About the Author: Mariana Ashley is a freelance blogger who loves to share her knowledge about mLearning, eLearning, and online schools. Mariana appreciates feedback and welcomes your questions and comments. You can contact her at mariana.ashley031(at)gmail.com.
Creating a video is arguably the most effective way to instruct employees. However, that doesn’t mean that all videos are effective instructional tools. Many corporate eLearning videos fail to properly inform and engage staff members. They’re too long or too mundane or too overloaded with information. Oftentimes, they don’t give their audience a clear-cut way to start using the ideas presented in the video. If you’re struggling to reach your employees with videos, here are a few eLearning video don’ts for you to keep in mind:
Don’t lose track of time
There are probably so many important ideas and concepts you want to communicate to your employees. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should create a four-hour-long video. Long videos typically frustrate employees, especially employees who feel pressed for time to complete what’s already on their daily agendas. Additionally, the longer your video is, the more likely your employees will be to become disengaged, no matter how good your video is. Remember that people have a difficult time focusing on one thing at a time for longer than 40 minutes. So, try to keep your videos less than 30 minutes in length, and when possible even break them up into shorter segments that can be played simultaneously to form the longer video.
Don’t rely too much on facts and figures
You’re probably creating a video for one of two reasons: to teach your employees how to do something new or to teach them how to change something they’re already doing. In either case, you’re teaching them how to do something. Although facts and figures can and probably should play roles in the videos you create, they should play minor roles. Your videos should, for the most part, be interactive if you want them to be effective. They should provide your employees with relevant real-life situations and examples and questions about those situations and examples. If you can get your employees to think about how they would react and problem-solve in particular situations, you’ll actually be able to use your videos to help influence their behavior in the future.
Don’t forget your employees are smart
Your employees are smart. That’s why you hired them, remember? So, you don’t need to belabor points and spend too much time on the basics in the videos you create. Get to the meat of what you’re trying to teach them. If certain concepts in your videos are complex, deliver them in chunks and use things like mentally stimulating stories and games to make those complex concepts more digestible. As you make your videos, think about all the background knowledge your employees already have, and try not to teach them things they don’t already know.
Of course, rules are made to be broken. So, keep the don’ts listed above in mind as you create the next eLearning video for your staff, but avoid taking them too seriously. What matters most is that you create a thoughtful and insightful video that enriches the professional lives of your staff members.
What do you think? What other eLearning video don’ts would you add to the list?
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