Video Learning Best Practices: Instructional Design | D2L Asia Pacific
IE Not suppported

Sorry, but Internet Explorer is no longer supported.

For the best D2L.com experience, it's important to use a modern browser.

To view the D2L.com website, please download another browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Video Learning Best Practices: Instructional Design

  • 4 Min Read

The second in a series of three, this post looks at how to incorporate video learning into instructional design.

Video is a great learning tool. Whether it’s presentations, collaboration, lectures, or soft skills assessment, video can help keep learners engaged and entertained throughout their online courses. This post, the second in a series examining best practices for video production, instructional design and assessment, delves into the ins and outs of incorporating video learning into instructional design.

Video content can be a great instructional tool and can help you to create more effective and engaging experiences for your learners. It does this in a few ways:

Demonstrating concepts

Video can help you to clearly explain concepts and the relationships between them to your learners by showing them how everything fits together. Think about it in terms of trying to explain an equation – it’s often more effective to show learners how to work through an equation, demonstrating how all its parts work together, rather than explaining it with text.

Providing a multi-sensory experience

Even when there isn’t an obvious demonstrative aspect to video, the visual and auditory cues it offers may create a more well-rounded learning experience than is possible with other mediums. For example, text-based content is reliant on the interpretive capabilities of the learner: some people read faster than others; some are better at visualizing text-based descriptions; and some learners are better at retaining information from text.

Video accounts for various learning capacities by tapping into multiple senses and styles of understanding. It helps ensure that all learners come away with a similar understanding.

Providing a dynamic experience

Video provides more variation, which can help keep learners engaged and prevent boredom. Whereas text-based content is limited to variations of font, style, color, and maybe images, video can incorporate different movements, perspectives, animations, and voice-overs or sounds to keep things interesting.

Watch our webinar on how to improve engagement with video in Brightspace

Whether you source video for your learning programs, or produce it yourself, you should first figure out if it’s actually right for you. Here are some things to consider before you incorporate video into your instructional design:

Is your course suitable for video?

Video suits some courses or topics more than others. It’s ideal for “evergreen” content that doesn’t need to change significantly over time, as repeatedly revising videos is often an involved process.

For example, in a course on leadership development, video could be well-suited for a module about “Fundamental Skills for Good Leaders,” as the content will tend to remain relevant over time. On the other hand, it might not be as useful for a module on “Traits of This Year’s Most Effective Leaders,” as the content would quickly become outdated.

How should your course content be consumed?

You’ll want to incorporate video into your instructional design in a way that best suits your instructional purposes. The key thing to consider here is how your course content should best be consumed.

Facilitated courses

If your plan is to use video content only to supplement other activities, then it can be easily incorporated into your course. In courses where video is just one of many tools used to facilitate discussions, lectures, or workshops, there are already lots of other elements in the learning experience that will help keep learners engaged throughout the course.

Some video solutions may even allow you to combine live video streaming, polling, and real-time audience discussion to create really engaging presentations for both in-person and remote audiences.

Unfacilitated courses

However, if learning is self-guided, or even lacking an active instructor, you’ll need to put thought into how to use video content in a way that keeps your learners engaged. Video can be a very passive experience and it’s possible that learners will “zone out” while watching. So, simply uploading a series of long presentations or lecture recordings won’t be enough to keep them engaged. Diversifying both video content and course activities can help keep learners in the zone.

Also, incorporating some sort of follow-up after a video – whether it’s basic comprehension quizzes or more involved discussion forums – can encourage learners to pay attention and keep them engaged. You can even incorporate video-based assessment to promote ongoing engagement over video. Learners can respond to content from the course and demonstrate what they’ve learned.

Don’t forget – change it up

Remember, not all video needs to be serious and instructional. There’s nothing wrong with adding some humor to your own videos, or even curating entertaining YouTube clips. The key thing is to keep whatever video you do incorporate relevant. Don’t overdo it. A sales training course might benefit from an amusing example of what not to do, but filling it with cat videos is distracting and unproductive.

All set to get started on producing videos to add to your courses? Here are some tips on how you can effectively and affordably produce your own engaging learning video.

Share this:

Subscribe today!

Please complete this required field.
Phone number must be a valid number.

Thank you for subscribing!

Subscribe to our blog

Get the latest news and expert tips to help you get the most out of your learning environment.

Subscribe Now!

Fueling up:

Upskilling to grow careers

Name: Zaria
Age: 27

Policy prescriptions: Invest in a Learning-Integrated Life; Transform the learning of today with new partnerships; Accelerate the shift to skills-based learning and hiring

Zaria has five years of work experience and is ready to change jobs and enter a field that has high growth potential in her region. The national government has been investing in collecting better skills-based labour market information for years and has developed a public platform to offer individuals specialized tools to assess their skills against current market needs, and to locate employers that are currently hiring.

On the employer side, the human resources team is closely examining a recent internal skills audit done at their organization and determines that the organization needs additional digital marketing specialists. They initiate a search for individuals with the skills they will soon need and spot a strong candidate in Zaria who requires only light training on regulatory issues regarding the sale of electric vehicles, along with some formal skills development courses on social media marketing strategy. After a successful interview, Zaria is offered the job.

Upon joining, Zaria will receive an educational benefits stipend from the company, and access to a company-provided platform of curated programs for skills building from approved providers. Upon completion of a set of courses, Zaria will receive a credential from a company approved program verifying her technical knowledge and marking the end of her probationary period at the company. To ensure she continues to build her skills, she will move into a formal mentor program with one of her colleagues to receive continual peer-to-peer feedback on her demonstration of skills and knowledge. information

This affordable and accessible learning through employer-funded training has enabled Zaria to begin working while also upskilling to ensure her long-term success in the company and growing industry. The employer is investing in its employees, and company leaders are thinking further into the future about the skills the company needs, and the types of job candidates who will succeed. This match, based on skills potential, was made possible because of government investment in high-quality labour market information and a national platform that matches job candidates with career opportunities based on the candidates’ skills and the identified skill needs of a given job.

Taking the road less travelled:

A networked postsecondary education

Name: Sam
Age: 18

Policy prescriptions: Transform the learning of today with new partnerships

Sam is a prospective postsecondary student who has always been interested in pursuing a global and interdisciplinary education. Sam’s siblings have all instilled in her the importance of studying abroad, having spoken fondly of their academic exchange semesters, field research trips, and intensive language immersion programs. She is inspired, but unsure whether this pathway will be available if she chooses not to complete a four-year degree at one institution.

Sam is interested in understanding how emerging technologies can be used to modernize and improve government services—an area in need of talent not only in her home country of Canada but also abroad. She could take on a general political science, public administration, engineering, or computer science degree at the university close to her home, but none of those degrees feels like the right fit to build the skills she needs to pursue this career interest.

While researching options, Sam learns of a new degree completion pathway that allows students to take courses from a network of universities, colleges, and polytechnic institutions throughout Canada and stack them for skills-based  credentials that are recognized by major Canadian employers. A set of four of these credentials grants an individual a degree-equivalent endorsed by each institution. Sam identifies the skills and knowledge she wants to work towards and charts out four credential pathways:

  1. Service delivery design
  2. Change management
  3. Applications of emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence)
  4. Machinery of government

With this customized learning pathway, Sam has full flexibility to decide how she wants to structure her courses, the institutions within the network she will study at, and the format and model of courses she prefers—whether live in-class instruction or online courses.

Cost flexibility is built in as well—students pay a standard fee based on the number of competencies they intend to learn rather than the normal standard of ‘credit hours’. The province in which Sam lives has endorsed this networked model of  postsecondary education and adjusted its financial assistance program to better support students. Grants and other non-repayable assistance take into consideration the number of courses the student is taking across all institutions when assessing financial need. Previously, Sam would have been required to be a full-time student at every institution to receive support.

Sam also has the option of starting with foundational courses or applying for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) information so her existing knowledge and skills can be tested and she can move on to more advanced topics.

Sam completes her first three credentials in three years and uses her certifications to apply for a one-year work-integrated learning experience with the federal government in Germany where she can learn first-hand about the applications of artificial intelligence in government. When she returns home, she applies for PLAR to certify her learning on the machinery of government and is granted a degree acknowledging her four-part customized education.

The collaboration between universities, polytechnics, and colleges to create a networked approach to degree completion, and its endorsement by the provincial government, allowed Sam to graduate as an alumnus of multiple postsecondary education institutions. Her exposure to different thought spaces and networks was highly valuable for ensuring she was engaged throughout her education and set up for post-graduation success. In the rapidly evolving field she has chosen, she understands how important it is to continuously upskill, and is prepared to return to formal education for more stackable credentials as she continues throughout her career.

Route guidance:

Personalized professional development

Name: ZheYuan
Age: 33

Policy prescriptions: Prepare teachers for their own lifelong learning journeys; Accelerate the shift to skills-based learning and hiring

ZheYuan is about to join Marama’s school as a new secondary school teacher. He completed his professional teacher education a decade ago, and teaching looks a bit different today than it did when he was studying. With the incorporation of learning technologies in the classroom, and expectations of teachers delivering competency-based education information, he needs personalized professional development to feel comfortable and supported in this new opportunity.

The school district has been on its own learning journey since shifting to a competency-based education model, and has had some growing pains. Over time, the district has come to recognize that success depends on school administrators working closely with teachers to co-create systems of instruction, and pathways to professional development. The district has its own online learning management system (LMS) for teacher professional development, with a catalogue of content covering a range of subjects including:

  • Strategies for student-centred instruction
  • Design thinking—how to prototype and iterate on solutions to test new approaches
  • Online content—using learning management systems to advance competency-based education
  • Data analysis—interpreting student progress

ZheYuan is excited that he can take on professional learning to suit his needs on his own schedule. He recalls an earlier time when he had to spend nine hours a month in-person taking the same professional development courses as his peers who were teaching very different subjects and had varied skill levels and pedagogical needs than him, which was less than effective.

ZheYuan can also take advantage of his teacher community in the LMS, connecting both in asynchronous chats and in live discussions with other teachers and experts from across his region to ask questions and share his experiences. He sees some upcoming dialogues hosted by his school district to share learnings and signs up for those sessions, knowing he will get a valuable peer perspective from other teachers. ZheYuan is thankful that his school leaders recognize and value professional learning and provide the supports and the time needed for improvement.

D2L Whitepaper Contributors

Lead Authors:
Malika Asthana, Manager, Strategy and Public Affairs
Joe Pickerill, Senior Director, Strategy and Public Affairs, International

Contributors:
Jeremy Auger, Chief Strategy Officer
Mark Schneiderman, Senior Director, Future of Teaching and Learning
Brendan Desetti, Senior Director, Strategy and Public Affairs, United States
Mike Semansky, Senior Director, Strategy and Public Affairs, Canada
Nia Brown, Senior Manager, Strategy and Public Affairs

In the driver’s seat:

Owning the personalized learning journey

Name: Marama
Age: 14

Policy prescriptions: Prepare teachers for their own lifelong learning journeys; Accelerate the shift to skills-based learning and hiring

Marama is enrolled in a school with a competency-based education model information. Students are responsible for owning the personalization of their learning pathways, making choices alongside their teachers in how and when they learn.iii Teachers play a central role in guiding and validating all learning, regardless of where it takes place—offering formative assessments to evaluate a student’s mastery of skills and knowledge. Teachers use data from these assessments, gathered through an online learning management system (LMS), to differentiate instruction and provide targeted supports so that all students progress toward graduation. As a student diagnosed with a learning disability, Marama is supported in her education by this personalized learning pathway.

All students complete an assessment in ninth grade to identify their natural strengths as a learner. Their teachers use the results as inputs to design tailormade educational pathways with learning materials and activities that suit the individual students’ learning needs. In Marama’s case, this includes:

  1. Supplementing lecture-based teaching with structured but independent reading
  2. Shadowing professionals who work on the concepts she is learning about
  3. Taking the stories and lessons she’s learned and sharing it back with classmates by designing a creative and interactive presentation

Over the course of the school year, Marama spends a third of her time in live lectures (sometimes online) with her teacher alongside other classmates—but the rest of her time is spent learning in the ways that suit her best. She can log into her online LMS from her mobile device to access her school resources and complete on her own schedule before the assigned deadline. When Marama finds a concept that interests her, she can ask her teachers and counsellor for support in finding a working professional to speak to, or work alongside for a couple weeks, from the network her school has curated over time. And when she has learned something, she is encouraged to reinforce her learning by applying her skills and developing content to share back with her classmates.

Marama’s personalized learning journey empowers her to own her education by learning in ways that are effective for her, with the support that allows her to be successful. Her teachers have high-quality data about student strengths and performance they can share with her parents to show them how she is mastering specific skills, and where she may need extra support. Her school experience empowers her to embrace her subject interests very early on, and she advances to deeper topics quickly as she submits evidence of learning that demonstrates her proficiency. She graduates having cultivated a mindset for self-directed learning early in her education.