Why use videos for training?

Let’s face it, training courses can sometimes be a dour process. Part of the problem can often be the monotony of listening to the same tutoring voice for a long period of time.

Training Fun

However, sometimes, training can be a fun and enriching process that leaves the trainee fully equipped for the culture or tasks at hand. Especially if someone has a guitar to hand…

Insightful Training

Videos offer the chance to illustrate points in a way that words may not be able to conjure. They can offer insight and access to unreachable or complex scenarios and environments. They can offer context to a point, and they can offer a light relief to an intense or serious day. All in all, videos can be a highly effective tool to bring a training environment to life. This promotional video Spinning Clock created for the Fire Service College shows a preview of the training they were about to undergo in a dangerous and complex environment. This video was essential in managing trainees expectations of what was to come:

What Is A Corporate Training Video?

Training is a vital part of the effective transfer of information, learning and culture in a corporate setting. Videos can work as a highly effective and reusable training resource. It is widely acknowledged that people remember what they see far more than what they hear, and training videos can offer that visual cue to really emphasise a point.

Many of the largest and most respected corporations use an engaging blend of videos and user interaction for their staff training courses.

In our globalised and interconnected economy, organisations deal with continually shifting market conditions, technologies, customer demands, input costs and competition. They must adapt and continually re-evaluate their business model. Change management is thoughtfully and carefully realigning the organisation.

However, that change can create an unnerving sensation to a large proportion of staff, who are quite happy doing things the way they know. It is here that an effective training video could be used to allay those fears and prepare staff for the change to come.

We created a series of training videos for the Capita Civil Service Learning Management team as they underwent a time of change. An introduction to one of the training videos can be seen here:

What Is Interactive Video Training?

Interactive video training is a broad topic that can be spun in a range of directions. Fundamentally, it represents videos that offer at least a simple element of user control in order to watch/operate them. These videos can be stored online – to be deployed on laptops, tablets or smartphones - or on older forms of hardware media devices like DVD, Blu-Ray, flash drives and hard disks.

Online video can mean different things to different people. Further, when it comes to interactive video training, there is no clear public trend - at least for now. For positive learning outcomes, however, it’s the quality and features of the video player that will make the difference.

Online video, like its analogue predecessor, can be extremely unintuitive - providing visual and auditory stimuli, but not fundamentally requiring a response. Even in otherwise interactive eLearning courses, video segments are dense "blobs" of content to be watched, and then responded to afterwards. Making the video itself interactive is the challenge.

There are a few ways that this can be done. An animation or video can be created using Adobe Flash – recently renamed to Adobe Animate CC – to give the user the ability to have “control” over the content on screen. As this is created as a standalone sequence, there is no need for it to be connected to the web. However, an interactive training video could be created using HTML5 which gives the user the ability to engage with the content (normally an animation) within a web browser, though this technique isn’t used that frequently for a training technique.

There are more straightforward interactive training methods using video content. For instance a simple DVD or Blu-Ray disk with start-up menu that allows the user to select the aspect of content that they wish to view. This is probably the most common form of interactive video training. It’s very simple to use and requires very little technical prowess. Spinning Clcok were involved in a very high profile campaign for the Office for National Statistics as they trained 10’s of 1000’s of new staff for the completion of the census.

What Makes A Good Training Video?

Research suggests that learners more easily understand and recall new material presented in video that allow participants to both hear and see the information (Gunter, et al. 2000; Molen, et al. 2000; Lalley 1998). As stated at the start of this article, people are more likely to remember something they’ve seen and not just heard. A combination of the two - which video offers – ensures that more areas of the viewer’s brain are informed of the information, which will hopefully give that information a better chance of remaining in the long term memory of the subject.

So what makes a great training video? There are a number of ways you can ensure the video will be as effective as it can be:

  • Take away the distraction of lazy editing. i.e. ensure that there is consistency in style, shot selection and motion graphics. Viewers are more likely to remember mistakes than the one bit you got right. However, if your message is repeated clearly, with consistent graphic and editing competence, then the viewer is more likely to retain the wider message.
  • Ensure the video is instructional rather than style over substance, Training videos do differ from a Hollywood blockbuster, in that they have a more direct purpose than to just entertain the viewer. Ensure the content and its narrative sits at the heart of the film, and let that influence stylistic and audio choices made during the production process.
  • Change what is on screen every 5-8 seconds. People get bored of monotony, and therefore will tune out of video very quickly if they don’t have a variety of communications being presented. You can also use a blend of motion graphics, soundtracks and voiceovers to heighten the dynamism of the video.
  • Get the script right! Potentially the most crucial aspect. Use specialist copywriters to enhance and “draw-out” intrigue from a bland subject.
  • Lastly, create chapters within the piece. Just like a book, help the audience to compartmentalise information into manageable chunks, there’s nothing worse than being overloaded with a 45 minute monosyllabic delivery of technical information in a training video. Very few people will remember much, if anything from it.

Why Video Training Is So Effective

Understanding why video training can be so effective comes down to understanding how the human brain likes to retain information. For instance, statistics suggest that after three days your brain will remember just 10% of what you heard. However, if you were to hear words, combined with an image, you are more likely to remember closer to 65% of what you saw/heard.

In order to remember something, it is highly effective to add context to information and to visualise what is being conveyed. For instance, if you are being trained on a complex industrial process. It is much easier to understand that process if there is some kind of visual prompt to fit alongside the complex words/narrative. We created a series of training videos for Life Technologies to explain some highly complex laboratory workflows:

Effective Video Training

Video training is so effective, because of the ability to blend words and pictures, and as mentioned earlier, there are various ways these videos can be shared. Either they can be offered as a companion video to a classroom or boardroom style meeting. Alternatively, there are benefits to engaging online video training if your corporation is a globally recognised company, with offices spread out across the world. The need to standardise and unite a culture of “spread-out” employees can easily be trained with a consistent message.

We created a series of training videos for the Post Office with engaging intro voxpops that gave the training some context.

Conclusion

So as we’ve seen, training videos can be a great resource to facilitate meetings, to further a company’s culture and to give the trainees the chance to get a visual reference to processes and important information. Training videos can be a vital resource in offering dynamic and engaging training and they can help to bring an inspirational and engaging depth to any training.

For high quality video production get in touch with Spinning Clock by emailing us at hello@spinningclock.com or call 0115 9430777

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