Education experts have been talking about the rise of remote learning for years and years. However, it’s only recently that it has become not only widespread but nearly compulsory, as the COVID-19 pandemic has turned it into the only possible way for safe learning.
Too many educational institutions weren’t prepared nor equipped to provide remote courses. In many cases, their response wasn’t up to par – they just replaced lectures with video conferences!
Read more: Actionable advice for educators to move to online learning
With so many engaging, technological resources at hand, resorting only to Zoom or Google Meet is almost a sin. Schools should not transfer the classroom-learning mindset to a digital medium; instead, they should make the most out of e-learning possibilities.
5 Ways in which educational videos enhance online learning
A more fitting solution is to leverage asynchronous learning tools, which can help busy students (and parents). And of all those valuable tools, educational videos stand as the most versatile and popular option.
That’s why today, we'll be exploring the many benefits that video content can bring to an e-learning environment. And hopefully, gain some insight to help us get the most out of it.
Videos can make any topic clear
In classroom lessons, teachers usually use the whiteboard to explain particularly complex concepts. They would make illustrations, diagrams, formulas, and so on, to help students retain and understand the information.
In an e-learning setting, video content becomes the next best thing to a whiteboard. Actually, in some respects, it is way better than one.
Videos – especially animated ones – can use plenty of visual and sound resources to further reinforce a topic. This not only results in a more entertaining lesson (more on this later) but also in a clearer explanation.
Imagine how useful videos can be for teaching topics that require visual demonstrations, such as math formulas, practical procedures, biology presentations, or even art.
But videos' teaching potential isn't just about the visuals; the right script can make all the difference! By adding relatable storytelling and mentioning analogies and everyday-life examples, video content can establish a personal connection with the viewer.
Read more: 5 Ways to use digital storytelling in class
In other words, the students would see how the concept in question affects their own lives. As a result, they are far more likely to understand, remember, and value the video's explanation.
Brainy tip: For making your educational video more understandable, use a conversational tone, and keep the explanation to the point.
Videos enrich your e-learning curriculum
One of the strongest benefits of video content is that it can help students solidify existing knowledge, making it perfect to complement other resources.
Teachers can, for instance, use video to introduce topics in an engaging way prior to a video conference class. Or they can replace a lesson with educational video content and carry out a video conference to clear out doubts about the video's explanation.
They can also provide FAQ videos for students preparing for an exam or helpful educational pieces to use as supplementary material.
But to enrich your curriculum to a greater effect, you should incorporate a wide variety of methods and e-learning resources. Tools like forums, teachers' assistance, texts, and interactive games, among others, have proven useful to maximize the impact of educational video content on students. So keep them in mind when mapping out your e-learning curriculum!
Read more: 5 Edtech tools to try out this year
Brainy tip: Instead of making a long educational video that tackles different points, create a series of videos between 5 and 10 minutes, each focused on a single idea.
Videos engage students the most
Nobody says that a text or a video conference class can't be entertaining, but they usually aren't as stimulating as videos. And it's not hard to see why. Animated video companies can explain a topic by combining a compelling story with striking visuals, music, and sound elements. It's no wonder then that students are less prone to yawn and more likely to pay attention to an educational video than a video conference.
Regarding the script, we have already mentioned that including everyday-life examples or stories that resonate with students helps them understand a subject. And this can also make your video more enjoyable, doubly so if you level up this strategy by including a first-person perspective.
In plain English, I’m talking about introducing a character that your students can relate to and creating a story around it. This kind of narrative often focuses on a protagonist facing a problem that can be solved or explained by the concept to learn.
Brainy tip: To create a relatable character, you need to be deeply familiar with your student body's interests and lifestyles. So, it's recommended to survey your students before producing video content for them. This will also help you tailor the e-learning program to their needs.
Videos are accessible to a broader audience
One of the most significant advantages of educational video content is how well it can fit into a busy schedule.
Contrary to reading text material or attending lectures, watching a single educational video usually takes less than 10 minutes. This is ideal for those students with short attention spans – namely, everyone who lives in this era – athletes with intense training schedules, and adults with children or busy jobs who wish to go back to school.
Moreover, asynchronous learning allows students to attend class whenever they can and want, letting them adjust their learning sessions around their daily routines. More so, if you optimize your educational videos to be watched from mobile devices, enabling those students with hectic lifestyles to make the most out of every free minute they have, even when they are on the go.
Read more: How e-learning can benefit working students
It's amazing if you think about it! Imagine learning about subjects as complex as the string theory while waiting in line or at your lunch break. Things that seem so natural nowadays, but were simply impossible just a couple of decades ago.
Brainy tip: To make your video accessible to an even wider audience, add closed captions or subtitles, benefiting students with hearing problems, with a different mother tongue, or who simply prefer to watch a lesson with captions. Also, enable screen readers for visually impaired students.
Videos are flexible to different learning curves
We have already mentioned how videos can fit into hectic lifestyles, but there’s even more to educational videos’ flexibility.
In a video-based course, students can watch, pause, or rewatch a video anytime they need to, even if it is from a previous unit. This allows them to go over any concept they couldn't fully grasp or remember without asking a teacher about it.
This flexibility also helps to overcome one of the most deficient aspects of the current education system:
In classroom learning, students are forced to move on to a more advanced topic when most of the class has obtained positive results on their exams. But, what about those who passed by having understood only part of it? And what about those who didn't manage to pass at all? Are they really ready to start learning about an even more complex topic?
Of course not! It doesn't make any sense, and still, this has been the prevailing teaching method for generations. We need to realize that there's nothing wrong with students who understand a topic later than expected – they just need time and flexibility. And that's exactly what asynchronous learning provides.
In video-based courses, students can move to the following unit only when they feel ready to do so without adapting to someone else’s expectations of their learning curve. Isn’t that great?
Read more: Adopting the asynchronous mindset for better online learning
When the lockdown is finally over, some things won’t go back to normal. Habits and tools that, although existed before, have become more popular than ever aren’t just going back into the drawer! Educational video content is definitely among those things.
Today, you have learned how beneficial videos can be in an e-learning setting, but the truth is they can also be successfully paired with classroom lessons!
Whether complementing or replacing lectures, video can help students who don't have enough time to digest a long text or want to deepen their knowledge. It also allows them to understand even the most complex topics in a dynamic way and enables them to rewatch any explanation they couldn’t fully grasp.
So yes, this isn’t just a trend – educational video content has come to stay, and you better don’t be left behind!