Tag Archives: Video

Out with the New: The return to the “old media”

7 Sep

I was really fascinated to read Clive Shepherd’s blog post on “Why video trumps e-learning” as it touched upon what I’ve been doing recently, returning to the “old media” of comic strips.

In the blog post, Clive makes a very convincing argument on how video is “more engaging, more versatile and less impersonal” than e-learning, pointing out that “we’ll see an even greater use of video in the workplace.” Clive adds that while “there are some niches where e-learning is irreplaceable,” he won’t be unhappy “to see other media come alongside.”

As Clive concludes, the increasing use of video is “just another turn of the circle” in the history of corporate training (video as a medium for training came to prominence in the 1980s/1990s, however, it must be noted that these days it is significantly easier to create training videos). For me, driving this increased use of video is the desire of learners to have quick and easy access to information. This desire is shaping my instructional design decisions.

For example, I was recently tasked with turning some complex call flow diagrams of a communication system into training material. After talking with the staff using the communication system, I found out that they hardly use our intranet to find out information (as one staff member said “the intranet involves too many clicks”). So instead of creating an e-learning module that would never be viewed, I started to think about creating training material that would be quick to find and easy to review.

Oddly, my thoughts on the design of the original e-learning module soon evolved into something more old media, comic strips. I had been inspired by Cathy Moore’s elearning branching example, and was thinking about using a similar model. However, instead of using e-learning, I decided to reject the new media and go old school – a printed comic strip.

The feedback largely has been positive. Staff can quickly grab the printed comic strip and find out the information that they need to know. For me, the process has made me rethink creating training material in the twenty-first century. Perhaps it’s time to return to the old media.

Why Create a Training Video?

20 Mar

A training video may seem like a luxury or an add-on that offers little value to a course. However, a training video can be an extremely valuable tool to enhance learning.

In a recent blog post, Tony Bates lists 18 reasons why video can be a powerful learning tool. Below is the complete list:

1. To demonstrate experiments or experimental situations, particularly:

(a) where equipment or phenomena to be observed are large, microscopic, expensive, inaccessible, dangerous or difficult to observe without special equipment

(b) where the experimental design is complex

(c) where the measurement of experimental behaviour is not easily reduced to a single scale or dimension (e.g. human behaviour)

(d) where the experimental behaviour may be influenced by uncontrollable but observable variables

2. To illustrate principles involving dynamic change or movement

3. To illustrate abstract principles through the use of specially constructed physical models

4. To illustrate principles involving three-dimensional space

5. To use animated, slow-motion, or speeded-up video to demonstrate changes over time

6. To teach certain advanced scientific or technological concepts (such as theories of relativity or quantum physics) without students having to master highly advanced mathematical techniques, through the use of models and/or animation

7. To substitute for a field visit, to:

(a) provide students with an accurate, comprehensive visual picture of the site, in order to place their study in context

(b) to demonstrate the relationship between different elements of the system being viewed (e.g. production processes, ecological balance)

(c) to assist students to differentiate between different classes or categories of phenomena in situ

(d) to observe differences in scale and process between laboratory and mass-production techniques

8. To bring students primary resource or case-study material, i.e. recording of naturally occurring events which, through editing and selection, demonstrate or illustrate principles covered elsewhere in the course. This may be used in several ways:

(a) to enable students to recognize naturally occurring phenomena or classifications (e.g. teaching strategies, mental disorders, classroom behaviour) in context

(b) to enable students to analyse a situation, using principles covered elsewhere in the course; or to test students ability to analyse phenomena in context

(c) to demonstrate ways in which abstract principles or concepts developed elsewhere in the course have been applied to real-world problems

9. To demonstrate decision-making processes:

(a) by recording the decision-making process as it occurs

(b) by dramatization

(c) by simulation or role-playing

10. To change student attitudes:

(a) by presenting material in a novel or unfamiliar perspective

(b) by presenting material in a dramatized form, enabling students to identify with someone with a different perspective

11. To demonstrate methods or techniques of performance (e.g. mechanical skills such as stripping and re-assembling a carburetor)

12. To interpret artistic performance (e.g. drama, spoken poetry, movies, paintings, sculpture, or other works of art)

13. To analyse through a combination of sounds and graphics the structure of music

14. To teach sketching, drawing or painting techniques

15. To demonstrate the way in which instruments or tools can be used; to demonstrate the skills of craftsmen

16. To record and archive events that are crucial to the course, but which may disappear or be destroyed in the near future (e.g. Internet reportage of the Arab Spring)

17. To demonstrate practical activities to be carried out later by students

18. To synthesize, summarize or condense contextually and media rich information relevant to the course.So the next time someone asks why you are creating a training video, you should have a good pedagogical reason why!

The Music That Maketh Video

8 Aug

Last week I had a really enjoyable meeting with my SMEs concerning a training video that I had created for a new application which is rolling out in 2 weeks. First of all, the SMEs loved the video. Ok, the video was a little long, but they thought the concept worked well. For me that was great news, some tighter editing and the video would be ready to go.
However, one comment in the meeting left me in a tailspin; “what about some music?” “Music?” I replied, “Does this video need background music?” The answer was a definite yes. “What kind of music?” I asked. “Something upbeat and exciting,” replied one of the SMEs. The other SME chimed in with, “it has to represent the application and how people will feel about it.” Hmmm … this was a challenge. First, I had to find music that was suitable for the video, be reflective of the application, and would appeal to the target market (its users). Second, this music needed to be royalty-free.
A number of hours later, replaying the video against the audio background of my ipod’s varied musical styles, I have found the piece of music required.
The only problem now, is to find similar music that is royalty-free and syncs perfectly with the video. Any suggestions on where to find an Arcade Fire-esque alt-rock uplifting royalty-free piece of music are more than welcome.