It’s Sunday, and you have some leisure time, so you decide to bake a red velvet cake. There is a problem, though: You don’t know how to bake a red velvet cake.
Of course, that’s only a small problem. You pick up your phone and search YouTube. You see 100 videos — which is a big problem. Which one should you watch?
After a few scrolls, you pick the one that has the most views, but you realize it’s more of an ad for a chef. You continue scrolling and find another one. It’s been viewed by fewer people than the previous one and is longer in duration, but it has positive reviews. You tap on the thumbnail, and the video begins. You place the phone on the kitchen top and rub your hands in excitement.
A couple of hours later, your cake is ready to be served. Your Sunday is made.
Over two billion users access YouTube every month, watching over one billion hours of video each day. Some videos go viral, and some remain unwatched. Factors such as likes, comments, views and shares help videos become “trending.”
What about training videos?
In training, video is not just about imparting knowledge but about imparting it in a simple and engaging format. The expected outcome is not views, likes or shares; it’s a change in behavior or an improvement in performance.
Or is it? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about learner engagement than YouTube is about how many people watch its cat videos? As they say, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” So, how can you measure whether a training video is engaging? Here are some quick tips.
Talk of the Town
If you don’t have a comments section for videos, you’re missing important feedback. Yes, there may be some unsavory or downright nasty comments that may spoil your day, but what’s life without some spice? Comments provide the most direct and unfiltered view of the learners’ perspective.
Catch the Early Birds
Regardless of the quality, you will always have a group of inquisitive learners who log in early to access the content. Identify the 20 earliest early-bird learners, and determine how many actually finished the video in one sitting (or standing!).
The Stop Gap
YouTube reports that more than 20% of users stop playing at the 10th second of a video. How many of your learners stop the video between 10 and 15 seconds? If the number stays within 20%, you’re probably OK, but if it goes up to 40% or higher, you may need to take another look at the video to make some improvements.
Rank Me Up, Rank Me Down
Provide options for learners to rank video content, and then report on the highest-ranked videos. This metric will serve as a way to evaluate engagement and video quality.
What Isn’t Trending Is Dying
Which are the most trending videos in your catalog, and which are not even touched? This data takes in to account important factors such as hits, completion, sharing and comments. Your learning management system (LMS) should be able to consolidate and generate this information, and it should give you an idea of how well your training videos are being received.
Sharing Is Caring
Ranking a video is one level of engagement. The desire to share content demonstrates another level altogether. Does your LMS enable learners to share videos? Reporting on their sharing behavior will show you how engaged learners are and help you keep the most-viewed videos in visible spots of the platform.
There’s a Time and Place
Calculate the number of unique visitors to your videos over time, and drill down for specific topics. Also look at when people are watching videos; perhaps they are accessing the content at a particular time of the day, which can give you ideas on when to post new content. If your organization is dispersed globally or regionally, you can also ask for reports on the most accessed videos per region.
Like trainers in a classroom who can sense the mood of the room, you, too, can sense how engaged your learners are with your video content. Learning analytics is the key. Follow the tips in this article, and they may even help you measure the return on your business’ investment in training.