In contrast with print materials and most interactive eLearning, videos work quite well on mobile devices.
While text-based materials are generally tiring to read on a small screen, and existing interactive Web materials often are too small to work with on a smartphone, video, done right, can be very effective in demonstrating techniques or processes that need to be learned.
Because of our long history with television and movies, people get video – there is no need to train them on how video works.
While it used to be very expensive to shoot video because it required a lot of planning, work, and expensive equipment, the ubiquity of high-definition video devices such as digital cameras and smartphones makes it easier to capture action and play it back.
But that doesn’t mean that all videos that are shot are great – in fact, the opposite is quite true – there is still a lot of work to shooting, lighting, capturing sound, and editing to produce professional looking videos (we know – our sister company, the Iona Group, has been doing it for more than 20 years).
If you need to produce training videos, it is best that you get someone to do it who has a good sense of design, a great eye for what is interesting on the screen, and who has the technical skills to shoot engaging video that doesn’t look amateurish.
You also need to ensure that the use of training videos is convenient for all employees by making videos compatible across devices, including smartphones, tablets and PCs.
Vern Hanzlik, SVP of Qumu, a mobile video provider, notes that “as the retail workforce becomes more comfortable with using mobile video, the number of employees accessing training videos on their mobile devices likely will rise.”
Training videos on mobile devices are especially useful for learning to operate equipment, set up displays, or review procedures.
Because they are visual, they are generally more easily remembered than text-based materials. According to a Forbes Insight Study, 59% of C-level decision-makers prefer online video to reading text.
Companies can set up their own channels on YouTube, or other video platforms, making them easy to find and ensuring a uniform quality to what is uploaded.
Micro-videos, such as those using the Vine or Instagram platforms, have become popular as they are able to show a specific point very quickly, which may be all that is needed by an employee at a given point in time.
Videos that are stored on a tablet instead of being streamed from the Internet may be a good solution when bandwidth is limited.
Shilpi Mahajan, writing on the 9Slides blog, gives these tips for creating great content for mobile video:
- Define your audience’s needs;
- Choose a tone;
- Open with the purpose; and,
- Shorter is sweeter.
Writing in Learning Solutions magazine in 2013, Paul Clothier cites statistics showing that mobile video has become extremely popular:
- Mobile devices are responsible for 25 percent of YouTube views
- People watch a billion videos every day on YouTube mobile
- From 2010 to 2012 YouTube traffic from mobile devices quadrupled
- Audio and video streaming will exceed 60 percent of North America’s mobile data by late 2014
Paul says what’s coming next is interactive video where the “new canvas won’t be the webpage, but maybe a video, and all the interactivity and links to content will be within the video itself.”
Check out the demonstration interactive videos from Rapt Media to get a good idea of where things are headed.
At Float, we see mobile video as just one form of mobile learning content, but one that can be pretty effective if used correctly. Contact us to discuss your mobile video project. We can help.
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