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Shannon McKenzie and Jillian Douglas founded Idea Learning with a mission to provide custom learning strategies to clients in a variety of industries.

That endeavor naturally led the Idea Learning team to experiment with creating their own animated videos to meet their clientele’s needs. The dynamic, story-driven nature of video makes it a highly effective medium for eLearning, a discipline that has historically been plagued by disinterest and disengagement among its audiences. It’s no surprise, then, 98% of enterprise organizations say video is valuable for improving communication and for training employees better and faster.

To create eLearning videos that were customized, learner-centric, and engaging, Shannon and Jillian reached for Vyond Studio. Before long, the build-it-yourself animated video platform became a staple in the Idea Learning toolkit.

We interviewed Shannon and Jillian to learn more about why video works for eLearning, and how Idea Learning uses Vyond to deliver top-quality content to their clients.


Why Idea Learning uses Video for eLearning

What was the last video you created in Vyond?

Because we can’t celebrate in-person this year, we made a quick Happy Birthday video for our employee Katie using a Vyond template. We love being able to customize the characters! In this video we created super realistic representations of ourselves.



How did you find your way into eLearning?

As custom instructional designers, we’re always looking for the best delivery method for each client/project and sometimes eLearning is the right solution. Our experience as learners had left us with the impression that eLearning wasn’t an emotionally engaging learning experience. Later, when we started Idea Learning, our clients began to request eLearning. It was then that we knew we had to find a way to connect with learners’ hearts as well as their minds using eLearning platforms.

You wrote the book Let Them Choose: Cafeteria Style Learning for Adults. What is “Cafeteria Style Learning” all about?

As practitioners who design workplace learning experiences, we share a passion for transforming workplace learning to appeal to learner curiosity, influence behavior change, and generate meaningful, relevant experiences. Throughout our careers as learning professionals, we have observed a tendency toward resistance to learning among those who seemed skeptical about workplace training in general. Some of the assumptions we witnessed include training classes are a waste of time; the content is generic and doesn’t help with individual roles and responsibilities; and learners don’t feel engaged in training in a personally meaningful and productive way.

We developed Cafeteria Learning as an alternative or complement to traditional training. In practice, it’s an approach to learning that allows instructional designers (chefs) to apply content (ingredients) to a variety of interchangeable activities (recipes), resulting in an informal classroom workshop in which each learner builds a customized learning experience (meal).

Idea Learning is known for designing top-notch interactive training for its clients. How does video fit into that?

“If keeping someone’s attention in a lecture were a business it would have an 80% failure rate,” – John Medina, author of Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School

Storytelling is one technique we use to engage our learners and video is a great way to tell stories and keep learners’ attention. Video can complement in-person learning and also be embedded in eLearning. We also sometimes use video to introduce a topic or as a tool to reinforce learning. Prior to finding Vyond, creating video was time consuming and required technical expertise from outsourced video production crews and motion graphic designers. This sometimes created financial roadblocks for our clients. Vyond allows us to create videos internally, making it feasible to include video in more client projects.

Can you give me an example of a when you’ve used video for storytelling or to create an emotional connection with learners?

One of our clients is an international construction software company. We partnered with them to introduce new employees to the fundamentals of their industry. Through the use of Vyond videos, we were able to create vignettes that brought each concept to life with unique characters guiding learners through each module. Pairing the subject matter expert’s narration with the visual engagement of Vyond brought personality and authenticity to the course. The good news is learners loved it and we’re working on the next project with them, also using Vyond.


Build eLearning videos for your clients.

From your first video to your fiftieth, Vyond Studio makes it easy to create professional-grade eLearning deliverables. Vyond’s Agency and Producer Program is perfect for freelancers and teams who want to wow their clients with custom video solutions. Vyond partners like Idea Learning are able to earn affiliate income, transfer video rights, and get dedicated support from the Vyond’s partners team. Join the Agency and Producer Program today to start making dynamic and engaging eLearning videos for your clients.