Video Learning

There’s research that says video enhances learning and research that says it makes no difference. So is it worth putting in the time and effort to develop video skills? Absolutely!

We can show a pilot the flow of hydraulics in landing gear with a static diagram. But when a video shows the gear extending and the cockpit gear lights illuminating, the demonstration comes to life.

We can deliver theories on how to manage personalities and relationships in an organization. But when we show interactions between memorable characters that trainees can care about, they feel the conflict and resolution and it means more.

For me, it boils down to our ability to affect results. I started my career decades ago in television news, writing, producing and reporting. Back then our criteria for a good story was one that affected outcomes. I’ve been designing training programs for many more decades, but my goals are essentially the same: to produce programs that affect outcomes. Video is the most powerful communication tool I have.

“Oh, but video is so expensive” you say. Not true anymore. A couple of years ago we began producing English Language Training vignettes through our subsidiary, Simple English Videos. We put up a green screen in our living room, we shoot around the house and the neighborhood with gear, lights and mikes that are affordable. There’s no course associated with the videos and they are distributed freely to learners around the world via our YouTube channel and website (www.simpleenglishvideos.com).

It’s brought surprising benefits. Our skills have developed with practice and our production quality has risen. Our subscriber base is growing at about 1,000 per month. We’ve been able to shoot free of charge in the YouTube New York studios and our YouTube exposure has brought us new paying customers, including an airline that hires us to produce English Language Training for their ground and cabin crews.

So while research is divided on the value of video learning, in our experience it’s a no-brainer. Trainees respond to quality production. Our tip: Find appropriate ways to incorporate video in your training design.

Image by rjcox / CC BY

Jay Silber

About Jay Silber

Jay began his career as reporter and producer for the CBS television station in Philadelphia. From journalism, he turned to training development in film, which became video production, then multimedia production. He likes to say “they just keep changing the projector.” Today, he works as a freelance ID for the likes of Walmart, Comcast, the UN, Amtrak, Morgan Stanley and many others. But his passion for video remains a primary focus. He has an MA in Adult Education and Training and a BA in English Literature.

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