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Why you should use video in your e-learning courses

Everyone uses video for all kinds of tasks nowadays. Companies rely on it to promote their products, while organizations create unique pieces to spread their humanitarian message.

Video content has also grown into a powerful asset to add to your e-learning courses and training modules. Given its ability to condense a lot of information into short pieces, videos excel at giving learners a personalized learning path.

Read more: How to create highly personalized learning paths for your employees

As such, videos are now a great complement to written guides and stream courses, which is why many e-learning developers work hand in hand with educational video companies to develop content for their courses.

But is it just brevity that makes videos such a useful teaching tool? And more importantly: How can you leverage them to your advantage?

In this piece, we’ll go over the elements that make video such a practical and indispensable content tool for your learning modules. And we'll give you a few insider tips on implementing them into your learning environment as well.

Learning on the go

The big challenge of online education and training right now is adapting to the learners' routine. As we have only limited time during the day, e-learning courses are a solution that helps individuals to actively engage in their education as they go about in life.

Video is a convenient option to involve learners and accelerate their learning process. Given its fast-paced and fun format, you can use video to give your audience an extra incentive.

  • The best educational videos tend to be brief and get right to the point, which is great for most audiences, whose attention spans and time available are short.
  • Videos are fun and enjoyable to watch, so they don’t become a burden to learning. On the contrary, viewers always remember a fantastic video!
  • Video-based courses tend to be organized in short-lesson units. Even when learners have limited time, they would still prefer to review an entire unit in one sitting or have it segmented into manageable, smaller chunks.

Read more: 3 Key aspects of effective microlearning: How to do more with less

But videos are not mere adaptations of long lectures. The key to their success depends on how well they can tell a story…

Extracting lessons from stories

Tales like Cinderella and The Little Prince may seem a bit silly to grown-ups now (not to me, though!). And yet, years after we first read or saw them, we can still vividly remember the lessons they taught us. Why is that?

A good story is more persuasive than any master class or textbook because it brings life to timeless issues. When we immerse ourselves in a story, we do not deal with abstract, floating concepts, but we directly perceive how meaningful a subject is in real life.

Whether your course covers complex science or professional training modules, your educational videos should, as much as possible, incorporate powerful stories to support the lessons they teach. When users are given an exciting narrative about how a problem arises on a practical level, they are more prepared to apply their knowledge to particular tasks.

Read more: 4 Brilliant ways to incorporate storytelling in e-learning

But essential to any story are characters one can relate to

Learning through the example of others

As I mentioned, no e-learning course is complete if it doesn’t show learners how they can implement the theory in real-world scenarios.

The truth is that you can tell users what they can do, say, to reduce their carbon footprint or to follow a complex step-by-step business protocol. But without seeing someone doing the process, they will hardly have a real picture of what it looks like to do the task by themselves.

When you introduce characters in your educational videos, the stakes suddenly become higher. By seeing people like them go through the same problems they face, learners can get a clear picture of how to address their challenges.

You want users to feel sympathy for your characters. To do this, you must make sure to give personality to characters: no matter how short your video is, be sure to always provide a name and specific traits to the protagonists of your stories.

Now that your videos are full of content, stories, and characters, the only thing left is to strike an emotional chord in your viewers!

Appealing to the viewer’s feelings

Emotions and values are essential to knowledge retention. As you set out to develop e-learning content, you must ensure that your videos can connect with your learners on an emotional level.

What you seek with a good video script is not to make your users cry but to move them profoundly and inspire them to pursue learning independently. There are many ways to give that emotional fuel to your e-learning videos:

  • Make learning a discovery. Your characters' journey must be more than just getting an answer: first, you want to showcase them facing and overcoming obstacles.
  • Introduce music to set the tone of your piece. Music should not have a life of its own but is instead a supplement to build excitement around your video’s message.
  • Conclude your video with a powerful personal statement or question. This will give learners some material to reflect on and identify the next best action.

Read more: The power of emotions on learning

Parting words

Videos are an essential tool for your e-learning courses. When used properly, they can motivate people to personally engage with their learning like no other type of content can.

On the one hand, videos offer consumer-friendly material that users can attend to at any time of the day, without imposing a burden on their routines. On the other hand, videos create a unique emotional incentive for learning when combined with colorful stories and characters.

For these reasons and more, videos are an outstanding and creative solution for your e-learning courses. If you want to drive engagement and learning up, then be sure to make videos a central part of your online L&D curriculum.

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