Using video in online training: The Instructional Design perspective

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We all know that video is the most popular medium for communication and sharing information. We also know that video training is a great way to enhance performance, as it provides a standardized method of sharing knowledge throughout an organization and is a way to communicate in an engaging manner with all its stakeholders. But there’s more to video besides being trendy.

Videos are easily accessible and viewed on mobile devices, which facilitates learning at the point-of-need or on the job. There are many studies that show people prefer to this format, for example, according to a Forrester research, employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read documents. Videos are, in fact, much more appealing, don’t you agree?

Every day, we access a world of video content and we are absolutely overloaded with information. This means that we do not have the ability to retain all we visualise. That said, shall or shall we not continue to use video for online training? Our team of instructional designers thinks we must! Let me share with you a few instructional design concepts that will help you understand why.

The multimedia principle, studied in depth by Richard Mayer in his cognitive theory of multimedia learning, tells us that a combination of text, written or spoken, and pictures, increases a deeper knowledge than words or images alone. This combination must follow instructional design guidelines, of course, such as setting clear and effective objectives or providing verbal and pictorial information suited to a specific audience.  As it impacts our learning capabilities, it also influences our memory capacity.

The Picture Superiority Effect tells us that, after 3 days, we tend to remember 10% of the information we read or heard, whereas we tend to remember 65% of the information we saw in a format that combines text and picture format.

So far, we have talked about words, audio or text, and image. And now I’m adding a third element – movement. That’s what makes video stand out. These three elements combined make concept visualisation easier as they activate our brain functions and promote a deeper understanding.

We can use video to break down complex information and ideas and explain them with the use of simple, easy to understand, visuals. Here’s an example. Imagine that you are onboarding a new sales rep and you have to explain the company’s sales process. As you only describe those concepts in words, it may be difficult for some learners to understand it. Wouldn’t it be easier to show them a video with that information?

But there’s more.


Videos can provide a storytelling experience. Storytelling, or the art of telling stories, predates writing and it is, even now, the most effective way to convey information in an engaging manner. This means that it is the best way to promote effective learning! There is another important aspect to mention: when we think of storytelling, we imagine a person - a storyteller. And us, humans, have the need to relate with a face. In fact, there’s a neurological phenomenon called “pareidolia” that instigates our ability to see faces out of randomness. And you can use this to promote your audience’s engagement. So, use a presenter to convey verbal and visual concepts and you will increase your audience’s attention.

In addition to this instructional design perspective it’s important to refer that video training has also the advantage of being measurable. Most video training platforms, like the bugle platform, give you access to several metrics such as views and whether the video has been viewed all the way through or not. If you add interactions to your courses, like a quiz or challenge, you can also understand its level of engagement and retention.

Now that you know the main reasons why we choose video for training, I bet you are excited to create your own video training projects. But if you’re not sure where to start, check out other bugle blog articles or contact our Digital Learning Solutions team for professional consulting. Enjoy!


Here’s a complete guide on how to create a video training course, by our Digital Learning Solutions team.

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You may also find interesting:
How to create a video training course: the step by step guide (eBook)
12 tips to choose the right Training Platform (article)
What is instructional design and why you should care about it (article)
Why online video training is the smart choice for your business (article)


Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help you improve your training programme? 
Let's talk.

Writen by Lisa Belchior
26-Mar-2020 10:00:00

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