If Content is King, then Video is its Crown Jewel

Guest Blog Contributed by Yvette Cameron, VP & Principal Consultant of Constellation Research

In recent months I have attended quite a few industry conferences, and have been struck by the increasing use of videos within individual session presentations. In most cases, the inclusion of video into the knowledge-sharing sessions added visual interest, demonstrated a process rather than simply describing it, and provided real-world examples of the session content, which then served as catalysts for continued discussions after the sessions concluded.

Hundreds of PowerPoint slides and many videos later, the learning I retained best came from those embedded videos: the stories they told and the lessons they reinforced.

None of this is a surprise, really. We’ve long heard that “content is king” when it comes to learning, and so the rich visual medium of video must be its crown jewel. Don’t believe it? Consider these statistics from the world’s #1 video-sharing website, YouTube:

  • User Generated Content is exploding. More than 72 hours of video are uploaded every minute. User generated content outnumbers official/formal content by 3:1.
  • Video is compelling – we want it when we want it. In 2011, there were more than 1 trillion views of video (almost 140 views for every person on the planet). More than 20% of views came from mobile devices.
  • Social feedback is the rule. More than 50% of videos are rated/tagged/commented on through social media; 100 million people take social action (like, share, comment) on videos every week.

Business leaders have certainly recognized the tremendous value of video, and are leveraging it across many internal business processes today to improve employee communication, engagement, motivation and development. For example, corporate announcements or executive messages are increasingly provided through executive videos. Recruiters are reviewing video resumes as well as posting company brand messages via video. Web meetings now incorporate video conferencing, and learning initiatives increasingly make use of integrated video.

Why Video Learning?

The ubiquity of video, social, and mobile technologies is driving expectations in the enterprise for access to information and expertise when and where needed, at home or at work. Making learning available in small chunks (i.e., a three- or five-minute video, a short blog, or brief audio cast) can help increase consumption of this learning when it is most convenient, such as between meetings or while on the go. Shorter bursts of content also improves retention. According to the Research Institute of America, learners retain less than 60% of what they hear 30 minutes after hearing it, and this number drops to 15% after three weeks. Presenting learning through videos, where learners have visual examples of practical applications of the learning, improves retention rates significantly.

An added benefit of video learning is its potential to go “viral.” We’ve already witnessed this phenomenon on YouTube as hundreds, thousands or millions of views of a video can happen in hours and days. The same phenomenon we’ve seen in the consumer market can occur in the enterprise as well. A video posted internally, rated highly by viewers and frequently shared, tagged and followed, will quickly gain large viewership across the organization.

What’s New: Scenario-based Video Learning

Despite its many benefits, however, one challenge of traditional video learning is that videos do not “interact” with the learner. The learner watches the video, perhaps takes a quiz as follow up, and thus concludes the lesson. However a new approach to video learning is emerging for improved engagement and outcomes. Using a two-part scenario-based video, learners are more fully engaged and are able to brainstorm with others to problem solve even the most complex scenarios.

How Does Video Scenario Learning Work?

Video learning scenarios are essentially a three-step process for learning through videos. In their simplest form, the steps can be defined as “Watch. Think. Learn.”

  • Step 1: Watch. The user watches the first of two videos that demonstrates a scenario or a problem. The more complex the scenario, the better opportunity for video to add value to the learning experience.
  • Step 2: Think. The user thinks about how they’d respond to the scenario, and shares this result online.
  • Step 3: Learn. The user watches the second video in which the desired answer or outcome is presented and gains knowledge in two ways. First, formal learning is visualized within the video to showcase how to respond, take action, and complete a task or other desired outcome. Learning also continues informally and socially by enabling additional conversations, sharing, and engagement with others through related discussion threads, while the social activity stream keeps current and past participants involved.

One vendor delivering on this innovative scenario-based video learning is NewsGator, through its latest social business application “Enrich” for NewsGator Social Sites. With this solution, users are able to create video scenarios as described above that drive peer-to-peer collaboration and contextual social
learning.

Social Sites Enrich has further gamified the video scenario learning process, requiring that users first enter their scenario responses in Step 2 before the concluding video and associated learning from others are revealed in Step 3. In this way, learners are drawn into the learning experience and motivated to engage with others on the various outcome responses.

Once the user provides their scenario response comment, the second "answer" video will become available. Source: Newsgator

Video learning will continue to grow. It is well adapted for complex learning scenarios as users are encouraged to think about exceptions to the rule, to consider competing objectives, and to challenge conventional wisdom with alternative approaches, all in the context of a social dialogue aimed at advancing with this organizational know-how. On top of that, the retention of learning objectives is high when video learning uses strategies such as gamification to encourage employee involvement.

Social learning isn’t a technology, it’s a process. It is a process that should be enabled with tools that facilitate the development and sharing of user-generated content, engagement around that content, and its natural discovery within the course of daily business workflows. The use of video and video-based learning scenarios as described above represent fertile ground for new innovations in how thought-leading organizations can drive higher performance.

Yvette Cameron
Email: y@constellationrg.com
Twitter: yvettecameron

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