One of the greatest aspects of the growth of the modern internet has been the democratization of vast amounts of knowledge. If you’re interested in learning how to complete simple tasks, you can bet there’s a “how to” article out there that will meet your needs.
On the other hand, if you want to study collegiate-level materials with some of the world’s top professors, you can find many of these virtual college classes available through programs like Coursera and iTunesU or even through more traditional higher education institutions.
Of course, when it comes to online training, the way in which you convey information matters a great deal. While it’s easy to write up and distribute text-based articles, the unfortunate reality is that explaining complex subjects in this manner isn’t always an effective approach.
To understand why, think back on how you were taught difficult subjects in high school and college. While you certainly had printed textbooks detailing these concepts, you also had teachers and professors who would stand up in front of you to convey this same information in a visual and auditory manner. Really, if you thought calculus and organic chemistry were challenging subjects – just imagine how difficult it would have been to teach yourself these topics using text alone!
This necessary combination of both visual and auditory learning is what makes whiteboard videos so successful as a teaching tool. Not only does the combination of these two learning styles account for approximately 94% of how people learn, messages delivered in this way benefit from 65% retention – which is much higher than disseminating content via audio or text cues alone.
Another aspect that makes whiteboard videos incredibly effective is the use of storytelling to engage viewers and enhance message delivery and retention.
Think back on your high school days again for a moment. Chances are you can recall both good teachers and bad teachers. For most former students, the bad teachers were the ones who droned on monotonously at the front of the classroom, while the good ones were the teachers who put the effort into making students feel as if they were part of an ongoing story.
In addition to making use of these basic psychological principles, there are a number of other techniques that can be adopted to make whiteboard videos even more effective as learning tools.
In some instances, the use of different highlight color markers can draw attention to key instruction points, making it possible to specify the pieces of information that you want your audience to retain.
As an example, if you’re using whiteboard videos to conduct safety training sessions for manufacturing workers, a red highlighter could be used to illustrate important safety concerns that staff members need to remember while on the floor.
Alternatively, environmental advocacy groups may find the use of a green highlight color to be useful in terms of leveraging existing mental associations between the color green and environmental issues to share their concepts more effectively.
Example 1: The Kahn Academ has created thousands courses on everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history. They are on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace and is creating an effective library of learning for a global classroom. Their use of ‘digital’ scribing (tablet and software instead of hand-drawn) strips down the gloss and gets right to the heart of the subject.
Example 2: Our own example of a great educational video is the video we did for Susan Weinschenk and for her book 100 Things Every Presenter Should Know About People. Here she outlines the top 5 things in a solid framework that delivers a solid chunk of applicable information to her audience.