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5 Types of Instructional Videos for eLearning - Why Instructional Designers Should Be Using Training Videos and Mistakes to Avoid


In the online learning environment, the utilization of technology in the proper format is paramount for a variety of learning styles.

One may grow tired of reading paragraph after paragraph of a lecture, yearning for a more engaging style of instruction.

This is where using instructional media comes into play. Incorporating ideas normally taught in a face-to-face setting by adapting them into an instructional video gives learners a refreshing breather from more traditional methods of instruction.

I will share with you my secrets to creating high-quality instructional videos. I also know what works, and what doesn’t, and in the eLearning and Instructional Design for Beginners Community, I show you exactly what to do to make an instructional video.

What is an Instructional Video?

An instructional video is any video that demonstrates a process, transfers knowledge, explains a concept, or shows someone how to do something.

Examples of instructional videos:

1. Micro Videos

Micro videos are short instructional videos that focus on teaching a single, narrow topic. They’re usually less than a minute long and appeal to today’s media consumers, who have notoriously short attention spans.

2. Tutorial Videos

Tutorial videos are the go-to instructional method for teaching a process or providing step-by-step instructions. Usually between 2-10 minutes long, tutorial videos may leverage multiple instructional methods.

3. Training Videos

Training videos often use footage of real people to connect the trainer and trainee. These can be interactive videos and often fit in among a larger training course.

4. Presentation Videos

Recording a presentation makes it available for an audience to watch after the fact — perfect for people who want to re-watch and reabsorb the content or for those who may not have been able to attend in-person.

5. Screencast Videos

Screencasts tend to be quick and informal, and are usually intended for a smaller audience than tutorial videos. These videos are digital video recordings of your computer screen and usually include audio narration.

Why Create an Instructional Video?

eLearning offers a number of benefits and challenges for both the learner and the instructor. One of the most popular benefits is the flexibility in both time and place.

Asynchronous courses make it possible for learners of all walks of life in all different regions to further their education and training.

While most learners appreciate the benefits of this freedom, some find creating a personal connection with other learners and the instructor in an online environment challenging.

Research has shown that a sense of instructor presence and immediacy has a positive correlation to student learning and motivation.

Instructor immediacy is the personal and social connection made between the learner and the instructor.

Creating a sense of instructor immediacy and social presence can be challenging for an instructional designer. Strong and consistent communication is a good way to create a sense of immediacy and social presence.

One of the many communication strategies that you can utilize in meeting this challenge is the use of video.

Video not only allows your learner to hear a voice, but also to see body language and facial expressions.

Each of these elements works cohesively to provide learners with an initial connection to the course, which can help them remain motivated.

This is a way for you to not only disseminate information, but also to humanize the content in the eyes of the leaerners.

Here are some statistics that may interest you concerning videos:

  • People prefer to watch a video in a course 4x as much as another form of media.
  • Two out of three employees complete tasks better when instructions are provided visually and they absorb information 7% faster.
  • 7 out of 10 millennials are likely to watch a video as opposed to reading text.
  • Learning and educational content are viewed over a billion times a day on YouTube

Common Mistakes People Make When Creating Videos

When it comes to making instructional videos there are a few common mistakes people make. Here are a few you can easily avoid:

Not knowing your audience

Knowing your audience is critical. If you don’t know your audience, it’s all but impossible to make a helpful video. Understanding your audience will guide key decisions about your videos.

Trying to make it perfect

Too often people worry about getting things perfect. It’s good to remember that perfect is an illusion. If you start with perfection in mind, it will paralyze your creative process and you will struggle to begin.

Worrying too much about equipment

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you don’t have the right tools to create quality videos. It’s fun to have the latest and greatest gear, but it’s far from a necessity.

Learn the basics, then start to upgrade your tools. It doesn’t take fancy equipment to make great videos, and I’ll prove it in the
eLearning and Instructional Design for Beginners Community where I will tell you about the equipment I used to make great videos.

We’ve all watched instructional videos in one form or another. Creating these videos may seem like a challenge, but with these tips and tricks you may see that it is not as difficult as it may seem.

There are a few steps that I recommend you take to help your video production go smoothly.

Learn How to Create an Instructional Video in the eLearning and Instructional Design for Beginners Community. It goes through each of the necessary steps in easily creating successful instructional videos.

In the community, you can get access to a course that will show you how to apply the necessary steps for creating an instructional video.

Learn how to utilize video production and editing tools in the creation of a short course introductory video.


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