How video production affects student engagement

John Sherman

When it comes to eLearning, the way you approach content delivery is paramount. Video has long been an essential part of the learning process for corporations. Today, you have a multitude of options for creating video content. Some companies, for example, host their videos internally and supplement them with streaming videos from popular platforms like YouTube or Facebook.


Audio is more important than you realize.

Create your strategy. 

  • Storyboarding
  • Interviews
  • Image composition
  • Set design and lighting
  • Editing and post production
  • Music choice

Don’t forget closed captioning.

Active videos are more engaging than passive ones.

Interactive videos may include features like:

  • Clickable links
  • Drag and drop text
  • Fill in the blank sentences
  • Bulleted quizzes
  • Multiple choice pop-ups

These are just a few of the options you might consider when developing your videos.

Lighting matters.

If your lighting is murky or dull then that’s exactly how your learners will feel. On the other hand, if you use dynamic lighting and make sure the visual elements are sharp and clean, then your learners will be more attracted to what they see on the screen. Some lighting issues may be addressed in postproduction, but it’s certainly a factor to consider before you begin shooting.

Optimizing for the appropriate devices helps

How will your learners be accessing the material? If many of them will be viewing the videos from a tablet or mobile device, then the way you shoot the video might be different than if they were viewing them on a large desktop computer. The more optimized your video is for the appropriate device, the easier it will be for your learners to access it.

How you talk to your people matters

Did you write your script from the perspective of a human or a corporate robot? There’s no faster way to put your learners to sleep then to make your video script sound like a boring corporate trainer. Use their language. Make them feel like you understand them and their feelings.

A few ways you can make your script more human is to include some personal details or stories. Act like your video is on a “date” with the learner and your job is to make a good first impression. Don’t be afraid to treat your video script more like a personal exchange than a didactic treatise. Plus, if you’re able to throw in just a little bit of humor then your engagement levels will go much higher.

Music works

Music lights up several different parts of the brain at once, so it makes sense that the right choice of music will capture your viewer’s interest early on. However, if you decide to use cheesy out-of-the-box stock material then you might just turn them off out of the gate.

Consider what music might be appropriate for the material you are delivering—even if it’s only in the intro and outro of the video. If you can add a sense of drama, mystery, excitement, or curiosity into the audio aspect of your video production then your viewer will be pulled in to what you are doing easier.

There’s no question that video production matters when you’re creating your eLearning material. While you don’t need to hire Industrial Light and Magic, you will need to keep your learner in mind when you create their videos. Keep them excited and give them something that shows you value their time and they will appreciate it and be much more likely to retain the material you are teaching in the long run.


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