Online video has exploded in recent years. At the last count, YouTube had a billion users, with four billion videos being watched daily. The highest earning YouTuber made a massive $4.9 in 2014 (for unboxing Disney toys, can you believe!)
But as well as watching kittens fall into fish tanks, real people are learning real things on YouTube, making it perhaps the biggest learning platform on the planet. Not surprisingly, our learners in the corporate world want a piece of this. Increasingly, they have come to expect access to similar, regular, fast moving video content.
And L&D is responding to this expectation. The latest Benchmark Survey from Towards Maturity predicts that in 2016 83% of L&D departments will be using video to support learning content.
But this is a different beast to the training videos on VHS tapes and DVDs that have been part of the landscape for so long. Online video is sharper, snappier and shorter. It has to be.
The Bersin report, Meet the Modern Learner (requires subscription), describes learners as ‘overwhelmed, distracted and impatient’ and suggests that we are receptive to just 5-10 seconds of information before our attention switches to something else. Learners have shorter attention spans, and now want a more ‘on-demand’ approach to their learning.
It’s about getting things across really quickly. As L&D professionals, we are competing with a lot of ‘noise’ generated by always-on, mobile-delivered, 24/7 social media: we need to get our point across in a way that is going to have an impact. We want it to enact a change that will have a lasting effect and help people to do their jobs better.
Learning needs to be short, sharp, to the point and it needs to be perceived as incredibly high value by the learner. So how can you achieve this?