The demand for video-based learning is experiencing tremendous growth in the recent times. Video-based learning may soon become the most sought after educational process from the corporate level to the academic environment, mainly because of the growth of smartphones and tablets.

The reason that we are seeing a growing trend in video-based learning is largely due to the increased strength of social media proliferation and social blogging in the everyday life of a student, along with mobile learning. The use of written material in education has become boring to today’s digital users. Neurological studies have proven that memories are reinforced when an emotion was attached to memory. The quality of learning (comprehension and understanding) is limited until our multiple senses are involved.

Some students are “straight A” students while others struggle with their studies even though they’re smart. There are many people, who didn’t finish high school, yet have found great success in their careers. There are basically three kind of learners—listening, seeing or experience learners. I personally learn best through experience or by doing. No way of learning is better than the others. Whichever way you learn is the right way for you.

What differentiates video-based learning from other methods is its ability to engross and stimulate the cognitive ability of the learner more effectively. In video-based learning, the brain of the learner is induced to work faster due to the high frequency of the changing visual onscreen images combined with the sound track. A brain that works faster invigorates learning, thereby improving learning and retention.

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Several surveys have shown that technology can enhance learning; and multiple studies have shown that video, specifically, can be a highly effective educational tool. In order for video to serve as a productive part of a learning experience, however, it is important for the instructor to consider cognitive load, which suggests that sensory memory is temporary. Information from sensory memory is placed in temporary storage, which has limited storage, but this processing is a requirement for setting into long-term memory, which has nearly limitless storage. Therefore, it is important that the content creator design material that can be absorbed by the sensory memory.

The average attention time for videos is less than six minutes long for 100% retention.  As the videos become longer, student attention lessens to the point that at 10-minutes concentration fell to 50%. Therefore, the ideal length for a successful video should be 6 – 9 minutes.

Interactivity is important to achieve better learning results. Students did better when they were able to control movement through a video, selecting important sections to review and moving backwards when desired. This produces improved achievement of learning outcomes and greater satisfaction for the student.

Imagine a tutor putting together a lesson on the East Coast in the early morning; and the student watching and listening to the lesson on the West Coast later in the evening.   In the comfort of her room, the student is not only able to pause, rewind and review previous lessons, but she actually would prefer the casual nature of interacting without anyone looking over her shoulder.

YouTube came along and offered significant features that sped up and fast-tracked the online video movement. Storage space and servers are critical to online video, as large video files are expensive to host and serve. Between 2006 and today, YouTube has gone from 100 million video views daily to one billion. Among the many videos available on YouTube are some very popular educational videos. Educators can upload their videos and their students can download the lessons.

Open Course Ware (OCW) was initiated by MIT in 2002 by offering 50 video lectures of university courses to online users. Right behind MIT, other universities began their own programs. Then came Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), which is a partnership between several universities, featuring video lectures by foremost professors designed for online video-based learning on the web.

In the corporate environment, millennials accept video-based content for training, marketing and communication. According to the Pew Research Center, 92% of adults ages 18-29, and 80% of adults ages 30-49 reported watching videos on a video-sharing site. Since videos have been a part of their life, using video-based content in corporate training has many advantages. When the videos are high-quality, with short segments, and are relevant and engaging, training videos will appeal to millennials. Many major retailers are using online video-based training for new employees, product updates and services offered to consumers.

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Many consumers go to the Internet before visiting a store to learn about products for which they are shopping. This makes online video-based consumer training perfect for the store’s customer. Video-based learning allows for the store’s product or service information to be shared in short segments, which provides crucial information without overpowering the potential customer.

To produce an effective video, the corporate trainer must have clear goals in mind. By determining the objective of the video, there will be a clear focus, which will lead to meeting the video’s goals. The video must not be long. Short snippets are more effective. Remember the 6 – 9-minute rule. If the course material is necessarily long, break it into small segments.

The videos must be easily digestible and most importantly, contain more visuals than text; and tie-in visuals are needed if text is used. The text or visuals in a video need audio either as part of the scene or as a voice over. Captions might be another addition to the video for those with a hearing disability or those, who have English as a second language.

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Another effective way to keep a learner interested in the subject matter is to use games. Digital games leverage visuals as essential to the process. Games use visuals to create problems that the learners need to solve to complete the learning course. Players interact with the visuals of the game. Instead of showing passive visuals, games immerse the learner in a visual experience.

Online video-based learning is essential to the adult student who needs the convenience it offers. It also can be a help to the K-12 student, who needs extra assistance with homework. Corporate employees don’t have to stop work to get important information, or new product knowledge. They can access it when convenient, especially if the employee is traveling. Flexibility is the key to online video-based learning.

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Len Calderone – Contributing Editor

Len contributes to this publication on a regular basis. Past articles can be found with an Article Search and his profile on our Associates Page

He also writes short stores that always have a surprise ending. These can be found at


Len Calderone