eLearning Evolved Part 1: Why Should I Use Video?

Why Should I Use Video?

Has one of your favorite books ever been turned into a movie, only to leave you disappointed? At some point, you’ll have the “book was better than the movie” experience.

The reason is simple: While you were reading, your mind was busy filling in the blanks with your imagination. You took the abstract words from the page and created your own world, complete with your unique characters, places, and scenes.

Even though it’s the same book, no two people will have the same “imaginative experience.” Instead, It’s your own unique experience.

Memory vs. Imagination

With a movie, you’re seeing what the director wants you to see, with less room for your own imagination. Because visual and auditory experiences are not abstract, every person watching has the same common experience.

Here’s an example: Imagine a young boy and young girl trapped inside a disabled car. It’s night, in a remote jungle, and they’re in the middle of a rain storm. Suddenly, they hear a distant sound. The young boy shivers as he watches a glass of water shaking on the dashboard, the water vibrating into ripples with each thump…thump…thump. He and the young girl look at the glass of water; their jaws begin to hang in fear. Suddenly, something crashes through the nearby electric fence, and…

By this point you hopefully realized this was a specific scene from Jurassic Park. When you began reading the example you started with your own visual image of the setting and story, until you realized what you were reading. At that point you quickly shifted to your memory of the famous scene.

Everyone starts with a unique interpretation of the hypothetical story, but when you realized this was something you have seen before you stopped envisioning what the story should look like and start remembering the specific scene from Jurassic Park.

What does this mean for your training?

When you’re explaining to an audience about your product, service or subject, you don’t want them to fill in the blanks with their own thoughts and previous opinions. You want them to have an exact understanding of what you want your subject is. For complete understanding, video is the most effective tool for communicating that to your intended audience.

Some questions to consider:

  • How does showing something to a viewer (video) differ from telling him or her about it (text)?
  • What messages or courses are best to use video?
  • What is the “video life cycle”?
  • What’s the best way of distributing and measuring impact of video learning?

In the following articles in this series, we’ll explore the reasons and methods of using video to communicate with—and engage—your training or eLearning audience.

Can’t wait to learn more? Stay tuned for Part 2 of the eLearning Evolved Series!


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