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Video can help you ‘flip’ the classroom, space and refresh learning and encourage collaboration says Cathy Hoy. Read her tips to achieve all this, and face the three most common challenges to using video learning.

“Learning is a journey, not a destination” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Learning and development (L&D) professionals are – thankfully – moving away from delivering stand-alone formal learning solutions to create learning journeys. This is great… although I’d have liked this change to have happened a little quicker!

What I mean by learning journeys is finding a way to enable participants to ‘travel’ through a series of related interventions that have been blended together, to create a personalised, connected experience to better embed learning.

Using different types of resources is a big part of creating an engaging ‘journey’ like this. So video can play a big part in the solution: it’s a great way to provide on-demand learning, giving people access to what they need, when they need it.

Here are some ways in which you could consider using video in learning, if you’re not already:


Give new hires access to some core information before starting (perhaps via an external portal)  is a great way to get them engaged without having to necessarily provide access to internal systems before their start date.

Creating the right ‘state’ for learning

Part of the challenge of delivering effective learning is encouraging people to get into the right mental state. Ideally, you need your learners to be excited and open minded and ready to learn new things.  Video can be an engaging (and relatively easy) way to get people interested in a training event, to demonstrate what’s in it for them, or to just build excitement about a course or event – use a ‘teaser video’ for example.

Pre-course preparation – ‘flipping’ the classroom

Sometimes it’s useful to get your people to learn in an informal environment before they join a classroom, then use the face-to-face session to help them make sense of it.  Video is a really effective way of chunking key information for learners to view and digest in advance of a training session.

Refreshing and embedding

Another great use of video in learning is post-course, or at the end of a learning journey – perhaps several weeks after the main learning intervention – to help learners recall skills they’ve been taught.  After a training session learners can be overwhelmed with new information and can’t possibly remember it all. The more opportunities they have to apply new learning the better it will stick. Focusing on refresher content, particularly in an engaging video, can be really successful.

Encouraging interaction within your Enterprise Social Network (ESN)

It’s often difficult to get your ESN off the ground – getting people to want to interact with it is hard unless you put in place a robust community management plan.  As part of your plan, consider regularly adding video content to groups within the ESN. This is more engaging than text only content and people can then share what they have watched and learnt with others.

OK, this all sounds great… so why aren’t we all doing it yet?! Challenges arise with implementing any new approach to learning, often from unconvinced stakeholders, or concerned L&D teams, or even, in some cases, resistance from end-users themselves.  

These are the top 3 challenges to using video learning that I’ve come across and my thoughts on how to overcome them:

1. Lack of privacy/disturbing others

It can be difficult to watch videos in open plan offices and in public due to the sound.  To help with this, supply employees with headphones so they can watch without disturbing anyone else, or replace the sound in your videos with onscreen text.  Text on screen is also a great way to help those who may have English as a second language.

2. Wi-Fi connection

This is particularly a concern for mobile users of video content. Ideally use a platform that enables users to download over Wi-Fi and watch later. You may even find people start watching content out of hours and start learning on the train!

3. Buy-in from users

Most people are keen to use video content in their personal life but not everyone is ready for it in the workplace.  To help gain the support and buy-in from stakeholders and end users, consider including some user generation content. Topics that have been curated by people in the business are going to be even more relevant than ‘off the shelf’ content and it works quite nicely as a blend of both.  It’s also fun to get your senior team involved in doing some videos, perhaps sharing their top leadership lessons?

Cathy Hoy (FLPI)  is the Managing Director of Learning Bar.

Find out more at www.learningbar.co.uk Learning Bar works with businesses (through training teams and line managers) to help provide better learning experiences, up-skill and prepare L&D teams for the future and enable managers to better develop their teams.






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