Explainer Videos In eLearning: Everything Instructional Designers Need To Know

Are complex concepts a thorn in your side? Do your employees struggle with difficult work related tasks? If so, an engaging and memorable explainer video may be just what your eLearning course needs. In this article, I’ll share everything Instructional Designers need to know about using explainer videos in eLearning.

Basics, Tips And Benefits Instructional Designers Need To Know About The Use Of Explainer Videos In eLearning

Explainer videos are short, to-the-point, and visually compelling. They entertain as they educate, which makes them the ideal tool for eLearning. In most cases, explainer videos address a problem then teach online learners how to solve it using the available eLearning resources. As such, they give viewers the knowledge and experience they require to tackle everyday challenges. These are the 4 most notable benefits of using explainer videos in eLearning, followed by 5 tips to help you create them for your next eLearning course.

4 Benefits Of Using Explainer Videos In Your eLearning Course Design

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1. Engages Online Learners

Explainer videos are attention-grabbing. They appeal to our visual sensibilities, which helps to minimize external distractions. As a result, online learners are more likely to engage with the eLearning content and retain the information. Keep in mind that the average online learner is dealing with countless obstacles. From short attention spans to daily stress. Explainer videos provide them with the targeted knowledge they need quickly. Thereby, allowing them to focus on the task before other influences have a chance to interfere.

2. Improves eLearning ROI

A boost in online learner engagement translates into more effective eLearning courses. As a result, explainer videos help to improve your eLearning ROI and increase online learner satisfaction. Many organizations avoid explainer videos because of their cost, both in terms of time and money. However, they overlook the many cost-saving benefits that explainer videos bring. For example, less online training time and increased comprehension mean that employees are more productive in the workplace.

3. Enhances Your Brand Image

Explainer videos show that you care about your audience and their individual needs. You’ve take the time to create a targeted eLearning video to address a common problem. Better still, this video is well-organized and includes cohesive branding elements. Thus, online learners get a better impression of your organization and your brand image. To reap this reward, be sure to include your logo, color scheme, and other relevant graphics.

4. Improves Knowledge Retention And Recall

The human brain remembers visuals more effectively than text. Therefore, explainer videos improve knowledge retention and recall. They also prevent cognitive overload and help viewers connect new information to preexisting knowledge. Online learners are able to watch the video to absorb the key takeaways and then apply what they’ve learned in the real world. For example, a task walkthrough that demonstrates each step.

5 Tips To Create Explainer Videos For eLearning

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1. Create A Succinct Script And Storyboard

Explainer videos are concise, preferably under five minutes in length. As such, you should create a video storyboard and script to map out each element. This also helps to avoid omitting any important information. Meet with your eLearning team to gather your resources and identify the key takeaways. Then develop a storyboard that highlights the visual components, and a video script that focuses on the narrative.

2. Follow The Arc

Every good story has a beginning, middle, and end. Explainer videos should also follow suit. Start with a brief introduction that sets the scene. Then introduce the problem, followed by the resolution. The solution must also specify which eLearning resources and skills are needed to complete the task. In marketing circles, this would come in the form of a “call to action”. However, explainer videos are geared toward informing, not promoting. As such, you should substitute the “call” with instructions on how online learners can proceed. For example, seek out additional information or progress to the next eLearning module.

3. Focus On One Objective At A Time

You shouldn’t try to cover too many topics or ideas in your explainer video. Bear in mind that they are targeted microlearning resources that address specific needs. Thus, they must be clear, concise, and goal-centered. Only include the necessary information and provide supplemental links for the rest. For instance, interactive exercises or online tutorials that will broaden a learner’s comprehension of the task.

4. Use Compelling Visuals

The thing that sets explainer videos apart is their blend of text, narrative, and visuals. All of these ingredients improve knowledge retention and simplify complex ideas. However, you must be choosy about the visual elements you use in your production. They need to be attention-grabbing and relevant in order to support the subject matter and keep online learners engaged. Images, charts, cartoons, and cut-out characters are great additions. You can even include infographics, as online learners have the ability to pause the explainer video in order to take a closer look.

5. Choose The Right Audio Elements

There are two key audio elements to consider. The first is a strong narration that follows the video script. The second is background music or sound effects. Both of these components provide greater immersion and interactivity. If you’re on a tight budget, take care of the narration yourself and rely on royalty free background audio to cut costs. Invest in a microphone and audio editing software, then find a quite location to serve as your sound stage. Otherwise, you might consider hiring a professional voice over artist to handle the narrative elements. They already have the experience, equipment, and software you need. In some cases, you can even enlist your Subject Matter Expert to record the video narration, especially if they are passionate about the topic. Explainer videos may not be the perfect solution for every eLearning course. For example, more comprehensive subject matter that involves multiple sub-tasks or topics. However, you can use them to improve comprehension and reinforce key concepts. As a result, your online learners get more from the eLearning experience and you get better eLearning ROI. Use mysimpleshow to make the perfect video based on your script or your uploaded Power Point, illustrate your story with images that stay in mind, preview and publish; 4 simple steps to enter the amazing world of video-making.



About the Author


Christopher Pappas is founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning Industry. Christopher holds an MBA, and an MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU. eLearning Blogger | EduTechpreneur | eLearning Analyst | Speaker | Social Media Addict