3 Main Reasons Why You Should Choose The Interactive Video

3 Main Reasons Why You Should Choose The Interactive Video
Summary: The video is going interactive—and even 360 with Virtual Reality. But does the medium actually improve the learner experience?

Why Choose The Interactive Video Over Regular Video: 3 Advantages Of Each To Compare

Here are 3 reasons why you should use video in learning—though there are many more.

So, Why Regular Video?

But let's refer to the 3 main ones below:

1. Storytelling

Firstly, the video is a medium that naturally lends itself to storytelling. And that’s one thing that makes the video so powerful in learning; because stories teach.

At the risk of repeating our article on this subject—stories help us to contextualize abstract ideas. We can get a hold of them. We remember how they made us feel. And the result of that is that we learn.

Lifesaver, a project from the Resuscitation Council, is a great example of this. It uses the story to engage your emotions—you feel the panic, pressure, and relief that you would experience in a real emergency—and because of that engagement, the experience stays with you. You’ve learned how to help in crisis situations. Stories told through video are an excellent teaching tool.

2. Visual Explanation

Secondly, the video works so well in learning because it’s so much easier to explain things visually. I could spend a lot of time describing a dragon to you, but if I show you an image you’ve got it instantly. In the same way, the video is a much faster and clearer way of conveying information. It’s easy to understand and to apply. When you need to learn how to change a tire or fix a leaky tap, would you rather pore over a chunky book or watch a how-to video? Or if you need to learn how to do something in Photoshop, are you more likely to read an article about it or watch a 20-second video of it being done?

In the absence of experts showing us in person, we’re getting very accustomed to learning our skills from a video.

3. Always Accessible

And thirdly, the video means that the learning experience isn’t confined to classroom or training sessions. It can be accessed anywhere, any time, on any device. And, crucially, learners can rewind and rewatch it as needed; something that can’t be done with a lecturer in a classroom! When you miss something, or you want to go over it again, it’s only a click away.

So, Why Interactive Video?

Again, here are 3 reasons for you—though again, there are many more.

1. Active Learner Participation

Firstly, interactivity adds a layer of engagement. As appealing as a regular video is, it’s still a relatively passive experience. Even if it’s full of explosions and car chases you can just sit there and zone out. With an interactive video, you become an active participant in your own learning. You’re not just passively receiving information. You’re thinking about what’s going on, assessing whether you need or want to know more.

That kind of videos gives learners more insight into the characters and language of a demo for example. The interactivity enables learners to get answers to the questions they may have and go deeper with their learning; and when that’s an option, you’re far more inclined to stay engaged.

Another important fact here is that interactive videos enable viewers to delve into the areas that interest them without having to sit through the things that don’t. Unlike with regular video, you don’t lose interest and then miss something you would’ve found helpful. When you’re only watching the bits that are relevant to you, you stay engaged.

2. Branching Scenarios

A second reason to go interactive is that it means your video doesn’t have to be linear. You can have a branching scenario; a story where the viewer’s choices affect what happens next. Coldplay have made use of this in the interactive music video for their song ‘Ink’, telling a story where the viewer becomes the protagonist and their choices determine how the story progresses.

Learning happens when we fail. But in the real world, failure has consequences. Branching scenarios help you learn what the wrong choices are in a risk-free environment. Going back to the Lifesaver example, if you make the wrong choice here, no one actually dies; but a mistake in the real world is far more costly. Branching scenarios allow for mistakes. They help you learn what the wrong choices are without any real damage being done. And they’re so much more engaging than reading a document that details all the ramifications of getting something wrong.

But it’s not just the mistakes that teach you. Making the right choice is just as helpful as making mistakes; it builds confidence and reinforces learning. Branching scenarios allow for learning from both failure and success.

The applications of this are so wide-reaching, everything from dealing with difficult customers to correctly operating machinery. Branching scenarios in interactive video training would work in any situation where making the wrong choice can have negative consequences.

3. Easily Applicable On-The-Job

A third reason to choose the interactive video is that it’s easy to apply the training in the real world. That’s true for branching scenarios, but also for the interactive video more generally.

Contractors are shown situations they will come across in their day-to-day work and have to spot the hazards or unacceptable behaviors. It’s easy to apply learning from these videos because the learning environment matches the real working environment. It trains you to do what you’ll actually need to do on-the-job.

While a variant of this would be possible with a regular video too, it wouldn’t be particularly helpful; you wouldn’t know if you’d spotted all the hazards. Using an interactive video means that you get valuable feedback. You know what you’ve spotted, and what you’ve missed. You actually learn.

Again, the possible applications are extensive. Interactive video has been used, for example, for hazard spotting on building sites in the past; or in driving safety videos; or in offices. You could use it to teach people about correct posture, manual handling, procedures they should follow, the important factors in doing a job well… almost anything.

So, Why Virtual Reality (VR)?

The eLearning world is buzzing about VR—the next step up from interactive video. Why go there? That’ll be the subject of our next article.

So, What Next?

You may feel like your options for a video are restricted to cheap and awful or big and expensive. But, that’s no longer true.