Mythbusters! Using Video in eLearning
November 17, 2009
The Loch Ness Monster, Leprechauns, video is prohibitively expensive … there are enough half truths and rumors out there without the training department adding to the foray. Video is everywhere, yet it has still to find widespread adoption in the average training department. Too often video is derided as ”expensive and complicated” which is a real shame as we’re missing out on one of the most powerful learning modalities currently available. In this article, we put on our proton packs and go find ourselves some slimy ghosts of video misperception.
Myth #1: Video is prohibitively expensive
Busted! Not if you shoot for your actual needs
Don’t get me wrong – if you try to produce a feature film for your next learning project you’ll rapidly eat-up whatever is left of this year’s shrunken training budget. The reality is, most video for training can be shot by a one man crew and filmed in the confines of a conference room, especially if you use this wonder gadget. The misperception arises as most video studios are overkill for the typical needs of a training department. If you get a quote back for video and there are any more than 2 folks managing the shoot, then something’s gone wrong.
Myth #2: Video is complicated
Busted! Actually it’s one the most efficient and simple ways to transfer knowledge
Shooting video today should be no more complicated than recording audio narration. Video used to be a hassle but with advances in the consumer video market, it’s an extremely accessible medium for your training department. In fact, an SME sharing their insight during an unscripted interview can contribute to a highly compelling learning experience which is much simpler to produce than scripting a traditional eLearning course.
Myth #3: Video is a bandwidth hog
Busted! Maybe back in 1999…
With advances in video compression techniques and streaming technology, the demand placed on your IT network are easily within its capabilities. Think about it – video is routinely zapped to our iPhones, it’s not a huge leap of engineering to get the same media playing on a desktop PC plugged into a corporate LAN. Video certainly isn’t suited to users with a 56k modem connection but a workaround can easily be found for these employees without limiting the richness of learning made available to your wider workforce.
Myth #4: Talking heads equals bad instructional design
Busted! Not if you carefully choose and prepare your presenter
Imagine an instructional design utopia wonderland in which the world is free of talking heads. Ah the relief. The daily news is presented sans presenters, politicians deliver their policies as interactive case studies instead of those boring stump speeches and Oprah has finally got it by incorporating rollovers into her daily talk show. Talking heads do add value but they usually fail in training because the speaker doesn’t get sufficient coaching to help them shine on camera or the footage is shot using a webcam and people wonder why it doesn’t hold up to the News at 10.
Myth#5: We need the computer that beat Garry Kasparov to handle our video streaming
Busted! A regular server can handle your typical video needs just fine
” We have a 5 minute video that we need to share with our sales reps. Call IBM, we’re implementing Deep Blue.” Before you invest millions in a satellite delivery network, try Googling “Progressive Download.” Progressive download has been around for years and is a standard Flash technology supported by everyone from Articulate to Captivate. Rather than waiting to load the entire video file, the movie starts playing as soon as the first couple of seconds have buffered ; the remaining video then loads in the background. Certainly a specialist Flash Media Server has its advantages and it’s a necessity for live video casting but progressive download is a super technology for most projects and can be run from a regular economy class server from Dell.
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