By Mukta Mahashabde
If you had been given a choice between a seven-page article and a two-minute video on the same topic, which one would you pick? Not very hard to guess, right? Videos have a significant impact on our attention and engagement simply because- a video is an experience! An experience that provides a multi-sensory learning environment which enhances information retention ultimately leading to higher learner satisfaction.
Videos are not new to e-learning; they have been used quite successfully for almost a decade now. But, traditionally videos were a rich media experience for the learners that they viewed passively, and the success of a passive experience is limited when it comes to learning. Moreover, the learning scenario is changing rapidly; majority of audiences we deal with, are highly tech savvy and have short attention spans.
Considering these factors, it is important that learners participate in the learning process for effective learning to take place. This is why interactivity is so important; it is at the core of any learning tool as it gives the learner the opportunity to think, to participate, and to control!
While videos engage learners effectively, interactivity immerses them in the experience. Thus, when video and interactivity are put together, they make a great combination for a ‘just the right’ learning tool!
What is an Interactive Video?
Interactive video is a video that allows for user interaction. So, it is basically a video in which the content is combined with user interaction. There are many ways to add interactions to a video- you can add buttons, or tabs placed along the video timeline that the learners can click or tap to reveal information. Alternatively, the video can pause at certain points where you can ask a question to the viewers and seek their response. There is a whole lot you can do with interactive videos!
There are many reasons that make interactive video a good fit as a learning tool. Here are 7 top reasons for leveraging them for an enhanced learning experience:
Easy to develop:
Embeddable in Responsive Solutions
Allows Adaptation and Branching:
Allows Tracking of User Interactions:
Did you know that YouTube is now the second most popular search engine after Google? A large number of YouTube statistics talk loads about the popularity of videos. Video is gaining popularity not just as a medium of entertainment, but also as a learning tool due to three main attributes- convenience (anywhere, anytime) easy accessibility (available online, on-demand) and multi-device compatibility (mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktops).
One of the biggest challenges for e-learning developers is to be able to hold the attention of learners. A video can do this exceptionally well. What makes videos so engaging and immersive? In my opinion, it is the story. Although not all, but a large number of videos are built on stories and nothing can be more emotionally engaging than a story! Add interactivity to it, and you are sure to hook your learners on to it!
The interactive video framework is a complete package that includes a video, the interactive elements, and also all the other resources and materials that the learners may be required to use as they take the training. Until the advent of interactive video technology, which is until quite recently, learning videos were either standalone, or were integrated with web-based training modules. Interactive video provides a complete learning shell with content and the interactivity packaged together, making the learning experience uninterrupted, thus more immersive, leading to better learning outcomes.
Once you have the video in place, you can easily add interactivities to it using common authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline and higher versions of Adobe Captivate. So, you don’t have to buy any specialized tool or software to create interactive videos. You can also use HTML 5 and a host of other available tools (free and paid) to build your interactivities.
With Storyline and Captivate, you can include interactivities such as video quizzes, branching scenarios, hotspots, instant downloads, menu, text annotation and more. Using these tools is a cost effective solution with limited interactivities and features.
The HTML5 framework offers many advantages like cross-compatibility with all of the major web browsers, full support for video and audio playback, complete functionality across all types of devices, and ease of customization. This is a custom solution and thus offers more flexibility in terms of modifications.
Responsive design is a must-have feature for all kinds of e-learning today, for the simple reason that most learning content will be accessed on tablets and smart phones in the coming years.
In case of interactive videos, Interactivities built using Captivate and custom HTML5 are not only compatible with devices such as tablets and smart phones, but are also responsive, thus allowing interactive video to be viewed on a wide range of devices. So, no matter which tool you use for development, you can view interactive videos on any device; start viewing one on a desktop and finish it on a mobile phone!
An interactive video can be designed to have multiple decision points for the learners. These points can be used to adapt the training to individual learners. This gives each learner the control to choose the path they take. Branching scenarios are the best way to leverage this feature. As learners make choices, they take different paths that have different outcomes. An advantage is that, majority of learners are naturally curious to explore how the story proceeds in each branch and thus try out all the options. This way they get a chance to see the outcome of each branch. This is a very effective way of learning where learners get a chance to see the consequences of both correct and incorrect choices.
Before organizations and corporates can use interactive video as a training tool, it is important for them to be able to track employee performance and progress on the LMS. Regardless of the tool used for building interactivities, interactive videos are SCORM compliant and we know that all interactions within SCORM-compliant e-learning are trackable. The interactive video framework also allows tracking of all user interactions within the video. This information can provide valuable insights about learner characteristics such as their motivation level, learning style, attention span, and more, which can in turn be used to improve the learning experience.
With numerous advances in multimedia and information technology, and more importantly, with the dwindling attention span of millennials, it is time for us to change our focus from traditional e-learning to newer possibilities! If you wish to create a truly engaging and effective learning experience for your learners, interactive video is the answer. The benefits presented in this blog are just a few of many, and we will surely realize more benefits as we start using them.