Transforming Learning Videos from “Sit n’ Get” to "Interact and Engage"!

October 31, 2022

Digital pedagogy
Instructional design

How many training videos have you seen that offer “flat” audience experiences: videos that just require a passive viewer to click “play,” sit back, and watch? Too many is our guess. While sometimes learners may be able to “speed up” playback to get through the material more quickly, it likely means less retention by the learner of the content being conveyed. Even if the videos are meant to form the basis of a follow-up discussion or reflection (in person or online), the videos themselves may not capture a learner’s attention in ways that may help them retain key ideas.

Companies invest time and money to develop training videos for educators about using their solution. Whether the video is for training on skills or addressing concepts, it can be hard to let a flat video go because of the expense of that investment. The good news is that that content can be leveraged with interactive elements to improve learner engagement, without having to redo all of the costly video reproduction. Let’s talk about how you can make video learning more engaging through minor, but powerful, changes using simple technologies.

The Solution: Building on What Exists with New User Interactivity

We’ve been addressing the issue of effectively engaging learners through video by repurposing existing video assets (aka, not dropping their prior investments) to make them interactive for viewers using H5P, an easy-to-implement, free, and open-source technology. H5P enables the creation of engaging and interactive elements that can be incorporated into most any learning management system (LMS).

We’ve been using H5P to insert both content and interactivity that make clients’ existing video offerings practice digital pedagogy to improve the overall learning experience. For example, with a recent client, we created H5P elements that layered interactive prompts to check for understanding and ask for reflection on top of their existing videos hosted through Vimeo.

The H5P toolset lets us insert onscreen prompts or pause at specific moments and ask viewers to do whatever is pedagogically appropriate to support their learning: reflect on an idea, work with new vocabulary using flashcards, apply their learning to date in a given scenario, or respond to questions. The H5P features allow viewers to actively engage with the content— sorting, selecting, matching, dragging and dropping, and interacting in ways beyond passively watching. Now users who watch these videos don’t just “sit n’ get” anymore, they interact and engage!

The Outcome: We Help Companies Take Learning Through Video to the Next Level

Instead of seven minutes of video full of flashy animated transitions and talking heads filled with phrases that are highlighted but hard to recall moments later, an instructional video viewing experience now engages the user to reflect on and respond to what they’re learning in real time. Now the learner experiences authentic practice with the presented concepts. This approach significantly extends the return on investment from creating video content for learners. Need help putting this into practice taking advantage of H5P with your library of instructional videos? Reach out to us and we’ll merge our unique blend of digital pedagogy, instructional design, and multimedia production skills to turn your videos into rich, interactive learning experiences.