Laptop wearing graduation hat displaying a video player with a mouse cursor pointed at it.

Why You Should Use Interactive Videos For eLearning

The practice of eLearning continues to grow year after year and interactive video forms an important part of it. With the current lockdown restrictions, so many places, globally, have to rely on online education. Interactive videos make it possible for online learners to interact with the learning content, which allows learners to have a unique experience. 

In real life we often learn from our actions and decisions. An interactive video provides us with a similar experience. It comprises of clickable options with different outcomes, depending on the decision made by the learner. This proves to be an excellent learning method, in a number of ways:

1. Engagement

Interactive videos help to keep learners well engaged. The learning experience is not merely one-way communication, but the learner gets involved by taking on an active role while watching the video. Even the most ordinary topic can be engaging if the video leads the viewer to interact with the viewing material! The interactivity causes a deeper level of engagement, which in turn results in a deeper level of learning. Memory recall is also optimized, thanks to this active experience. 


2. Decision Making

Interactive video requires decision-making through a series of decision points in the video. This makes the learner think more about what is happening in the video. It compels the learner to pay attention and focus on making the best decision. Decision-making may lie in the hands of the learner, but consequences of actions taken are also put forward, for the participant to learn from! With a variety of options to take, each decision influences the possible outcome and consequences – interactive video is designed to demonstrate what should be done plus what could happen if wrong decisions are made! Decision-making leads to different paths for different learners. 


3. Data Analysis

Thanks to its tractability, choices made and clicks within an interactive video can be analysed, and so the interactive video is not only a learning resource, but also a data recovery tool.

Interactive videos are not only a learning resource but also a data recovery tool

When an interactive video forms part of a learning management system (LMS) it can be used to reveal useful information to the tutor. The tutor can collect data that may be useful – e.g. data analysis of learner choices and common trends may provide useful information to a tutor and guide further learning. The choices that learners make in an interactive video give insights about where learners are in the learning process, what they are most interested in, and where to go from there.


4. Gamification

An interactive video can be perceived as a game.

Apart from being a learning experience, an interactive video is also an adventurous experience that most learners will find enjoyable. The interaction with the video material may be perceived as a game – an element of fun naturally forms part of it. Gamification may even actively be used as learners’ decisions or choices to earn them rewards (like badges, points, scores, or certificates). The interactive video provides training/learning that comes in the form of a leisure activity…. as such, interactive videos make it easier to deliver topics that may be complicated or that may simply be dull! 


5. Understanding

Interactive videos enhance understanding. This is because learners do not merely passively “watch” and “listen”, but have an opportunity to actively “do” as well. For learners to truly test their understanding of a subject, they need to interact with the video material and experience the outcomes of their choices. As learners respond to instructions and questions in the video they get immediate feedback (as the video takes them in a certain direction based of their choices). This further reinforces their understanding of the topic. And so the interactive elements enable the learner to truly get to grips with the content.


6. Simulations

Interactive videos can simulate real-life scenarios.

Interactive video can simulate real-life scenarios. This is very beneficial, especially with regard to topics that need an element of practical training. By means of interactive videos, the learner can walk in the shoes of a character in the video and decide their course of action (and even in real-time!), by clicking on choice points within the video. The choices made then give real-life outcomes and the learner can see how well he/she did in the simulated scenario. Consequently, actions are learnt through interactive video. Moreover, when learners have to do this in real-time (i.e. have a limited amount of time to take action, as in real life) their abilities to get the task done can also be assessed. And they can be provided with feedback as to how efficient they were! Again, “doing” improves memory retention! In the simulation in the interactive video, the learner is “doing” and the interactions, therefore, make learners more likely to remember what needs to be done when facing the scenario in real life.

Interactive videos enable learners to actively participate with video, an action that has many benefits – use it this year as part of your eLearning strategy!