Visually speaking

Organizational learning and development can benefit from using video
By Danielle Wallace
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/12/2016

Video popularity continues to grow. Why? Because messages in motion are more engaging and lead to a higher retention rate for the learner. Retention rates for video content can far outpace those of text-based content, and marketing professionals have long embraced the medium. Learning and development (L&D) professionals, however, have been slower to adopt this trend. So, let’s look at the facts:

ROI data

Four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it, according to a survey of 1,051 consumers in 2015 by Animoto, a company that makes professional videos. One in four consumers actually lose interest in a company if it doesn’t have video. And customers are nearly 50 per cent more likely to read email newsletters that include links to video, found the survey. If effective videos can get consumers to purchase, surely effective training videos can inform a learner.

Increase knowledge retention

Studies have shown that adding video can improve a person’s ability to remember concepts and details — with effects that can increase over time. The ability to recall a spoken lecture is about 25 per cent after three hours, and 10 to 20 per cent after three days. For the written word, recall is 72 per cent after three hours, and 10 per cent after three days. But for visual and verbal, recall is 80 per cent after three hours and 65 per cent after three days, according to the website Changing Minds, which adapted stats from the 1969 study “Audiovisual Methods in Teaching” by Edgar Dale.

Execution works

Globally, Internet protocol (IP) video traffic will be 82 per cent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2020, up from 70 per cent in 2015, according to the 2016 Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast. Global IP video traffic will grow threefold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 26 per cent. And Internet video traffic will grow fourfold from 2015 to 2020, a growth rate of 31 per cent.

As a result, it’s critical for L&D professionals to develop video strategies now because a piece-meal approach will not be successful. Most video executions are haphazard and lack a unifying strategy and purpose.  This is not the time to create videos for the sake of creating videos. Instead, develop a learning video strategy to guide your efforts.

For companies of all sizes

Video is one arena where, no matter the size, all companies can benefit. Video production can vary from massive budgets to a few hundred dollars — but the real effectiveness isn’t in the budget size, it’s in how the video design is handled.

Variety of learning needs

Video can be used for a variety of learning needs. For example, you can convey aspects of compliance training into a video infographic, use video to promote learning events, or convert case studies into engaging learning scenarios. Whether used in e-learning, classroom learning, mobile learning, microlearning or social learning, effective learning videos can instantly convey feelings and tone to the learner.

Ideas to implement now:

•Develop a video content strategy: Determine who your specific audience is and determine what overall organizational or course strategies your program is aligned with.

•Refine the video content strategy and isolate a narrow list of what components are vital for participants to understand.

•Identify micro-opportunities for video learning.

•Consider cost-effective ways to communicate your message. For example, repurpose a video from the marketing or communications department for use in an existing program to convey a feeling and tone in the class (such as excitement, pride or fear).

•Ensure the content is visual and depicts your message with images that are aligned to a creative video concept.

•Use efficient and effective tools to produce videos.

Danielle Wallace is learning director and founding partner at Beyond the Sky: Custom Learning Solutions in Toronto. For more information, visit or

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