Thanks to advances in technology, there’s never been a better time to use video support for training efforts. When I started my career in the mid-1980s, producing videos for organizational training was relatively new. Typically, training videos were 15-30 minutes long and distributed on VHS tape. Video was an effective training medium for these reasons:
- Consistency – Every learner who watched the instructional video receives the same message and information.
- Entertaining – Training delivered by video can include comedy, drama and other formats people recognize from television.
- Modeling – The on-screen character can show learners how to perform in real-world scenarios.
- Demonstration – A product or process can be demonstrated efficiently from various visual perspectives and in a condensed amount of time.
Of course, all of these benefits of using video for training still hold true today. And transformational changes in production, editing and distribution technology have created additional benefits. These include:
- Targeting – Training videos can be more efficiently customized for a narrow audience. For instance, variations of a video demonstration of a product can be made for a customer, sales person or technician.
- Accessible – Technology has made it more efficient to caption instructional videos and make them available in multiple languages.
- Integrated and Interactive – Training videos embedded in interactive environments open up a wide range of valuable learning experiences such as scenarios that unfold based on choices made by the learner.
- Tracked and Assessed – With learning management systems and embedded assessments, organizations can certify that learners accessed the training video and completed a test or assessment to ensure understanding.
- Just-in-Time and Mobile – Mobile phones and tablets allow learners to access videos where and when they need them. For example, an auto mechanic can watch a video on how to perform a service from under the car.
- Social and Sharable – Training videos that are part of social media platforms can be rated, commented on and shared with others.
JPL has produced instructional and training videos for nearly 25 years. During that time the creative approaches, production and distribution technologies have transformed multiple times. These transformations have made video more valuable than ever as a training tool helping organizations improve performance and gain a competitive edge.