8 Tips to Effectively Use Videos in eLearning in 2020

Updated September 15 2020
8 Tips to Effectively Use Videos in eLearning in 2020
Updated September 15 2020

Elearning is taking the world by storm.  Learners worldwide are now able to use technology to access educational curriculum outside the confines of a traditional, physical classroom, from anywhere at any time.  All that is needed is a computer or a smart device and a stable internet connection.  


Naturally, there are advantages and disadvantages of online classes that students must take into consideration before deciding to take an online class. Once they decide to take an online course, they are signing up for knowledge in a convenient and dynamic fashion.  And one of the best ways to keep your class engaging is with video 

Why Should You Use Video in eLearning?


The influence of digital video has spread worldwide. Online video sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and even Facebook garner billions of video views per day with young people spending more than double their time watching online videos than watching television. Millennials reportedly make up more than 90% of the worldwide digital viewing audience so if you aren’t using video in eLearning, then you really should be. 

1. Video is Dynamic

Today’s audience expects more from a presenter. Delivering a dry monologue or placing an endless amount of text onto a slide or powerpoint presentation is certain to lose you your audience.  The use of your video in eLearning presentations shows you have taken your audience into consideration. You are increasing the effectiveness of your presentation by offering a dynamic hook that grabs your participants’ attention.  


2. Video Adds Context to Your Instruction 

Video in eLearning conveys emotion, often better than writing. If you were teaching an Italian class and wanted to highlight the main reasons to visit Italy, don’t just talk about it. Show a video tour of the Colosseum or Trevi Fountain in Rome, or the Grand Canal in Venice. Your participants will get transported to these places, offering a richer learning experience for them.  If you were a medical professional who wanted to debut new technologies to your student related to robot-assisted surgery, why not use video to illustrate these new capabilities rather than simply talk about it? 


3. Video Facilitates Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the most compelling tools for human growth and learning.  Stories were told in ancient times to carry on tradition and preserve history. The use of stories allows our brains to make stronger connections and engage a subject matter more intimately. By telling stories with video, you can give greater meaning and context to the subject at hand, leaving a more lasting memory of the subject. A startup company is not trying to simply explain their product but highlight their brand and take customers on a journey. The more a customer is emotionally engaged with the company, the higher likelihood they stay loyal to the brand.  


4. Video Is Easy to Consume 

Videos in elearning allow a presenter to transform complex subject matters into a more digestible form.  Show me, don’t tell me. Let’s say you were about to tackle a complex subject like the French Revolution or The Renaissance. With such vast subjects, it is hard to know where to begin. A concise, well produced video on the French Revolution or The Renaissance can get you started quickly, providing a basis with which to build off of. In these cases, the use of video took these complex subjects and made them more digestible in minutes. 


5. Videos Can Be Accessed Anywhere

Back in the day, it was a lot more difficult to access resources. A student would take a trip to their local library to access educational resources like a book or the single copy of a video. Now learners can access millions of videos from a computer or a smartphone from anywhere at anytime, whether in a bus on their morning commute or in an airport ready to fly to a business meeting.  In several elearning platforms, teachers can share video files or YouTube videos with the click of a button and students can access these resources with ease.   


6. Videos Show You “How to”

A large chunk of the videos people watch are how to videos, illustrating anything from playing the trumpet, learning how to play chess, solving a complex math equation, or improving upon professional soft skills. The sky’s the limit with video in eLearning.  Why try to explain a complex process when you can show it in a step-by-step manner? The use of short video clips allow for greater memory recall and a deeper processing of the core information. And the learner can play the video as many times as necessary until the message sticks. Just as an infant mimics their parents in order to learn new skills, we too as adult learners do better when we see something in action in order to learn it. 


7. Video Reinforces Learning

The great thing about video is the ability to watch it repeatedly to help reinforce a lesson. Students might not have successfully captured the essence of a presentation in their written notes. Or perhaps the student was not even able to attend. Now, instructors can record a training seminar or a lesson and share it with students to learn on their own time. Allowing a student to access the course material that they may have missed and see a recording of the lesson itself helps bring students up to speed in a quicker and more efficient manner.  The most effective learning process is not always cut and dry. Why not incorporate elements like video that can help students reach their learning objectives much easier?  


8. Video Is Ideal for Visual Learners

Everyone learns differently. Some learn better through listening while others prefer more activity in order to learn.  But some of us are more visual learners who need to see something in order to retain information. Cognitive processes of thinking and reasoning are stimulated by the use of videos.  But of course, if teachers play videos that are too long, it may put a student to sleep.  The attention spans of students are on average not much longer than 15 minutes, so be sure to keep them in that range.  Also, videos do not always need to be composed of real images but can contain animation, slides, etc.  


9. Videos Are Easy to Produce 

I hope I did not upset too many professional video and filmmakers out there by saying videos are easy to produce. I did not say it was easy to produce good videos, but the ability to create basic videos with decent visual and audio quality is now doable for the average person. Back in the day, only those with expensive cameras and advanced video editing equipment were able to create movies.  Nowadays, instructors or employers can simply use their cellphones to create very watchable content. Some newer cellphones can record at 720p HD at 30 frames per second, all the way up to an unbelievable 4K at 60 frames per second.  This blows away the video quality of cameras from a decade ago.  All you need is good natural lighting, a steady hand or tripod, and a basic microphone to record videos that can greatly benefit learners and employees alike. Online training can become more like a fun YouTube binge session than you ever thought possible.  


Why Not Use Video? 



The truth is, there is no reason not to use video. You don’t have to be a video professional to put together helpful video in eLearning. Billions of people in the world now own a smartphone and almost anyone can produce video content. Of course it is not easy without first having an engaging subject, a clear outline, defined goals and learning some preliminary tips on how to best shoot video.  But once you have these basics down you can produce video content that engages your learners effectively.  


Online virtual classroom platforms like Kaltura allow remote instructors or facilitators to play video files to make their lessons more engaging, helping them capture their students’ attention. Users can also search for and play YouTube videos for everyone in the class to watch in real time. This provides high quality video playback where each video plays for each user as if they played the video themselves. You don’t have to rely on screen share to share videos where you lose framerate, video quality, and have issues with audio.  


As mentioned, the use of videos can be the difference between bored students who stop attending your lessons or engaged students that keep coming back for more.  Don’t make the mistake of not using video in elearning when it is an available option for you. 

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