The world of eLearning can be difficult to navigate, for instructional designers, training managers and content creators and learners alike. This is especially true when it comes to identifying the eLearning Video Best practices for an effective eLearning video. What does that look like? Is it all about the information presented and the scope of that information? Does it always contain dynamic animations and movements, detailed infographics, exuberant speakers?
In truth, what makes an effective eLearning video will depend heavily on the video’s purpose. However, while there are no official criteria that distinguish an exceptional video from a lackluster one, here are some common qualities of eLearning Video Best Practices:
Understanding Your Content
It may seem obvious, but the content of your video matters! You can pour all the money you have at your disposal into producing a video; however, if you do not provide content for your audience to engage with, the whole project will fall flat. There are two main ways to keep your content relevant:
Understanding Your Audience
Above all else, video creators should know their target audience. They should consider carefully: what their audience needs to learn, why they need to learn it, and how they learn best.
For example, a video for medical students describing a complex surgical procedure will need to highlight specific information and provide accurate medical illustrations.
Find Subject Matter Experts
If you are looking to make your video reputable, your best bet might be consulting an expert. A subject matter expert can provide crucial information and give a video an air of authority; they may even be able to help a content creator establish a distinct brand.
When you attach a subject matter expert’s name to your own brand, your eLearning video will become more marketable as a trusted source of information. Finding the right subject matter expert for your video can be tough, so always be sure to do your research and properly prepare.
Understanding Content Checklist
Overall, managing your content can be boiled down to a few points:
Understanding the content you create
Understanding your target audience
Keeping your information accurate with subject matter experts
Along with providing excellent content, eLearning video creators should make the most of every minute they are on camera. After all, learners can be fidgety; you want to make sure that you convey every piece of essential information as succinctly as possible (while also staying engaging). Here are some things to keep in mind:
Keep It Short
An awesome eLearning Video Best Practice is that shorter is better. short eLearning videos often fall into a category known as Microlearning videos are usually no longer than five minutes and provide information to learners in a concise manner.
This format allows learners to work at their own pace without worrying about losing their place in a video or missing out on essential information. Microlearning can also be used to let learners interact and practice what they’ve learned after viewing the video, focusing on one skill at a time.
For Further Learning
When it comes to getting as much information into one video as possible, keeping everything under five minutes can be tough. The solution? Create playlists for your content. If a learner wants more information on a topic, interactive videos with links embedded in them can send viewers directly to another presentation that delves more deeply into the matter.
For example, an eLearning video teaching pet owners a cat’s body language may have a video thumbnail you can click on that covers “why cats scratch everything”. This way, your audience can get the customizable learning experience they deserve while still keeping your videos short.
Time Management Checklist
So, time management in eLearning video production involves three main aspects:
Keep your content short.
Create multiple videos on a topic.
Allow your audience to access information through embedded links.
No matter what you’re presenting or who is presenting it, an eLearning video needs to look good. This is an easy aspect to overlook if you are not a design expert.
Still, an aesthetically pleasing video can mean the difference between someone sticking around to watch the whole thing and clicking out within the first 30 seconds or so. Here are design concepts to keep in mind:
Graphic elements are pieces in a work (like a poster or a flyer) that highlight specific information, often using shape, line, and color in a way that contrasts the surrounding area. When these elements move, that gives us motion graphics.
Motion graphics in an eLearning video can be used to highlight important information as it appears, or be used to create simplified visuals to help viewers understand difficult concepts
When you add motion graphics and other elements into your video, pay attention to how they look and what you want to draw your viewers’ attention. By doing this, you will create unity within your work. Using colors that complement each other can make the video look great as a whole, but adding contrasting hues to emphasize important information will bring your work to the next level.
When it comes to video production, the possibilities are endless, but keep it simple. A video that is easy on the eyes will draw in more viewers and appeal more to learners than something with too many bright colors or moving objects.
Choosing the Right Medium
To help streamline the design process, it is best to determine what medium your video will be in before starting to work. Live presentations, 2D animation, 3D animation, animatics, and motion graphic infographics are all great choices for an eLearning video, but to find what works best, it is important to know your content.
For example, a video that teaches a complex three-dimensional process like assembling a car engine would be best shown in 3D animation, where a to-scale model of the engine can be rigged and viewed from every angle. For a presentation on statistical information, motion graphics are a solid choice to present lots of information in a short amount of time.
Match The Tone of Your Content
When choosing your medium, it is also important to understand the overall tone of your content. Music choice, medium, color scheme, and even how your speaker presents information are all affected by the tone of your topic.
Let’s say you’re working on a presentation about cancer research and recent statistics involving a new method of treatment. To present this effective eLearning video, you’d like to use motion graphics and simple design choices; that way, the information is front and center.
However, would you choose peppy and upbeat music, sad music, or no music at all? Would you use bright, neon colors to display your information, or would you use muted colors instead?
In this case, a video with sad music and bright colors can confuse the audience, but creating a tone that doesn’t fit the video topic can be even worse. Always make sure you understand what emotion you need to create when presenting information, even in an eLearning environment.
So, for design we have a few more things to keep in mind for a good eLearning video best practice:
- How important information is emphasized
- The medium that the video is presented in
- Keeping your video pleasing to look at
- Staying in-tune with the overall tone of your topic
While video production does require a lot of time, energy, and sometimes money and resources, it is by no means impossible, nor is there a prescribed list of rules that you must follow.
There are, however, many different aspects that go into even a five-minute effective eLearning Video. For yours to stand out, you need to take all these things into account. Consider who, what, where, why, and how questions:
- Who is this video for?
- How is this video going to be produce
- Why is this video important?
- Where is this video being presented?
- What is this video about?
THE BOTTOM LINE
With these things eLearning Video Best Practices in mind, you’re ready to make an effective eLearning video that will improve your learners.
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