Video for Learning: Missed Potential

How many videos would you watch online in a given day? I know you’re busy, but I’m guessing that between work-related informational videos and videos of dogs walking on their hind legs, it probably averages out to at least one video a day. Video has become a ubiquitous way of sharing information. Facebook has managed to integrate video to the extent that every other post seems to be a video that auto-plays the instant it appears on your screen. Vine has become the go-to media for silly, fun vignettes. There is even a culture of people who watch videos of other people playing video games.

The power of these video players like YouTube, Vine, Instagram and countless others cannot be denied, because video itself is so powerful. Even with video appearing at every turn, organizations have been slow to tap into that power to deliver learning. We have investigated the use of video in several of our studies and at each turn, video is not being used to a very high extent.

  • Learning & Development Benchmarking Study:
    • 15% of organizations use video to a high or very high extent
  • Compliance Study:
    • 6% of all compliance training is video-based
  • Mobile Learning Study:
    • 30% of companies say that most or all of their learning videos are available via mobile device
  • The Great Skills Gap:
    • 22% of companies say that more than 10% of their training for skilled workers is in video format
  • Team Development Study
    • 18% of companies say their use of video for learning is widespread.

This wouldn’t be so perplexing if it weren’t for the fact that companies find video for learning so effective. In the L&D study, 48% say online videos are effective, highly effective or extremely effective. In the Compliance study, 47% say video is either very or extremely effective. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of companies say that mobile video is either very or extremely effective.

There is clearly a disconnect between how effective video is for learning and how much it is being used. Much of this may stem from the difficulty in managing video. But organizations need to start finding solutions soon, because video is growing. We are seeing an increase in the use of user-generated videos, which only adds to the volume and complexity of managing video. Nearly half of companies in the Social & Collaborative Learning Study said that user-generated videos are either highly or extremely effective.

One of the biggest challenges with video is that the information contained within a video is pretty much locked away. Aside from a thumbnail image, a title and a short description, it’s nearly impossible to know what’s inside. That’s where tool likes Panopto come in. This solution uses all the standard metadata features for video, but also includes character recognition as well as speech recognition to allow users to search for anything that might be said or shown on screen. It will even take you to the spot in the video where your search criteria appear. I believe solutions like this one and the ability for content developers to create shorter, more impactful videos are going to help organizations begin to unlock the true potential of video for learning.

David Wentworth, Senior Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

David Wentworth

David Wentworth has been a senior research analyst in the human capital field since 2005 and joined the Brandon Hall Group in 2013. He has authored reports and articles on various human capital subjects with an emphasis on workforce technology. He has contributed to several reports published by ASTD, including authoring Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand, The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity Across Generations, and Instructional Systems Design Today and in the Future. His work has also appeared in Compensation & Benefits Review and T+D Magazine.

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