Media Production Part 2: eLearning Practitioners

In the first part of this series on media production, I focused on the issues that should be on the radar screen of eLearning leaders concerning the use of video in the eLearning environment. Now it’s time to get down to brass tacks when it comes to video production for eLearning practitioners – the people who are developing and distributing eLearning video content.

Media Production Part 2: eLearning PractitionersIf you find that you’re an eLearning practitioner who hasn’t delved very deeply into the world of video production, you do have your work cut out for you, but it’s worth the effort given the ubiquity of video content in the modern age. Your two-fold path to success requires both a focus on editorial and production skills.

Editorial skills mean enhancing your storytelling skills along with the structuring of learning within the video media channel so that it is it can quickly and easily be accessed and understood. The production skills you need to focus on are writing (see my article, eLearning Content Needs Great Writing), video recording/editing, and audio recording/editing, which is an essential aspect of video production. As a learning professional, you probably already have a head start on the storytelling piece since it’s an integral part of developing any training or learning content. Now you just have to translate that foundation into the world video production.

The entire process still begins with the most basic feature of eLearning – the all-important learning objectives. Without clarity on what it is you want your audience to come away with in terms of learning outcomes, you won’t know what to produce for video content that feeds into those objectives. Worse, you run the risk of injecting superfluous video that sidetracks learners and disengages them from the task at hand.

Although it seems obvious, video production begins with compelling images and the sound plays a supporting role. You need to learn the basic techniques needed to create sharp video content and capture high-quality audio to go with it. So where can you go to get these skills? You’d be surprised how much you can learn in a relatively short workshop format. That’s why you should seriously consider ATD’s Rapid Video Development for Learning Certificate.

The Association for Talent Development has developed a very good basic skills delivered in a two-day format. As the company notes, “Video is the new flip chart. Learning and development professionals are increasingly called on to create video content that extends learning beyond the classroom; as well as to introduce more learning resources into classroom training. This program teaches learning professionals how to use consumer-level equipment to create engaging video that looks professional and reinforces learning. Participants will learn all aspects of shooting professional-looking video, from planning and pre-production, to shooting and recording sound, to editing and deployment. At the end of this program, participants will be able to confidently produce quality video quickly and affordably.”

The beauty of this workshop is that it is entirely geared specifically towards the learning professional, and it’s coming from one of the most trusted companies that understands the learning environment. Here are the specific learning objectives of the certificate workshop:

  • Explain how video works as a communication method in relation to learning content.
  • Understand how human cognition and adult learning theory apply to media content.
  • Plan and structure a didactic video so the content is quick and easy to understand.
  • Draw a video production storyboard that blocks out each shot size and camera position.
  • Write a video script that follows the conventions of “writing to picture.”
  • Create a production plan that includes logistics review, shot plan, responsibility chart, and risk assessment.
  • Shoot video on a consumer-level camera with manual functionality.
  • Cut shots together using a storyboard or timeline video editor and add appropriate message layers.
  • Publish final video in a format appropriate to your distribution platform.

Video production skills needs to be a primary focus of eLearning practitioners today. By investing the time and money into two-day workshop like the one above offered by ATD, you’ll gain a solid foundation to boost your eLearning effectiveness.

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