6 Things You Should Know When Leveraging Film for Your E-learning Business

Film and e-learning

By default, we are visual creatures and there is no doubt that people learn better through video. According to an online article on how humans process visual data better: “the human brain retains video and visual imagery 60,000 times faster than text or any other data”. In marketing, visual data provides a tangible return on investment (ROI), by attracting and engaging viewers 3 times more than other forms of information.

Digital learning has become one of the most significant ways people in the United Kingdom and throughout the world can teach and learn new skills. A significant amount of investment has been poured into various educational institutions towards technological advancements and increased connectivity in the past two years and the number of online learners has doubled.

According to Statista, the percentage of individuals who said they had taken an online course in 2019 grew by 26% from 19% in previous years, making this one of the most prevalent ways for people to take advantage of material outside of face-to-face classroom environments.

Adults in the UK watch an average of 5 online videos every single day - Statista
Graph - Share of individuals participating in online learning material outside of a main online courses in Great Britain from 2015 to 2020

As one of the more popular forms of distance education, asynchronous online learning has taken off. Training and education providers have grasped the chance to match the ever-growing demand.

If you are one of these institutions looking to add or improve your existing online learning collateral, the best way is by leveraging the use of value-add intelligent film. Keep reading as we discuss how great videos for your e-learning business, should be produced.

Reputable Institutions Use Film for Their Online Learning

Film grabs the attention and delivers learning points quickly and clearly. When compared to broadcast TV standards, some learning video content is often of a lower quality and it stands out like a sore thumb.

We all consume so much video content that we have a highly developed sense of what works for us and what doesn’t. It is vitally important to bring content with high production values to the learner to support and enhance the quality of the course.

It's all in the quality of the film. If yours isn’t as good as the next guy, people won't stick around. There is a difference between a good film and a great film for online learning. In our experience, the majority of the videos that we have seen involve the presenter often looking stiff and awkward, the graphics seem clunky and amateurish or the script is too long-winded and dull.

On average, adults in the UK watch 35 online videos per week (not including streaming services like Netflix)

Having partnered with multiple clients such as Competence which has been making online learning content since 2018 to help promote the Competence app, as well as other successful projects for The British Army, CIMSPA, Just Voices and LeadEQ (to name a few) has taught us well. Over the years we have grasped a few key components that can keep our existing clients coming back for more and and new ones looking to work with you.

film and e-learning

Great Video is a Culmination Of A Few Things – shortstories' Perspective

The average attention span is 8 seconds, and it takes about 5 seconds for you to capture your viewers and convince them to watch a full video. There are a few things to look out for in your attempt at making a successful video. When unpacking one of our projects we illustrate what we mean:

Click here to see a show reel for our e-learning partner Competence

For this project, we used a range of video techniques to help keep the learner engaged and stimulated. Things we consider:

  1. The script needs to have the right amount of detail whilst striking a clear, accessible tone.
  2. The presenter needs to be relaxed as well as appear authoritative and knowledgeable.
  3. The visuals need to tie in with the subject matter.
  4. The choice of background music needs to be sympathetic to the content and graphics to appear slick and attractive.

All these elements support the overall aim of helping the learner get the most from any online course. With this in mind, we then went ahead and included some further key considerations which we share below.

Overall Key Elements in Film Production for E-Learning

1. Maintain a Clear Message

Your script is one of the main drivers of your video and its length matters, alongside the visuals. When making a film production, a ‘to-the-point’ script that gives the key message to its audience will help save unnecessary time and money. Also, make sure it has been approved by all the stakeholders.

Be clear, authentic, to-the-point and conversational. In the end, a script that engages an audience drives the viewer to take an action. If you are advertising your e-learning courses for the first time or informing learners about a new addition, and you’re not sure where to start – hire a professional script writer to do the job for you. Some film production companies include a scriptwriter in their services.

As a guide, a script that’s 200 words in length would give you an average of a 90-second film. Advertisement videos tend to be shorter.

Most people speak at an average speed of four to five syllables per second. Most words are two to three syllables long and the average person speaks approximately 100 – 130 words per minute. A professional voice-over artist usually uses 150 to 160 words per minute - word counter

2. Which Channel Is It Going On?

Before the start of the production of any film or video, the team at shortstories' always completes a brief of a few essential questions. One of these is asking our clients – what channel will the video or film go onto? With e-learning videos, the primary distribution channels can include anything from social media: YouTube, LinkedIn or Facebook or their website.

Making sure of this will help us create better resolution requirements too. A good video should ideally be in standard HD or 720p (1280×720 pixels). You could also consider Full HD or 1080p resolution (1920×1080 pixels) which is usually an acceptable requirement on most channels.

3. Visuals to Back Up Your Message

Once the script is approved, find the right accompanying visuals to support it. These can be extracted by picking out the key action phrases, keywords and concepts in the scenes. There are various resources to find these such as stock images, animation effects, live footage and more.

Here at shortstories' we know that great stories are more than just great pictures. We always make sure we use images and footage that have the most natural look and feel and remember not to overuse these and also add people to the mix, such as presenters and learners – it makes it more human; thus relatable.

4. Keep the Film Short and The Editing Simple

About or Explainer videos are usually more effective if kept inside of 90 seconds. Training films should be a maximum of 4 minutes long. Keeping the video short and to-the-point is more helpful to the learner.

The editing of any video production is also one of the main aspects that will tie everything together; suffice to say, it is of vital importance.  Keeping it simple is key – the film should always stick to the goal and any non-essential footage should be cut out. Also, make sure it is mobile-friendly.

Some of the best forms of editing of film are barely noticeable. Instead of overusing jarring visual effects, we prefer a softer transition which creates a seamless look and feel, allowing the viewer to engage with the learning material and the message.  

As much as 85 percent of video views happen with the sound off, according to multiple publishers - digiday

5. Don’t Forget Your Captions

Your e-learning footage have a good possibility of being watched with the sound off in some cases and more so in a business setting, so make use of captions whenever possible.

This is where good narration comes to mind. A quality narrator coupled with subtle background music will engage your audience, catching the learner’s attention immediately.

Whatever the subject matter and whatever the level, we approach it from the learner’s point of view. How best to make the material clear, engaging and memorable?


Read what our clients have to say

See how we do it: send us an email to hello@shortstories.media if you would like to discuss your next film project.

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