Learning in the flow of work – making sure that learners have access to the training they need, when they need it – is garnering more attention than ever. The constant rate of change has necessitated a constant need for training – a situation that traditional models are scarcely able to keep pace with. In addition to the obvious impact that employee skills can have on a business’s bottom line, learning and development (L&D) can help organizations combat The Great Resignation.
The organizations that will be most successful in this new world of work will be those that are willing to incorporate different learning modalities into their L&D strategies to meet the needs of their learners. Research from Training Industry has shown the importance of using a variety of learning modalities. Learner engagement is crucial, and your chances of engaging your learners improve greatly when you take their preferences into account. By delivering training in a variety of modalities, you’re not only making it easier for your learners to find information when they need it most — but you’re also more likely to use a method that appeals to your learners on an individual level.
One modality that’s gained popularity in recent years due to advancements in technology, as well as learners’ preferences carrying over from their personal lives, is video. “The success of streaming services, as well as the popularity of social media that prioritizes images and video, have encouraged companies to add different types of media to their training and communications,” says Chris McLaughlin, chief marketing officer at LumApps.
Video can have a wide array of applications when it comes to organizational learning. While it’s certainly true that video is often the fastest way to demonstrate how to complete a specific task, that’s far from its only use. Video can also supplement or break down complex, text-heavy training topics, serving to bolster learner engagement — an increasingly important task in today’s hybrid setting.
For instance, when trying to communicate a multi-step process for a technical subject matter, video can provide context and dimensionality that would be challenging to capture with text alone. Physical processes, such as equipment maintenance, can involve many steps that become muddled in a text description (or even a slideshow with pictures). Information technology (IT) processes can also benefit from video instruction. Using a screen capture/recording of a subject matter expert (SME) performing a task can quickly illustrate a skill to a novice.
Additionally, video and animation can also help learning leaders market the value of learning and development to employees, spreading awareness of training opportunities within the organization. “One challenge that we as L&D professionals face,” says Jenny Fedullo, director of learning experience at d’Vinci Interactive, “is promoting online learning – making people aware of the training’s existence … Short videos highlighting the benefits of the training can be created to support this.”
Video Training Fundamentals
If you’ve never produced a training video before, the process can be daunting. Keep in mind that your first foray into any given learning modality is not going to be especially polished. It doesn’t need to be – as long as you effectively communicate the information or process your learners need to get on with their day. They’ll thank you for it. Keep the following tips in mind when creating a video experience for your employees:
- Does It Need To Be Video?: The first step is to make sure the training in question should be a video to begin with. Good candidates for video learning, according to L&D consultant Trent Bartholomew, include practical applications and skill-building. More abstract, theoretical concepts might not lend themselves to video, since there’s not likely to be engaging visual content to capture.
- Plan It Out: “When filming any video for training, it is important to establish a shot list and script that connect with the learning objectives,” says Fedullo. A clear plan, down to what should be in frame for each shot, will ensure that your training stays on-point and won’t waste anyone’s time.
- Video Before Audio: Encourage your subject matter experts (SMEs) to record their audio separately from the video recording process. This frees them up to focus on the task at hand while eliminating the awkwardness of dealing with line memorization or reading from cue cards.
- Keep It Brief: Short videos can be a great way to provide in-the-flow learning to your team. By limiting training videos to just a few minutes in length, you can ensure that learners are able to quickly find information, gain the skills they need and get back to work.
- Make It Accessible: Your training videos won’t do any good if they’re hard to find. Depending on your organization’s learning culture, simply dumping video content into your learning management system (LMS) or company intranet may not be enough. Learning experience platforms (LXPs) can bridge the divide between learner and training content by utilizing AI-assisted content recommendation, encouraging social learning with chat and gamification functionality and allowing for more user-generated content. Learning libraries are another option, providing organizations the ability to internally create and curate training in an easy-to-find setting.
Overall, Bartholomew stresses the importance of keeping the learner experience in mind: “Respect a trainee’s time … make sure the material you’re creating is as practical as possible.”
In our unending quest to better prepare learners for the new world of work, video content is increasingly seen as an essential modality. From spicing up already-existing trainings to enabling informal, on-the-fly content creation, it’s likely that there’s at least one way that video could benefit your organization. With the above tips, you should be well on your way toward meeting your learners’ in-the-flow learning needs with new, engaging modalities.