • For rapidly developed briefings, I use the Camtasia PowerPoint add-in.
  • For instruction screen recordings, I use Camtasia.

3. You need skill

  • For filming experts, consider a professional video producer if the budget allows. And be sure to prepare the script well – succinctness and authenticity is key.
  • For producing screen recordings and briefings in Camtasia, you simply need to practice the Camtasia software.
  • For briefings and instructional videos, you need skills in instructional design and visual design.

 The bottom line..

In today’s busy workplace, getting people across new information simply and easily has never been more important. And, with the rapid redundancy of information, organisations can no longer afford expensive content productions or glorified e-learning courseware for the purposes of briefing staff.

Video has an important future role for any organisation. Before embarking on an expensive e-learning strategy, think about what video can offer your staff development.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss how you might best approach a cost-effective video strategy.


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