The Rise of Video-Led Self-Directed Learning
Jul 27, 2016
This blog post sets out why video based training is driving self-directed learning and why it could eclipse e-learning. It suggests how we can use it to produce great learning experiences alongside other interventions.
1. Video-led self –directed learning is now competing with formal qualifications
2. Employees are increasingly looking for agility and self starter learning
3. Self-directed learning is a life skill
4. Video led learning has many advantages over other forms of learning
5. ‘Academy’ styled video led communities offer lifetime learning and peer support
Immediacy of information
They say that a clear sign of success is when your product or service stops being a noun and becomes a commonly used verb. This occurs when the product or service has transformed lives in a social paradigm. You ‘Hoover’ a room, you ‘Xerox’ a document. In the 21st century, immediacy of information is King and so we now ‘Google’ everything that we need to know. Our thirst for web enabled learning and knowledge, both conscious and subconscious, is driving our society faster than ever before.
The web and technology to harness it is pervading every part of our lives. We have become a society obsessed with data and information and demand answers immediately. This has transformed the way that we learn and consume information. It is leading to a dilution in formal education with fewer people seeing the need for formal qualifications, exchanging college for self-learning on the web.
Employers are increasingly seeking self-starting, agile learners that can demonstrate a self directed approach to problem solving though the use of video led learning and technology. They understand that this will often lead to more contextualised and efficient results which are cost effective and geared around working hours. It also leads to greater self esteem for the employee who ‘owns’ their learning and feels empowered to improve. This is a pull approach to staff training rather than the outdated push method which saw staff undertaking prescribed training. This was often irrelevant and / or not convenient to them and led to feelings of disillusionment and an ineffective learning experience.
Whilst certain professions still correctly maintain a need for a level of formal education and qualification, a rapidly growing community of self-directed learners are achieving significant positions and recognition, replacing formality with agility. The lucrative world of web developers for example is predominantly filled with self-taught coders.
The rise and rise of video-led learning
The web has become our magic mirror. We ask it a question and we get an answer immediately. Furthermore, we will likely get a video too; Google will helpfully now supply one in some organic search results when relevant. Google owned YouTube is now the UK’s second largest search engine after its parent, receiving more queries than other traditional search engines combined as we use it to get video instruction on more and more things. Video led learning has become second nature.
When preparing this article, I became aware that subconsciously, over the past week I have used online videos to show me how to do an array of things, both technologically and practically. I have listened to a fabulous TEDx talk which has furthered my knowledge of marine biology. I have watched videos about Drupal and I have accessed a video about my smart phone and another about installing a Bluetooth sensor to my road bike to use with a turbo trainer! This is in addition to a whole series that I am watching about advanced AdWords management. I have spent more time consuming video led content this week than I have spent watching television. These videos were found via queries that I had to further my own learning. It wasn’t prescribed by anyone. It was self-directed. The learning has been effective, self paced, has led me to naturally discover other sources of useful information and has been done around other commitments.
My wife has many cookbooks which site beautifully on a shelf in our kitchen diner. They are adorned with many Post-it notes (surely another brand-verb in waiting) and scraps of paper from a time when she would use them in their intended use to find us a meal idea. Of late they have been made redundant by the use of iPad in accessing new recipes and methods of creating culinary wonders. The books are now resigned to aesthetics alone and replaced with the immediacy of video led information gathering and learning that technology affords us. She not only gets the ingredients but video demonstrations of how to do it.
That is not to say that books and face to face training are no longer relevant and ineffective. A blend of stimuli has been proven to enhance learning. But in our rapidly changing world where immediacy is king, technology is allowing us to access knowledge and learning quicker than ever before and video facilitates this need better than other channels.
Behavioural benefits of video-led learning
As humans we respond directly to other humans. It is a known fact in learning that emulation is often naturally adopted by us when we want to align ourselves with someone. Videos allow us to see how things are done visually which can be articulated far more easily than reading words on a page or even undertaking interactive e-learning. We can then emulate what we see and learn by doing. Even when demonstrating non practical learning talking through concepts, gestures and intonations can often be useful signposts for understanding and capturing learning.
For it to be useful, the video has to fit perfectly with our needs and it has to be trusted. The rise of social channels and video led learning has given heightened our natural filters for irrelevant content. If it does not suit us then there are a myriad of similar options just a click away. Compare this to a classroom based session which promises to be perfect but quickly turns out to be irrelevant to your specific needs and a waste of your precious time. We are now in control of our learning. We can edit our intake according to our needs and circumstances.
At iManage, we liken blended and self directed pathways of learning to a bike ride compared with a bus route. A bus will take you on defined route, and whilst there will be stops along the way, you may be a long way from where you want to be or where is relevant to your specific needs. A bike ride on the other hand, is more personalised. You go at your own pace and can stop wherever you feel and explore further. If we take video as an example, we can pause, forward, skip, click away or ‘YouTube’ another point raised for videos on that subject. Very quickly, in a matter of minutes, we have created our very own bespoke self directed learner journey and we can repeat content to practise difficult points until they are clear in our mind.
Video-led Vs e-learning
We have recently had some interesting conversations with clients about e-learning. As a company we offer a full e-learning design and authoring service as a part of our blended approach. Some recent unrelated sales meetings with both new and existing clients suggested that interactive e-learning was no longer the force that it was. They argued the same point; that interactive e-learning was often pitched too low and could even be patronising to users, diluting the learning objective. They suggested that video accompaniment improved overall quality of e-learning. This was surprising at first but makes sense when considered. E-learning is more cost effective than face to face training but does not create relationships or dynamics in the same way. It made us wonder whether video led content could be used alongside other channels to create an immersive online training environment that could create the same dynamics enjoyed in classroom based training.
The iManage Academy
We have developed iManage Academy to combine our deep knowledge and experience of traditional face to face training and coaching with video-led content. The Academy is designed for lifelong learning, not just a one off programme. We will create a wide range of video led-content through which the user can develop their own pathway. We will add more content each week based on feedback and comments from our community and in response to changes in the business world. We will also hold live webinars for members geared around topics and ideas from the community. In this, the iManage Academy will be a vital video-led training community for anyone involved in business going far beyond other video learning courses.