6 Creative Ways to Engage Learners with Video (Without Being a Video Pro)

Posted by Lauren Mocol on Mar 15, 2018
Lauren Mocol


Not a video pro, but looking to drive learning initiatives and increase viewer engagement?

With online learning growing consistently over the past decade, today more than one in four students are enrolled in at least one online course and 31% of corporate training has transitioned to digital onboarding and training.

As academic leaders and corporate trainers continue to navigate this new landscape of learning, we begin to search for best practices to engage learners through online tools. Most are well- aware of the pedagogical benefits of using video, but struggle to find the best ways to fully engage the learner through video. Here are a few ways that can turn passive one-way learning to a two- way interactive learning experience:


1. Assign Student Responses Within a Video


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Instructors are constantly demonstrating new methods, concepts, and best practices. However, one of the most difficult tasks is verifying that students comprehend how to perform these on their own.

One way to increase student retention is through in- video response. Say you just recorded a video demonstrating how to set up an Excel Spreadsheet, and you want your students to show they have fully understood the instructions. You can have the video pause with a blurb that says, “Using the record button below, record a video setting up your own Excel Spreadsheet.” The link to the guest recorder would be embedded directly into the video, and student recordings would be passed to a folder created by the instructor for review and grading.


2. Enable Student Questions/Feedback Within a Video

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Typically, we tend to value the student’s ability to answer our questions. However, what’s probably more important is their ability to ask great questions and in return develop their own thinking and understanding. One way to do this, is to have a section in your video that welcomes open ended questions from the students. Above is an example of how you could leverage this in your video class content.


3. Include Frequent Quizzes

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The core concept of active learning is to help learners process course material at a higher cognitive level. One simple and effective way instructors are doing this is through periodic comprehension checks with integrated in-video quizzing. Have your video pause and gauge students level of understanding through intermittent quiz questions, keeping them fully engaged and cognizant throughout the entirety of the video lesson.


4. Keep Videos Short 

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By now most instructors are well aware of the benefits of microlearning. For those that aren't familiar, microlearning is the concept that the highest cognitive retention takes place in short, dynamic bursts. To really drive ample amounts of retention, it’s ideal to keep all videos as short as possible (3-5 minutes or shorter), this allows your audience to digest and maintain core concepts at higher awareness. Check out our blog post Use Microlearning Videos to Increase Learning Outcomes to learn more. 


5. Add In-Video Commenting 

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Giving students not only the ability to interact with the content but also their peers and instructor is crucial. One simple way to accomplish this capability is through interactive in- video commenting. This allows learners and or the instructor to ask a question, add a clarification, or even add an external link that is relevant to the topic at hand. Viewer’s comments will show up in real time, and will live where they are time-stamped.


6. Include Video Chapters

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Allowing students to interact with the curriculum in a way that’s easy to retain the information is important. By sectioning off key topics or subjects into chapters, it enables learners to easily jump to and from core concepts for effective study purposes and higher retention.


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Tags: Online Video, Interactive, Engagement