Web video, as a means to deliver educational content, is clearly an idea whose time has come.

What started as the result of the full motion compression (MPEG) efforts of Philips Interactive Media in 1992, has resulted in the proliferation of web-based instructional video content.  For example, YouTube reports that over 72 hours of video content is uploaded to its platform every minute.  Many of those videos are instructional or educational in nature. Companies including Microsoft, Cisco and Cloud Access maintain YouTube channels that exist for the sole purpose of providing training materials to their customers.

TED-Ed, a free educational platform that allows visitors to create and share instructional videos, receives close to 166,000 visitors per day. Lynda.com, an online learning company that helps anyone learn software, offers over 87,000 instructional videos to its two million customers.

What Role Does Technology Play

Technology advancements have certainly paved the way for this extended use of video in educational programs. Improved compression, wider access to broad band connections and other technological advances have made it much easier for video content to be streamed over internet and consumed by the public. However, the explosion of video usage in educational settings has not occurred solely because of technological innovations.

How Video Impacts Performance

Learning professionals like to use video in training programs because it has proven to be an effective tool in the effort to improve performance. Contemporary studies, like one completed by German researchers Denise Gramss and Doreen Struve, found that video did a much better job at helping adults acquire and retain knowledge than text.

A separate study, commissioned by Northwestern University, concludes that the use of video improved student understanding. Oncologists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center saw their communication skills improve significantly when video was introduced into their training curriculum. This research can easily cause one to draw the conclusion that video must be incorporated in order for training programs to be as effective as possible.

Why Professionals Stay Away from Video Learning Solutions

Many professionals face the challenge of attempting to incorporate video into learning programs. They often don’t know where to start when it comes to video production.

Many either don’t have the knowledge or, don’t have the budget or team that can create instructional videos. Additionally, many don’t have or don’t know which tools to use, or, they simply don’t have the time. A white paper released by Educause (a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance education through the use of technology) cited a “lack of technical expertise” and the “amount of time” required to develop video solutions, as two of the main reasons that there has not been a greater adoption of video usage by training content developers.

But, there is a solution.

Smart Phone Technology

Just as technology advancements made it easier for video to be streamed via the Internet and consumed by the masses, advances in smart phone and mobile app technology have lowered the barriers to entry for video content development.

Almost everyone carries a smart phone in their pockets these days meaning that the hardware required to capture video is easily accessible. Mobile apps for editing video like iMovie, Vitrimpro or Pinnacle are cost effective and easy to use. The output quality is also good.  For example, full-length features released in movie theaters like “Paranmanjang” by Chan-wook Park have been shot entirely with a smart phone.

Developing Training Videos With What You Carry In Your Pocket

At the DTCC, we have leveraged smart phone technology in a number of ways. And, one way is via our “flipped” leadership interview technique – interviews with corporate or industry leaders are captured using the video camera on a smartphone.

The interview footage is then edited on the same device and posted to a free video hosting site.  The “flip the video” model advocated by Ted-Ed is then employed.

Students are asked to watch the video and then respond to questions related to what they saw.  When this part of the assignment is complete, the students come together in either a classroom or virtual setting to discuss their individual answers and to create action plans. This approach allows the learning team to shoot, edit and publish web-based training video content in under an hour, with no budget using only what they are carrying in their pockets.

Improving the Learning Experience

Incorporating video into learning solutions can improve the learning experience for the student as well as the student’s post training performance. The barriers to greater adoption of video usage in training programs have largely been eliminated as a result of improvements in smart phone and mobile app technology.

Today, the tools that are required to create high quality video based training assets are in almost every training professional’s pocket. So, the next time you have a need to quickly develop and deploy a learning solution, just dig into your pockets.