Adopting Video Learning – By Dr. Michael Moon

The primary learning modality in many organizations has shifted from a one-to-one learning experience which traditionally has relied heavily on classroom training and static e-learning content to a many-to-many model where learning is social and collaborative. And where the focus of learning has expanded to beyond the individual to the include the community where learning as a product is no longer defined by experts but rather by the people around you.

Learning from other people has long been recognized as an important way to familiarize newcomers to an organization, but colleagues and peer groups are significant sources for learning in every phase of the employee lifecycle.  To foster a continuous learning culture, employees should be encouraged and empowered to generate and share content with anyone in the organization.

Video-enabled learning is the perfect conduit for user-generated content. It can also help support visual learners, particularly when it is delivered via searchable, bite-sized chunks. This method is useful for learners who need access to just-in-time learning enabling the learner to apply the knowledge to the current challenge at hand. Video is also a useful tool to capture tacit knowledge from experts. When someone is asked a question and records their answer on video, it becomes codified and part of the knowledgebase for the organization to be retrieved by others.

But not every organization is ready to adopt the use of video content as a part of their learning repertoire. Despite 2014 research from Forrester Research which found that employees are 75 percent more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles, not everyone is convinced.  Similar to mobile and social learning, HR and Learning leaders have concerns over the efficacy of video content, especially user-generated content. Top of mind for these leaders are concerns over:

  • Budgetary Constraints
  • Efficacy of Learning Modality and the Content
  • Security and Privacy
  • Technology and Technology Infrastructure

To help combat some of these concerns here are just a few of the many benefits of the use of video as part of an organization’s learning strategy.

  • Reduces the cost of employee training – Companies like IBM and Microsoft have found video to be a potent force for reducing the cost of training. By implementing eLearning tools, which include video and mobile, they were able to significantly reduce travel and lodging costs associated with traditional classroom-based training events. Additionally, there are cost and time savings to be made in reusing content, compared to running the same in-person session multiple times, potentially in multiple locations. Lastly, the use of user-generated content is an inexpensive way to capture tacit knowledge from SMEs and share it with others. It becomes even more valuable when end-users not only have the ability to create their own content, but also are given the ability to comment, share and collaborate on video content.
  • Promotes consistency in training materials and learner experiences – For many topics and in some industries, there are certain topics that simply must be uniformly taught. Especially, if the nature of work an employee does requires consistency for safety and/or for compliance-related reasons. Leveraging video helps to alleviate that problem, and provides a portable, consistent learning experience for every employee and ensures that employees receive information the same way which helps to increases the effectiveness of the training.
  • Helps support just-in-time learning and facilitate a blended learning approach – research from the 2015 Aberdeen Group report, “The New 70:20:10: The Changing Face of Learning”, found that among over 20 different learning modalities, a blended-learning approach was the most effective learning tool cited by nearly 79% of organizations that have adopted it. Video is not meant as a replacement for other tools, but rather as a means to augment, provide a refresher on existing training, and to help customize content that is unique to an organization.
  • Helps improve the efficacy of training – In a recent poll of webinar attendees, employers were asked to indicate their top challenge when executing on their L&D strategy. Nearly half (46%), indicated that delivering training that was appealing was a challenge for them, while another 31% were faced with finding ways to help increase participation in learning programs.


Nearly six billion hours of video are consumed globally each month on YouTube. Along with video’s apparent popularity one of the primary reasons organizations that deploy video find it to be a more effective learning modality is because of the visual and auditory nature of the medium. Video engages viewers in a way that in-classroom training and even documents can’t do. Additionally, video can help improve an employee’s ability to remember concepts and details (see Edgar Dale’s, Cone of Experience).

To learn more about video learning, its benefits and how to overcome obstacles to adoption, check out this webinar by Dr. Michael Moon, “Adopting Video Learning and Why It Matters”.