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How to Create a Training Video: Formal vs. Informal Learning

Rachel Maltese

Updated October 25 2019
Rachel Maltese

Updated October 25 2019

One of the best ways to teach someone a new skill is with online video. Video engages multiple learning styles. This benefits aural, visual, and interactive learners and allows your employees to learn at their own pace, regardless of location. Not only can your staff refer back to the video as needed, video training can continue to support new learners as they come on board.

 

While creating training videos can seem daunting, we promise you it’s not. The best way to get started – long before making plans to record and distribute your video – is to make sure you know what type of video you want to create.

 

Most training videos fall into one of two categories: formal training videos or informal knowledge sharing videos. Before you create a training video, it’s important to know which one best suits your needs.

Understanding the Difference Between Formal Training Videos and Informal Knowledge Sharing Videos

Formal training videos usually take a top-down approach. These videos speak from experts to beginners, apply to a large number of people in a company or institution, and are generally expected to have a longer use life. Formal training videos are great for corporate on-boarding and introducing new tools, policies, or procedures at a company-wide level.

 

Because of the broad audience, expected longevity, and role in supporting a company’s brand or culture, formal training videos often have high-end production values that involve professional cameras, editing tools, and even presenters. Many companies buy or lease formal training content from other providers, but some create their own in-house materials.

 

With advanced tools, you can even create formal training videos with engaging features that allow learners to choose their own pathway through the material based on hotspots or a choose-your-own-adventure structure. It’s also possible to embed learning assessment quizzes directly into formal training materials, so you can make sure that your employees have understood and retained the material.

 

Informal knowledge sharing videos are often more peer-to-peer in nature. These videos share information that addresses a particular need and are not generally a part of a formal syllabus or educational initiative. Additionally, these videos may apply only to a particular task, department, or situation and thus have a shorter use life and a smaller audience. Because these training videos are produced on-the-fly to meet specific educational needs, they can often be created at someone’s desktop and without fancy cameras or lighting.

 

Informal knowledge sharing videos aren’t just a great educational resource. With simple tools available right on their own desktops, employees can be empowered to take initiative and solve problems, all while adding to your company’s library of institutional knowledge.

How to Choose Between Formal Training Videos or Informal Knowledge Sharing Videos

While many companies make use of both formal training videos and informal knowledge sharing videos, it’s important to choose the right type of video for each educational task. To decide which type of training video to create, consider the following:

Who is your audience and how big is it?

If you want to create a training video that will reach your whole company, a formal video is probably the best fit. If you are addressing only some employees based on role or a specific task, an informal knowledge sharing video may meet your needs.

Will your training video be part of a formal curriculum?

A formal curriculum wants a formal training video. If the people watching will need to demonstrate mastery of the material in the video before moving on to additional lessons, a formal training video is probably the way to go. But if you’re doing peer-to-peer education to showcase a new solution to an ongoing problem, an informal knowledge sharing video should do the trick.

Will your training video play a significant role in supporting your brand identity or corporate culture?

Training meant to address corporate culture, philosophy, or ethics is best conducted by formal training videos. These videos can be especially helpful if you are conducting education necessary for compliance purposes. Meanwhile, training meant to address how to perform a specific task – or how to perform that task in a new and improved way – can often be handled through informal knowledge sharing videos.

Will your training used as a long-term educational tool?

Formal training videos are often a larger investment of time and resources and thus are better suited for training you expect to conduct for many people on an ongoing and repeated basis. Informal knowledge sharing videos are a better fit for ad hoc needs that may change over time.

Conclusion

Training videos are a great way to keep employees informed and engaged, but different types of training videos serve different purposes. Knowing which type to create is key. Once you’ve decided whether a formal training video or an informal knowledge sharing video is the best solution to your current training needs, you’re ready to start the creation process.

 

 

 

 

 

Want to know more? Read “The Quick Guide to Corporate Training.”

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Topics:
training videolearning and development