According to researchers' forecasts, 50% of all classes will be taught online by 2019. Moreover, 49% of students worldwide take at least one online course per year. However, not all online courses are created equal - its creators still have to struggle with the eternal issue of how to engage the learners and help them keep their motivation to learn.
There is one trend that can solve this issue in the most efficient way - using video content. 98% of organizations stated they are willing to use videos in their corporate e-learning strategy. Its engagement potential is already a well-established fact in the e-learning community.
Using videos in e-learning is a trend that you will join eventually one way or another if you want your content to be engaging. So, why did we put "video streaming" in the title of this article? Keep reading to find out why it is bound to transform e-learning and how it can benefit you.
3 Reasons Video Content Is Integral to E-Learning
First things first. Video content, in general, can be used for various purposes - you can create and upload tutorials and how-to videos, lectures, webinars, animated videos, etc. An online course is almost impossible to be engaging and entertaining without any video content - our brains love videos more than audio, text or any other medium (if, of course, the video is made wisely).
According to studies, a person remembers 95% of the message conveyed in a video on average. When it comes to text, however, we remember only 10% of the message we've read.
Why is it so? Videos are just something our brains love very much. They reach us via both our visual and auditory perception channels. Besides, videos can include a number of other ways of conveying information - text, music, audio, photos, etc. - to emphasize or illustrate a certain point. This makes information easy to consume.
Moreover, videos allow learners to save time on educational activities. Watching a video is faster than reading the same information. So, learners get more in less time - and this is why they prefer video content.
This is the issue educators have been struggling with for centuries. Now, our attention span is getting shorter and shorter due to the outstanding amounts of information available at our fingertips 24/7/365. Educational processes suffer from this as well - it is getting more difficult to retain learners' attention, especially if the course is taking place online, with no educators to watch whether the learner is actually awake and fix the situation if he or she is not.
This is where video content enters the scene to save the day. Videos are meant to be entertaining and, therefore, engaging. If you are uncertain whether videos can be engaging, just take a look at daily YouTube view stats - its users watch over a billion hours of videos every day.
Why do we prefer video content to anything else? In terms of viewers' engagement, videos are entertaining because they contain noise and movement. What we see keeps changing, thus stimulating our brains not to get distracted or sleepy, and certain sounds emphasizing important points help us remember them.
Learning on the Go
Learning on your smartphone used to be the premise for a sci-fi novel, but now it's our reality (thanks not only to smartphones but also to affordable mobile data plans). If you keep your videos short enough and optimized for watching using mobile data, you allow your learners to spend their commute doing something useful - and ultimately saving their time, of course. The more accessible you make your educational content, the more learners you will reach in the long run.
5 Benefits of Using Video Streaming in E-Learning
Now that we described all the perks of video content for e-learning, you may be wondering about one thing. What does video streaming have to do with all of this? Well, as a type of video content, it can amplify those perks and benefit you in even more ways.
It Feels Like a Classroom
Unlike pre-recorded videos, live streams have a completely different vibe to them. This vibe affects learners on a psychological level - first of all, they start treating the course as a more serious commitment. This, in turn, is good for learners' engagement. Besides, when you have a strict schedule of live sessions, learners are more likely to prepare their homework for them if needed.
What is more important, the classroom is all about the two-way communication between the educator and the learner. Although it is not the face-to-face communication, it is no less efficient - let's take a closer look at why it is so.
Video streaming can include various interactive elements to make this two-way communication possible. You can have an online chat where learners write their questions or share relevant information in real time, for instance. In some cases, there can be two-way video streaming or audio streaming (if the number of learners is not too high) - so, the educator can watch their behavior and build the lesson as a conversation rather than a monologue.
The latter is often referred to as the community-driven learning or learner-centered approach. This means that the learners' needs come first, and the educator is here to provide the knowledge and skills they actually need. This also means adjusting the program of the course according to these needs (but within the general topic).
Why is this important? When learners get what they are actually interested in, they tend to be more engaged in the process and more satisfied with the outcomes of the course. It's simple as that - give people what they want, and they'll be thankful.
Playback Is Available
Unlike face-to-face education activities, learners can revisit the recording of the live stream afterward when they need to and can do it. If you take an offline course, all you have left is your notes and maybe the presentation from the educator. If you attend a streamed lesson, you can go back to the point that wasn't clear at any time.
Besides, this allows learners that can't attend the live stream to catch up with the rest when it is convenient or them. Ultimately, video streaming allows learning at your own pace just like any other online course while enhancing the interactivity element of the educational activities.
Wider Audience Coverage
Last but not least, this is an obvious advantage video streaming has over offline educational activities. It is always hard to bring people together for a course, especially if they are in different cities or even countries.
Video streaming allows educators to reach learners on a global scale. All that learners need, in turn, are a laptop/tablet/smartphone and good Internet connection.
3 Best Practices Worth Your Attention
Convinced that video streaming is guaranteed to enhance the online educational processes? Whether or not you are, we recommend you to take a look at three examples of video streaming for e-learning done right that can get you started in this field.
Learnster is a Swedish startup aiming to provide cloud-based learning platform. It is used for corporate training by such companies as SATS, O'Learys, and Söderberg & Partners. As of now, it supports English and Swedish languages. Although there is no mobile app available yet, the platform itself is responsive, so it is displayed well on any device, be it a laptop or a smartphone.
The platform allows designing courses that are supposed to take place in traditional classrooms, online, or in a mixed learning environment. It also includes an integrated payment gateway, so educators can gather course fees within the platform.
The most significant advantage of this platform is its customization and adaptability opportunities. It allows tailoring the learning environment to every learner and getting reports on his or her progress.
If you want to try this platform for yourself, you should contact the startup and request a demo.
IBM Cloud Video
Formerly known as Ustream, IBM Cloud Video is a streaming service owned by IBM. It was launched in 2007. Its founders came up with the idea of this service when they were looking for a way to allow their friends serving in the army in Iraq to communicate with all their relatives and friends at once.
Of course, you can find streams on any topic there (even from politicians like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and artists like Tori Amos). However, we are more interested in the educational application of the platform. Educators can use Ustream for free.
It allows having a general chat for the viewers, creating private streams, sharing your desktop screen and picture-in-picture displaying. However, it is impossible for learners to share their audio or video.
LiveEdu is an e-learning platform that allows learners to watch streams, archived or uploaded videos about building software solutions using such advanced technologies as artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, etc. Launched in 2015 under the name livecoding.tv, it is now used by over a million users and provides access to more than 200,000 videos.
The platform works on the basis of the freemium business model - users can watch videos for free but with ads, or upgrade to the Pro version for $9.99+ per month (depending on the subscription plan). With a paid subscription, broadcasters can create private and group channels, make videos private. Besides, the videos themselves are stored longer and are not automatically deleted.
Video streaming is a game changer for educational processes taking place online. It allows educators to use all the perks of video content in terms of learners' engagement, content accessibility, and learning efficiency. At the same time, it builds on top of that by allowing interactivity between educators and learners, thus making the whole process learner-oriented. So, why are you hesitating? Start using video streaming for your educational purposes right away!