Strategies for Effective Video Content in Online Learning

Video on computer screen
December 15, 2021

Three Strategies for the most Effective Video Content in Online learning


As an instructional designer, I am often approached by clients who request video content in their training because they feel that it is the best way to engage their audience. I also work with many clients who prefer not to use video, as they find it time consuming and expensive. I would like to debunk some of the misconceptions around the use of video and go over some tips and best practices I have found.

Video on computer screen

Video content incorporated into online learning is widespread. After being in the industry for sixteen years, I have seen it all. I have worked with clients who had large budgets that enabled them to create productions with professional actors. I have also overseen truly effective low budget videos, created using low-cost video software and stock clips.


What is the most effective way to use video in online learning?

As someone who wants to develop a successful training program with longevity, there are three main things I emphasize with clients.

  1. First and most important, do not use video for the sake of adding a video. Often less is more. Even in software training, every interaction does not have to be a screen capture. No one needs to see someone painstakingly type their username and password into a login page. This can easily be accomplished with a screenshot and some text.
  2. Try your best to avoid creating a video containing content that needs to be frequently updated. Video creation software has made updating videos easier, but you need to consider that narrations may need to be updated and if you do not have the expertise in-house, you will have to get these updates done by an external vendor which is not cost-effective.
  3. Finally, keep videos short. Bandwidth and video streaming sites like YouTube have removed issues of file size but not learner attention. Short clips tend to engage learners more than long drawn-out videos. Mobile devices allow people to take their training anywhere, not just at their desk in front of a computer in an office.

Tips on making video even more relevant

The best videos in elearning I have seen have been well planned out in a story board format with well thought out scripts. To draw your learners in, introduce your course with a compelling video that describes why the course is important to the learner. We often use videos in the courses we develop for clients to incorporate into scenarios where the learner must watch a video of a situation and then make a choice. When used this way, the story slowly develops by the learner’s interaction rather than them passively watching it unfold. This technique results in much better retention.  Additionally, quiz questions are woven throughout to help to solidify the concept. It gives the learner an opportunity to engage with the material and check their understanding.

Here at Udutu, we know how beneficial video can be in online learning and training can be which is why we empower our customers to create the most engaging content possible. Do you want to find out how we can help you design your next training course? Get in touch with our team today!

Additional Resources: 

Easy to use video editing software:

Pin It on Pinterest