A major shift has happened in the way we acquire new skills in recent years. Where people would read manuals to learn how to operate a device or software, now they search for a video online that will show them how to do it. And with good reason! Videos are more engaging than text or images and can help people easily understand and retain new information. Instructors have quickly caught on to this trend, creating and incorporating different types of instructional videos in their training programs.
Responding to the preference that many learners display towards visual material, instructional videos have acquired a significant place in learning environments. These videos are designed to offer training, explore concepts and ideas, transfer knowledge, or demonstrate the correct execution of an action or process. There are various types of instructional videos, each of them better suited to a specific audience or style of training. Below, we look into 6 of the most common types of instructional videos and where they are typically used.
Microvideos are short-form instructional videos that tackle one topic or concept at a time. Their short duration, which only goes up to about a minute, gives instructors just enough time to convey explanations or information in a snappy and engaging manner. Naturally, they are perfect for learners with short attention spans who easily recognize this formula from social media platforms. Use microvideos to educate learners on a simple concept, such as a new software feature. A straightforward video with a few simple steps will achieve greater engagement and information absorption while allowing learners to watch it whenever and as many times as they want.
Screencasts refer to recordings of one's computer screen that are usually accompanied by a voiceover explaining how to operate certain software or applications. The ease and speed with which they can be produced makes them one of the most common choices for instructors. But that doesn't mean they are low-quality or have a limited time of use. By putting some extra care into your screencast, you can create a comprehensive tutorial that learners can easily access to solve issues quickly, especially during employee onboarding. Select this type of instructional video when you need an informal software tutorial for smaller audiences.
As its name suggests, this instructional video is designed to explain a topic or idea. It is most commonly used to simplify complex business concepts, present a product, or analyze a service in an engaging and visual manner. Explainer videos are short and tend to use various visual effects to capture the viewer's attention. Usually, they include a combination of illustrated and real-life characters, motion graphics, as well as a story that poses a problem and presents the solution in the form of a product or service. Although explainer videos are more expensive, they are very effective for summing up complex concepts, such as business plans or brand philosophies.
Another popular type of instructional video is the tutorial or how-to video. It's usually around 10–20 minutes long and can be used to walk learners through pretty much any process or task. Despite being longer than the previous categories, these videos usually tackle a specific issue. The difference is the level of detail, as each step is explained and demonstrated in detail. Tutorials are extremely popular among learners, as they leverage direct instructions which can be easily followed and executed at the desired speed of the learner. How-to videos can be used to train learners on any subject and can easily be modified to be formal or informal.
This is a distinct category that is almost always used in professional settings. Specifically, training videos are often used during the onboarding process to effectively introduce new employees to the company culture or help them develop interpersonal skills, such as interacting with colleagues and being compliant with safety expectations. In these cases, actors play out scenarios that could happen in the workplace to demonstrate correct behaviors and create a connection with the employee. However, it can take other forms as well, as it can also be useful for practicing new technology and other job-related skills.
It's not always possible for trainees to attend a lecture or presentation in real time. Or, you might want to allow them to access the training material at their leisure. If this is the case for you, lecture videos or, simply put, recordings of a presentation are a perfect choice. Lecture videos can either consist of just the slides and a voiceover or be more professional and capture the image as well. Naturally, this type of instructional video runs longer compared to others, which means that learners must be invested in the topic to take the time to watch it. However, they still remain a very valuable training resource for any subject that you want trainees to take a deep dive into.
As more learners get accustomed to visual material, incorporating instructional videos into your training program is becoming a necessity. Depending on your training needs and current resources, you can create videos quickly or take the time to polish them up and give them a professional look. Whichever direction you take, there are various types of instructional videos that you can try out. Hopefully, this article has shown you why video is essential to attract learners and keep them engaged.
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