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Advantages of Microlearning Video.

While microlearning can take a variety of other forms (text, games, podcasts, PowerPoints, etc.), research suggests that short microlearning videos are the most effective and engaging medium.

 

In a previous post, we discussed five concrete benefits of microlearning for organizations providing training to their employees. In this article, we’ll focus on the advantages of video lessons in microlearning

Humans are drawn to videos.

The human brain is wired to respond to video. We know much of the information transmitted to the brain is visual and that visual aids have been found to improve learning. It will also come as no surprise that employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read text, and that video conveys more powerful messages than written communication. 

Why? Video is uniquely well-suited to storytelling — and humans love stories. “A narrative works off of both data and emotions, which is significantly more effective in engaging a listener than data alone,” writes Cody C. Delistraty in The Atlantic. Delistraty cites Stanford professor Jennifer Aaker, whose research shows that people remember data incorporated into narratives up to 22 times more than when the data is given on its own.

Video can engage employees on a visceral level by replicating a face-to-face connection. Learners are much more likely to connect with a narrative and visual depiction of a person guiding them through a process than they are to a block of static text (or a static image) explaining the material. Video also gives today’s learners the sense of control they crave over material — they can watch it anywhere, anytime and can pause, slow down, speed up, or rewind as many times as they see fit.

Video increases long-term retention.

Research suggests that videos are uniquely suited to maximize retention of material when compared to other media.

“Multimedia presentations (such as narrated animation) are more likely to lead to meaningful learning than single-medium presentations” (like static visuals in a PowerPoint or an audio recording like a podcast), say researchers Richard E. Mayer and Roxana Moreno in the Educational Psychology Review.

This is based in part on dual coding theory, which holds that humans store audio and visual information in two separate areas of the brain. Watching a video engages both channels of the brain, which work together to reinforce the material. “The cognitive process of integrating is most likely to occur when the learner has corresponding pictoral and verbal representations in working memory at the same time,” according to Mayer and Moreno.

In order to store information in our long-term memory, our working memory must first process that information. But our working memory’s capacity (cognitive load) is limited, and if we overload it, we’ll retain less from the activity at hand. Microlearning videos help address this problem in two ways: a) they’re short, so they provide our brains a break to process information and refresh working memory capacity, and b) by engaging both visual and auditory channels at once, they spread the burden for processing the information across these two channels, providing more room for processing and retention.


Ready to take the plunge and create microlearning videos? In the next few articles, we’ll break down what you need to make a video and how to integrate it successfully into a larger training plan.

Read Next: 4 Initial Steps to Creating a Microlearning Video

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