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Using Videos in Online Courses

video-picsToday more than ever using video is becoming incredibly easy. Video sharing sites make it painless to embed and format a video to your specific needs into a webpage – and if you are using WordPress for your website, it becomes even easier!

All that said, you should be careful not to carelessly insert videos into learning. Done incorrectly, and videos within online courses and lessons can actually have the opposite desired effect: no one will watch.

Some may wonder though, why use video to begin with? There are a variety of reasons, but first, it is a great way to vary the instructional delivery method. Reading content all day can become a bit burdensome. Video also allows for better demonstrations of procedural tasks. We use video on our support site to demonstrate the various functionality within LearnDash. Besides these methods, video is also great for showing case studies, expert interviews, building rapport with students, and to trigger discussions.  If your quizzing feature is robust enough, you can even insert videos into question and answer choices at the end of a course quiz!

If you are planning on using video in your online courses, first, make a point to create “microlectures” that emphasize the key points. No one wants to sit through 30 minutes of talking heads! If you have a blended class, insist on having students respond to the videos via a writing assignment or by having a group discussion. Another good idea is to have the student watch a case study, work as a team, and present findings. Both of these strategies can be done completely virtually.

Here’s a little trick of the trade: instead of presenting two 20 minute videos on a subject, break the videos up into four separate videos, each five minutes in length. A five minute video can be internalized a lot easier than 20 minutes.

Remember, video is used as just one method for content delivery. Try to break-up the ways content is delivered over the duration of a course so as to keep users engaged with the content.

For more tips on videos, head on over to this post!

Resources:
Faculty eCommons

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the Founder of LearnDash, a WordPress based LMS and Learning Strategy provider. He also works as a Learning & Collaboration Consultant where he implements large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies.

4 Comments
  1. Justin,
    You wrote, “No one wants to sit through 30 minutes of talking heads!” That would include me. I was so tired of being “lectured at” in my undergraduate years, that I have overreacted and left video lectures out of my online courses. Recently, when I asked for course feedback, several learners said, “You could at least include a few mini-lectures on video.” I stand corrected!
    Thanks for sharing…
    — Russ

  2. Aliki

    Thank you for sharing. If I may say, the segmentation can also help the integration of videos in different learning paths — good for the learners and for the course designers/ content developers as well!

  3. UGH!… The 30 minute video, or worse yet, the 40 minute video. My clients are often SMEs that have developed content for classrooms for years. In many cases, they are trainers through default rather than intention. I find it tough to steer them away from the long lecture format they’re comfortable with and thinking in “micro-lectures.” As a result, I’m always looking for new articles to foster the change toward more segmented learning. I’ll add your article to the list. Thanks Justin.

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