It’s easy to see the value of video for training, but sometimes, it isn’t as easy to get started. We asked the team at Vyond—a platform to build your own animated videos—for advice on how to create the most effective training videos possible. Here’s what their video experts had to say:
I think we all know intrinsically that, when it comes to video, shorter is better. Still, we stumble across more than a few training videos that ramble, stall, and lag. It works against the very strengths of video as a dynamic and engaging medium.
It’s slightly easier to keep it quick when working with animation, as the nature of the editing process is building—not cutting—footage. No matter your format, though, concision counts.
Take a look at the numbers: over two-thirds (68%) of viewers watch a video to the end if it’s less than 60 seconds, but only 25% will finish a video if it’s more than 20 minutes.
At Vyond, one of our own customers reported that 75% of viewers watched up to two minutes of a job aid training video. The percentage of viewers dropped off significantly after the two-minute point.
Injecting humour throughout your training videos is about more than entertaining your audiences. It’s about making the training engaging and satisfying to watch.
Humour is just one tactic for creating moments of satisfaction or relief, releasing serotonin in the brain that rewards continuous attention. It’s the same cognitive mechanism that makes binge-watching TV shows so universally addictive.
Animation naturally lends itself to comedy and levity. Without the confines of reality, your imagination is the limit for creating expressive, abstract, and delightful content.
The well-placed sound effect, too, is a timeless tool for keeping it fun.
Characters make it easy to inject humour into your training videos, but the power of character-driven learning goes a bit further than fun.
We’re hardwired for the process of cognitive empathy, whereby we fully experience circumstances and emotions by watching another human being go through them. By putting a character into a scenario that your learners might face, your learners will—in the deep crevices of their brain, perhaps—place themselves in that very scenario.
Building a cast of recurring characters is also an effective tool for engaging viewers. Not only will they delight in recognizing a particular character, but they can make associations with that character which support and strengthen the learning. We’ve seen characters used to represent non-human systems, and that personification can be both powerful and fun.
Representing a character to incite cognitive empathy is a great way to get learners to position themselves within a scenario. You can take that idea a step further, though, with the myriad of interactivity tools available today.
Gamification, branching scenarios, and choose-your-own-adventure videos turn the typically passive viewing experience into active endeavours. When you begin to introduce choice and challenge to your training, it immediately becomes more realistic, more practical, and more engaging.
Near-Life™ is one of our favourite platforms for authoring interactive experiences with animated videos created in Vyond. With the technology out there today, you really can create splendid opportunities for your learners to leap through the screen and into your training videos as an active participant.
Traditional live-action video production poses real challenges to instructional designers that can often prove to be insurmountable. We should still aspire to bring video into our learning despite these challenges, and animation is a great way to do that.
The cost and collaboration typically necessary to produce, write, cast, film, and edit a video can be prohibitive. With tools like Vyond Studio, though, you can create your own training video from start to finish with a single piece of equipment you already have.
Beyond saving production costs, animation is simply more effective at portraying complex ideas in a compelling and cogent way. Abstraction is welcome in this medium, and you can create brain-friendly videos that make the most of our natural tendencies for visual thinking.
There are two costs associated with training videos that make them difficult to bring into your organization: the cost of production, and the cost of change.
It’s a pretty common story we hear from people when they are first coming to Vyond: an L&D team spends thousands to film and produce a series of training videos, and then three months to edit it all together. By the time the videos are released, a critical component of the content is already out of date.
If you don’t build the capacity for change into your training program from the jump, you run the risk of designing obsoletion into your content. Seek easy-to-edit tools like Vyond Studio and Near-Life™ CREATOR that have team collaboration features to enable continuous improvement of your training videos.
Whether you’re building a training program from the ground up or converting a classroom experience for eLearning, you can bring the learning experience to life with interactive, animated videos. Get started making your own animated content with a free 14-day trial of Vyond Studio, and explore adding gamification and interactivity with Near-Life™.
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