Video has been a growing part of the training experience for decades. Whether through dramatic vignettes, comedic satire or real-world examples, the power of moving images to create an impression means powerful retention of the lessons learned. Facilitators find, and studies have shown, that video helps ensure a compelling and lasting learning experience.
That experience has just become much more powerful. Video is rapidly converging with another, even newer medium with a particularly strong grip on the attention of younger workers: the Internet. The interactivity, variety and anywhere, anytime nature of Internet-delivered video has led to streaming video becoming the fastest-growing category of Internet content, now exceeding 10% of all Internet traffic. That upward trend has been true for the online delivery of video training as well.
Organizations hoping to cut costs traditionally associated with classroom instruction can easily see the advantage of providing a common training experience without bringing employees together in the same time and place. When the training is online, individual schedules don’t have to be coordinated and employees needn’t travel. No employee need miss important training because “something came up” when it was scheduled. Even the price of the courseware you purchase can be scaled to the number of actual trainees, rather than a traditional “flat rate” license where you often pay for more than you need.
Beyond convenience and cost savings, there are further benefits unique to Streamed Learning as opposed to traditional classroom training:
l Video-based courses can be selected on a more individualized basis…by supervisors or by the trainees themselves
l Remedial instruction is more readily available
l Course performance can be automatically tracked (particularly important for compliance training)
l Instructional curricula can be more easily sequenced
Through blogs and electronic discussion forums, online technology can also facilitate discussion around the video that should be a part of most training, with far less disruption to employees’ normal work routines.
Some employers have invested in a Learning Management System (LMS) to control delivery of training content and to monitor performance. For those that have not invested — or for those whose LMS systems are not well-attuned to video— many video training producers now provide streaming video through their own LMS, accessible over the Internet by the employees of their clients.
Under this scenario, clients simply set up a training account where authorized employees are able to access assigned video programs, take post-training tests, record results and participate in discussions through the video producer’s server. A well-designed producer LMS also allows for a significant amount of client-specific branding, client-selected instructional notes, collateral materials, flexible reporting and many other features that a client might expect from their own proprietary LMS, without needing to invest in or maintain those systems themselves.
Many producers will offer a complimentary demo of their Learning Management System, so you can test-drive the learning experience risk-free.
Ron Rosell is the President of StreamLMS, a Learning Management System provider. http://streamlms.com