Live, instructor-led training (ILT) remains a huge part of continuing education. But video learning, whether a complement to live ILT or a standalone, is becoming a must-film slate and paper money representing the cost of video learninghave for most training programs. If you’re considering adding video learning, or increasing your current offerings, you don’t have to hire a famous French cinema director or rent high-priced equipment and software to make it an effective part of your training program.

These ten tips can help you ramp up your video learning program quickly and cost-effectively.

  1. Think small.
    Save the big productions for later, particularly if you’re creating your first video learning project. That makes the process conquerable. Begin with a straightforward video project with few bells and whistles. Save the fancy stuff for later efforts. You can always go back later and add features, such as nicer graphics and sound, to the first video.
  2. See what’s out there.
    Visit YouTube and browse some of the countless training videos posted. Note the number of views they have logged. You’ll see many with low production values that get a lot of likes. It’s not the slickness of the presentation that makes a video effective. It’s how well it can make concepts learnable.
  3. Be succinct.
    The best model to follow is the most basic: Start by introducing the presenter, tell the learners what they are going to learn, show the instruction and then close with a summary of what the viewers just learned.
  4. Write an outline.
    Once you have an idea of what makes effective video learning, write an outline just like you would for any presentation. As you refine it, you’ll see ways to make it concise (and keep costs and production time to a minimum).
  5. Create a storyboard.
    Storyboarding doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and it will further help you formulate the visuals you have in your head. Additionally, write a script with the narration in the left column and a description of the visuals, including graphics, on the right.
  6. Choose cheap but quality recording software.
    No-frills recording and editing software is rather inexpensive. You have little to lose when you try one or two free or freemium options. If you have a small budget, Camtasia, for example, costs a couple hundred dollars, and it can handle the basics of stitching together your video and audio pieces.
  7. Output is the key.
    If doesn’t matter what software you use to piece together your video—even PowerPoint will work. What matters more is the output method. For example, your video will need to end up as a common video file type like .mp4, .wmv, or .mov. If your editing program can’t output into a common video format, you’ll need a way to record your computer screen that can output in the right file type.
  8. Short is sweet.
    Experts recommend training videos run no longer than 10 minutes. That number reflects what viewers prefer plus the file size and the speed at which the video streams. If you have an hour of video-based instruction, break it into six or more manageable segments so learners don’t have to consume it in one sitting.
  9. Keep expectations realistic.
    One of the positives of the bevy of do-it-yourself-like training videos is that viewers’ expectations of video quality and professionalism are at a reasonable level. Style is more important than substance. Promise usable information and instruction over aesthetic awesomeness.
  10. Keep it current.
    Video learning, once you get the hang of producing it, is easy to update. If you notice or suspect your product, or a part of it, is confusing to students, you should be able to update it with your video editing software.

 young french artist with a megaphone

Once you have put all that work into setting up a video learning program, you can make it easy to provide access and track use via Learning Stream’s media manager module for eLearning content. In fact, you can easily make videos pay-per-view by having trainees sign up for access through the normal registration and online payment process.