More and more e-learning organisations are turning to online video to deliver their courses. Why? Well, quite simply video enhances learning. Now, that’s a pretty big statement to make. But bear with me, I can explain why…

1. Observation and demonstration.

As far back as 1977 Bandura realised that people learn through observation (remember the famous Bobo doll experiment?). People learn and imitate behaviours they have observed in other people. So use that to your advantage. Video allows you to tap into that observational learning, for example providing a demonstration that your students can model behaviour on.

2. Brings realism.

Critical to any learning taking place is for students to understand how abstract theories and concepts can apply to the real world. Show them a real life situation where their learning can be applied and they’ll be motivated to connect to the issues you’re presenting.

3. Cross modal learning.

Our brains process information in different ways. Experts from the learning field have found that visual information accounts for 55% of our learning, audio information for 38% and text 7%. Where video excels is in providing information across all three channels. Target your audience whether they be visual, audio or text-based learners and you’ll have the best possible chance of instilling knowledge and skills that stick.

4. Rich source of information.

It has been reported that the information that just one minute of video conveys can amount to as much as 1.8 million written words. Sounds pretty dramatic, doesn’t it? But consider, for example, trying to describe a complex emotion like love, or grief, or nostalgia. Now imagine using video to simply show the interplay of facial expressions that convey those emotions. Every day we interpret social signals such as body language, emotional cues and verbal intonation. We are experts at reading and translating that information. So, play to your students strengths. Using video enables your e-learning course to make full use of all of that extra information that text alone just cannot convey.

5. Video engages.

But don’t take my word for it, here Susan Weinschenk Ph.D. gives a great (video!) overview of why we, as humans, are fundamentally drawn to video. We are hard-wired to pay special attention to faces (thanks to a part of the brain dubbed the Fusiform Facial Area), emotions are contagious, and movement grabs attention (a throwback to our caveman days when our very survival depended on noticing and reacting to movement). And what tool can you use to bring all of these powerful elements together? Yep, you guessed it – online video.

So, does the future of effective e-learning lie in video? There’s plenty of examples of successful businesses that use it to great effect (Dr. Najeeb Lectures is just one). But let us know what you think.

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