I was taken by a recent newsletter from Elliot Masie discussing the phenomenal rise in the use of video for learning in many organisations. Masie reported rises of over 1000% in some organisations.

Video for learning really has blindsided many of the industries thought leadership, who have been more focused on social media and social learning and of course mobile learning….of which we will come back to in a moment.

Video has grown because it works and learners like it, and in our view it will be video that will really support the adoption of mobile learning.

I should at this stage express some surprise and absolute delight in the rise and rise of video, as Learning Light who operates this site has been actively sourcing and licencing video content for learning, and can offer a wide range of e-learning videos.

Sadly we cannot report 1000% increases in the uptake of video here in the UK yet, however we are increasingly confident that video will come to play a really significant role in the market.

We can share some of our beliefs and findings as to why video works and what you need to consider when choosing video for your organisation, so here is our guide to why video works and consequently why it is growing at such a fast rate:

Why video works:

Video is embedded into the everyday lives of learners and is now probably the second most used way of consuming media after the Television.

Video can be easily used on Tablets and Smartphones, again the consumption of media – (music and video and surfing the web)  is increasingly the principle use for these devices, often now exceeding their use as communication devices, they are the consumption devices of today. So this really reinforces our view that video will be a key driver of mobile learning.

It therefore hardly takes a leap of faith to see who is learning videos are made available as part of the everyday…..people will naturally watch them.

But why video and learning specifically……

Engaging effective e-learning videos

Well designed e-learning videos are adding to the richness of e-learning as they are both engaging and effective.

By engaging they have high production values (that does not mean high costs), it means presenters with personality, it means tonality, it means much more than reading from an autocue, it means, succinctly presence. It can also mean scenarios and overviews, but it has to engage the learner.

By effective it means material that is relevant and going to help me do my job better and improve my intellectual capacity. In short (and short is a pretty key term here) it means that what I am shown and taught in this video is going to stick!

We all know that about 80% of what we learn on a course (in a classroom) is forgotten quite quickly unless it is immediately put into practise, with e-learning video, if managed correctly this “learning loss” can be reduced because the learning is taking place at the point of need.

To get the best from e-learning videos you need to follow some simple principles and of course stay true to the philosophy of engaging and effective.

However, and this is key, in e-learning videos “less is more”….why…well we live in an “attention deficit society”. Eh…..If you are expecting learners to spend 30 or 40 minutes at a work station giving their full attention to a piece of learning think again…….attention will wander, phones will ring, distractions and attention deficit will kick in…..

You do have two choices, you train people to switch off all e-mails, mobile phones, divert calls etc…..maybe you lock them in a training room, or you provide bite sized chunks of e-learning videos that work before the attention deficit kicks in.

If you think in terms of e-learning courses delivered by video think again….. e-learning videos work best when provided to support a learner in overcoming their learning needs when needed and do not jelly them with too much superfluous material.

The principles of e-learning videos:

This is why we talk about Just as needed, Just enough and Just in time when working with e-learning video solutions.

Here is what we mean, and what Learning Light offers:

Just as needed – there can be too much of a good thing. Our job is to provide the skills needed to do the task at hand. Practical application is the first goal…mastery will follow.


Just enough – adult learners can only absorb a finite amount of new information in any given period. Modern educational theories back this up, so look for material in short, tactical segments as part of a coherent programme that will improve performance.


Just in time – training right before the moment of need puts the information in the right hands at the right time. By minimizing the time between training and the application of new skills, we can reinforce new behaviour and ingrain the new lesson. So check that the material is available on demand – that could mean “in the cloud”, and can be accessed easily on tablets and smartphones, (and of course you can track it easily).


Just right – lessons can be applied in the mailroom or the boardroom using our simplified, straightforward design methodology. The medium and our instructional presentation style are engaging, cost effective and proven.

Sadly, we cannot say every video course we have seen is of the requisite quality to engage the learner and change performance.

Not every video meets these design principles

Too many e-learning videos we have viewed are frankly too long, too flat and with very poor presentation skills and even worse pedagogy. Not a lot is going to stick with some of these videos, instead a lot of learners are going to be turned off and feel let down.

So if you are looking to use video in your organisation to support learning (and arguably you should), follow these principles we have put forward or talk to Learning Light about what you are seeking to achieve and get some good advice.