Video Based Learning: Managing Expectations

By: Gary Iles on February 7, 2019

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All over the world, business owners and learning management executives well know the importance of implementing video in their employee training programs. In fact, studies have shown that video based learning is an important driver for confidence and motivation, a positive attitude, emotional engagement, and participation.

It is also important to keep in mind that video based learning needs to be well-designed and well-executed to achieve the desired results. Furthermore, company leaders should have realistic expectations about the benefits video based learning provides, and how it should be implemented. What are some expectations that should be managed?

Expectations vs. Reality

Expectation: video based learning always drives employee engagement. 

While it is true that videos are a powerful tool to engage your employees' attention and emotion, there are factors that can actually hinder employee engagement. For example, technical difficulties with the presentation cut off the learning experience before the employees can digest the information; sometimes before it even begins! Poor audio and poor framing can also distract your learners. Furthermore, the video designers need to have input from in-house experts, so that they don't overload the instruction with incomprehensible buzzwords, or deliver an "off-brand" message. In order to effectively implement video based learning, it is vital to have the technical expertise and support in place first.

Expectation: video based learning is a replacement for in-class instruction. 

The reality is that usually a combination of video based learning plus one on one instruction is the optimal training strategy. Realistically, there is no way that pre-packaged video based training will be able to answer every question that may come up during a training session. A personalized instructor, or at least a classroom instructor, can fill in the gaps as needed. 

Expectation: video needs to be funny or dramatic in order to be successful. 

While there is certainly room for elements of humor and even drama in video, there is a real danger that taken to an extreme, such elements will distract learners from the module's main objectives. For instance, while learners are usually more engaged when an instructor's image is shown on screen, a narrative that focuses an inordinate amount of attention on jokes, or amusing high jinks, will lose some of its educational impact. Learners may remember the humorous elements, but forget the practical training!

Expectation: leveraging video will allow my company to explain complex concepts more quickly than traditional methods.

In some cases this is true, because video offers a golden opportunity to either illustrate concepts, or demonstrate how they are applied in real life. However, it is important to note that for more complicated subjects, video training may be better utilized as a supplement to other mediums, rather than the focal point of the instruction.

These are just a few examples of how company leaders and learning management executives can work to establish reasonable expectations, and thereby reap the definite benefits that video based learning can bring. If you'd like to learn more about how video based learning can enhance your company's employee training program, please download our guide: "How Mobile Learning Technology Drives a Consistent Customer Experience."

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