Top eLearning trends: using video in online courses

Kerrie-Anne Chinn, Content & Editorial Manager

When it comes to eLearning trends, we’re seeing the use of video in online courses continue to rise.

There’s no doubt about it. People love video. Whether they’re scrolling through social media, watching YouTube tutorials, or catching up on the daily news – video gives audiences engaging, up-to-date content that’s delivered fast. And those benefits transfer just as well to the learning and development industry.


More and more eLearning professionals are incorporating video elements into online courses, and trainers are embracing these materials for use with staff and students. With people now able to access training materials on their mobile devices, such as phone or tablet, video content in eLearning is proving to be increasingly popular – and effective.

Here’s what you need to know about using video in online courses, to get you up-to-speed with this exciting eLearning trend.

The Rise of Video in Online Learning

So why is video taking the eLearning world by storm? It’s because of how audiences are absorbing video content in general.

Steve Penfold, Customer Success Director at Elucidat, tells us that by 2019, video will be responsible for 80 percent of internet traffic around the world. That’s a huge percentage! And Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has projected that video will be the most shared content on Facebook within the next five years.

We are definitely seeing this happen now. When you think about it, when given the option of watching a quick video or reading an article, which medium do you prefer? What grabs your attention – and holds it?

This is the same for educational materials. When learners are faced with reading a training manual or watching a short clip, you can bet which one they’ll take. These days, you can easily use authoring tools to add video content to learning materials, simply dropping video clips from platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo into your online course.

If you’re not doing this already, you should be!

The Benefits of Using Video in eLearning Courses

As you can already see, there are major benefits to incorporating video into your training course, allowing you to deliver attention-catching, engaging content to your learners.

Video provides users with a lot of information in a short amount of time. The medium allows us to convey thoughts, behaviour and emotion easily, that audiences can connect with. In this way, video facilitates storytelling, which is a powerful way to connect with learners – or customers.

Videos are also great for triggering discussions. You can encourage learners to discuss content from videos after watching, which also helps to reinforce information and assist knowledge retention. They are particularly good when used to explain complex concepts, through visual aids.

Christopher Pappas, from eLearning Industry, agrees that videos are particularly effective “when they can demonstrate the “how-to” or “how-to-not”, especially when the eLearning course revolves around customer service and sales.”

You should try to incorporate immersive scenarios and high-impact storylines to provide a better sense of realism,” Pappas recommends.

How to Start Using Video in Employee Training Materials

Your whole eLearning course doesn’t have to be one long video – in fact, it shouldn’t be. Incorporating video elements throughout the course can be really effective, breaking up the material and adding dramatic impact where you need it.

Pappas suggests eLearning professionals use video sporadically, to make powerful points at particular points of the online course. You can “use it for an exercise or to illustrate the “how-to”, or for a memorable closure, grabbing the attention of your audience and summarizing your key points.”

For corporate trainers and instructors creating systems training modules, video is perfect. Use it to illustrate the steps your users or learners need to take to complete tasks. Employees can work through the online steps at their own pace, as they need.

For customer service staff, in the retail or hospitality industry, video can be used to demonstrate skills, such as effective communication styles, with animated or acted examples to clearly illustrate the point. The medium really is ideal for any scenario-based training, helping employees to quickly and easily develop their skill sets.

As you can see, there are endless ways you can use video content to enhance your learning materials – so what are you waiting for? Get on board!

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
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