3 Reasons To Use Videos In Your eLearning (and 2 Reasons Not To)

As most of you following this blog know, we at Jilbee are big fans of using videos in eLearning. In the past we have seen how you could use eLearning Videos for Information And Data Security or for Environment, Health and Safety Training.

We have seen the Typical Costs Associated with using Films in your eLearning Videos and we have seen the same When You Use Animations.

And most of all we have seen how our customers Calculate ROI with eLearning Videos.

Today’s post is a little different. Today I’d like to give you a slightly more balanced view on the use of videos in eLearning. There are some very good reasons why you should use videos. But, to be fair, there are some good reasons why you should not use video. Let’s take a look.

Starting with the positive, here are 3 reasons to consider using videos in your eLearning:

1. More Realistic
Using videos – especially film-based videos – just makes the eLearning more realistic. Think about it: If you need to explain how to operate a forklift to properly lift dangerous pharmaceutical materials – what would look more realistic? A photograph with a tedious text based explanation or a short video clip with a nice voice over?

A big risk with eLearning is having the learner say – “This doesn’t apply to me” or “This doesn’t seem believable” or “This is not how we do it” or “I don’t need Mickey Mouse telling me how to do my job”.

Avoid these pitfalls. Use films.

2. Better Retention
Video is more engaging compared to any form of static content regardless of how beautiful that static content is. With video, something is always changing on the screen and if well done, it can make the learner pay attention at all times. More attention = Better retention.

3. Higher ROI
And believe it or not, you can actually get better ROI byintroducing videos in your eLearning. I’m not saying videos are cheaper than simple images and text. I am saying the return on your investment can be higher. You’d rather have a large number of learners paying rapt attention to an expensive eLearning video rather than have a large number of learners not paying any attention to a cheaper graphic or text based eLearning content. Yes, the video will be more expensive to make, but you can get better results.

Now let’s look at the other side of the coin. From time to time we come across scenarios when it just doesn’t make sense to use video in eLearning and we advise our clients accordingly and tell them to stick with graphics and text. Here are two such times:

1. Your content will change frequently
Are you going to need to change your learning content every few months? Are the changes going to be so substantial that a big portion of your learning content will undergo churn? Then don’t even think about video. Because in most cases, seemingly small changes will force you to make many more changes in other parts of the video. And most likely you’ll need to rebuild the whole video. So if your content is going to change frequently, stick to graphics and text which can easily modified.

2. You cannot afford it
This is an easy one. Video content does not come cheap – at least not the professional variety. So if you do not have the budget for good video content, that’s ok. Just don’t spend it instead on bad video content. You can make fairly decent eLearning without video if you have the right team by your side. Find that team and even if you cannot have great eLearning with video, you could still have pretty decent eLearning without video.

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