The Ultimate Checklist for Using Video in e-Learning

The Ultimate Checklist for Using Video in e-Learning
Summary: Ever wanted to be a movie star? Here’s your excuse to bust out that inner screen star-research has shown that visually demonstrating a new skill or behavior can be an important and effective instructional technique. Adding live-action video enhances your e-Learning content by showing your learners how to perform new tasks and providing a human element that can be lost in animated scenarios.

For example, behavioral skills - also called soft skills - can be difficult to teach online. However, adding video offers an effective way to convey the nuances of tone and body language that make up the subtleties of human communication. Video demonstrations give your learners an example to imitate, practice and master. Using video also reduces the reading load on your learners and breaks up the monotony and page-turning of many e-Learning courses, which learners will appreciate. In addition, video can often deliver more of an emotional impact than text and photos.

Tips for Using Video in e-Learning

The key to keeping your learners engaged in your video? Think of your video as a movie trailer. You want it to be engaging and to the point. Try to keep your video clips shorter than three minutes.You might also consider involving your best employees in creating the video for the training course - after all, if you’re trying to teach what to do, why not have those who do it best demonstrate their technique? Everyone loves to show off their skills, and your learners will be more interested in watching people they know. Videos make it easy to provide on-demand performance support, including troubleshooting or how-to guides.Successfully adding video to e-Learning takes extra preparation, but the result is worth it! A 2013 report from Canadian Internet monitoring firm Sandvine says video streaming accounts for more than 53 percent of all Internet traffic in North America. Obviously, that’s not all e-Learning, but it clearly shows the popularity of video content.

Here’s a checklist of video in eLearning to-dos to keep your project on track

  • Write a script, and make sure your subject matter expert (SME) reviews and approves it. Check out this blog for more tips on writing a script, Techniques for Developing Your e-Learning Narrative Flow.
  • Talent - consider hiring professional voiceover talent or contact local acting students. If your budget doesn’t allow for this, well, better start doing your vocal warm-ups!
  • Keep your instructional designer and SME informed of any last minute changes, so you don’t accidentally alter course information. For tips on working with Subject Matter Experts, check out this blog: Working with Subject Matter Experts.
  • Use a USB microphone - digital input gives you higher quality audio.
  • Restrict noise while recording or consider using a studio. It’s difficult to edit out ambient noise or interruptions post-production, so aim for the cleanest take possible right from the start.
  • Remove distractions. If you’re doing this from a home office, make sure any children or pets are in another room. If you’re at work, hang a Do Not Disturb sign on your office door.
  • Control mouse motion if you are screen recording. A wandering mouse cursor is surprisingly distracting in this type of video.
  • Choose the right file format. The MP4 video file format is accepted by most e-Learning authoring tools and is supported on nearly all modern computers, tablets and smartphones.
  • Practice, practice, practice!

One last tip… If you plan on using a lot of video and screen recording in your e-Learning courses, choose an authoring tool like Lectora Inspire, which includes Camtasia, a robust tool that allows you to easily create and edit video and screen recordings directly within Lectora. Visit to download your free 30-day trial of Lectora Inspire today!