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Video Learning: 10 Engaging Strategies for Maximum Impact

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Elementary-aged boy video learning at home with laptop. Light navy filter over image.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of education and training, video learning has emerged as a powerful tool for delivering content in a dynamic and engaging manner. As the demand for flexible and accessible learning experiences continues to rise, mastering the art of video learning becomes essential for educators, trainers, and content creators alike.

However, not all videos are created equal. Understanding how to develop a quality educational video that engages your audience involves more than pressing “record” on a camera. So, what is video learning and how can you use it to enhance learning in your organization?

What is video learning?

Video learning, also known as video-based learning or e-learning through videos, is a method of education and training that leverages visual and auditory elements to convey information. At its core, video learning involves the creation and utilization of video content as a primary way to deliver educational material. This can encompass a wide range of formats, including recorded lectures, tutorials, demonstrations, and interactive video modules.

Unlike traditional text-based learning, video learning provides a multi-sensory experience, allowing learners to take in information through both sight and sound, making it a more immersive and engaging educational tool.

Business woman smiling while video learning.Instructional videos are designed to educate and offer information about a skill or subject.

In video learning, educators and content creators leverage the power of visuals, animations, and real-life examples to illustrate concepts, making complex ideas more accessible and comprehensible. The flexibility of video learning also allows learners to access content at their own pace and convenience, breaking away from the constraints of traditional direct instruction settings. Whether used for formal education, professional training, or self-paced learning, video learning has emerged as a transformative force in education, shaping the way individuals acquire knowledge and skills.

What are the advantages of video learning?

Video learning is a legitimate and effective form of education. Here’s how it enriches learning and enhances skill development: 

  • It cultivates deeper learning:  Unlike rote memorization, educational videos engage learners in multiple ways—through visual and audio effects, and with interactivity. It unlocks higher-order thinking and allows students to truly absorb information.

  • It increases learner retention: Researchers believe that without reinforcement or connection to previous knowledge, students can forget more than half of what they learn within an hour. Video learning allows for repetition and association-building, which in turn increases the odds of retaining and using new information for the long haul.

  • It puts the learner first: Unlike in-person lectures or training, videos don’t have to be a real-time resource. That means learners can watch them over and over again—in study hall, at home, or on the bus—until they grasp whatever it is they’re struggling with. They can also rewind, pause, or fast-forward at their leisure.

Girl celebrates video learning with hands in the air.

Video learning helps keeps learners engaged.

Ten strategies for effective video learning

Want your classroom to reap the benefits of video but aren’t sure where to begin? We’ve got you covered. Here are 10 ways to make the most of video learning:

1. Create engaging videos

The more enticing your video, the greater its impact, so give your content some flare. Come up with a delightful color scheme, add graphics, drop in a well-timed sound effect. Whatever you do, don’t stress: With WeVideo, the creative process is super easy.

2. Make it a collaborative event

Don’t hog all the fun! Task your learners with creating videos—or helping you to create a video—and watch as they build subject-based knowledge and become content experts while owning a part of the process.

What’s more, WeVideo’s collaborative multimedia creation tools lets you dive into multimedia projects right alongside your learners, which means you can offer them feedback as they go. All of this serves to build leadership skills and overall knowledge in your learners.

A group collaborating to develop a video. Video learning opens up plenty of opportunities for collaboration.

3. Make videos interactive

If you want to engage your learners in a more meaningful and dynamic way, you need to make your videos interactive. Start by adding pop-up questions (multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, etc.) throughout your videos. If custom interactivity sounds like a heavy lift, fear not: with tools like PlayPosit by WeVideo you can add interactive elements on top of any video on the internet—not just one that you make yourself.

4. Add a digital poll to live-action learning

In instances where you plan to teach from the proverbial blackboard, consider how you can incorporate an audience response system that lets your learners take live polls as you go. That way you won’t be talking at your students—and even the introverted learners can participate freely. By utilizing this active learning strategy your learners can engage with the content at a deeper level and will learn more than they would have through a passive lecture.

5. Try animated videos

Explainer videos can help break down hard-to-explain subjects more effectively than text. But animated explainers in particular are a powerful way to illustrate complex or abstract topics (“How does the immune system work?” “How does this system work at our company?”).

They’re visually satisfying, driven by storytelling, and easier to process than a dense few paragraphs or even a talking head.

6. Create instructional videos

YouTube wouldn’t have 2.5 billion users if how-to videos weren’t such a popular resource. Tap into their ubiquity with instructional videos of your own. Want to show students how to safely use a Bunsen burner, for example? Record an instructional video that they can watch ahead of class (or refer back to when they need a refresher).

Developing a library of how-to videos also frees up your time. Rather than explain the same concept over and over again, you can simply send a link to the learner directly and ask them if they have any questions after watching the video. For training or learning that will be repeated, video learning also allows consistency, ensuring that everyone gets the same message.

Pro tip: Video learning is a great way to introduce the flipped classroom model to your instruction. 

7. Embrace microlearning

A video doesn’t have to be long for it to be effective. On the contrary, microlearning—a method of instruction that focuses on one learning objective at a time—posits that bite-sized content is better because it allows learners to absorb small chunks of information at a time.

Instead of putting together a 20-minute video that explains everything there is to know about a topic, execute on a shorter, more contained topic. You can also start by creating a long video and then share clips of the video as needed to enhance learning.

8. Start small

You don’t need to develop a video for every concept; start small, pick one or two high leverage areas, and create a video. Building a video learning library is a marathon, not a sprint. By slowly incorporating video into your teaching or professional development work you will begin to learn the ins-and-outs of video creation while providing meaningful resources for your learners.

Pro tip: Use WeVideo's Assignment Ideas Library to quickly assign educator video projects to your learners!

9. Ask learners to show their work

Video learning doesn’t have to be a one-way street! Have learners record their screens and demonstrate how they solve a problem or complete a skill in real-time.

Screen recording not only allows for interactivity and deeper thinking, but it can also shed light on any misunderstandings or confusion your learners might be experiencing, making it possible for you to address problems sooner rather than later.

10. Workshop your material

Once you’ve created your content, kick it to others for feedback. With PlayPosit by WeVideo, you can easily weave peer review into your process: Set up a forum for collaborators to chime in with thoughts, create small groups for brainstorming ideas, or invite trusted colleagues to leave time-stamped comments on your content.

Bottom line

Video-based learning is incredibly popular and effective, and it can be used in a wide variety of fields including professionally, in the classroom, and for personal use. However, for beginners, it can feel overwhelming to put into practice. By implementing the ten strategies outlined above you can begin to develop useful video content that enhances learning and saves time in the long run.

If you’re feeling a bit nervous to start, remember, deep breaths! We're here to help.