interactive video with learning touch screen
ATD Blog

5 Ways Interactive Video Can Supercharge Your Learning

Friday, October 8, 2021

There’s been a lot of talk about interactive video for learning during recent years. We’ve seen more and more people, from large organizations to small ones, adopt branching scenarios and gamification using video.

At Near-Life, we’ve seen firsthand how sectors as disparate as healthcare, policing, banking, and retail have been reaping the benefits of interactive video.

Whether it’s using standard filmed content, interactive 360 videos, or interactive animations made using a tool such as Vyond, the keyword is interactive. Users should be able to click directly on a video to generate some sort of outcome. Sometimes that may be a simple pop-up; but more often than not, the interaction will bring up a new video in a branching scenario.

So, how can those elements supercharge your learning? You can:

Make content more immersive and engaging. This is the obvious win, and it’s high on the list of reasons why using interactive video makes sense. Immersive learning works.

Despite the exponential growth of e-learning during the last two decades and the innovation that has occurred, there is still a huge swathe of digital content that is just, well, boring. By allowing learners to interact with video and by making them participants (not just recipients), knowledge retention is greatly improved and the experience is more enjoyable. Research from MIT and others shows that people prefer interactive approaches to learning. In addition, a study from OFCOM in the UK showed that immersive learning with VR can improve knowledge retention by an incredible 90 percent.


Deliver simulations at scale. We know some people learn better by doing, which is known as experiential learning. However, simulations come with cost and time challenges. You need everyone in one place at the same time, and you often need specialist collaborators like actors.

Simulation is effective but often tends to be a one-shot deal; however, with interactive video, or the even-more immersive interactive 360 video, people can respond to realistic situations by making choices that allow them to see how their actions influence events. You get the same in-the-moment immersion as you would with a simulation, but you can fail safely and repeat the experience. Most importantly, people anywhere in the world can participate at any time.

Interactive video is a great solution for organizations that want to deliver realistic simulations at scale. At Near-Life, we were lucky enough to support an award-winning project from the Norwegian Refugee Council that gave international aid workers access to a realistic simulation exercise that otherwise simply wouldn’t have been possible.


Track and measure behavior. Any organization using video for learning will likely already know it’s a great medium; however, learning designers and learning strategists tracking and measuring behavior can’t learn much else that may help them better understand their learners or the content they themselves are creating. The beauty of interactive video is that you can track a learner’s interactions. This means you can develop a comprehensive picture of how people are responding to the learning. This potentially is invaluable to any organization serious about measuring and tracking what they do.

Provide learner-specific feedback. If you’re able to track how a user interacts using interactive video, then you can provide tailored feedback that correlates to the choices and interactions that a learner has made. I know through some of the work we’ve supported at Near-Life, content designers have created detailed behavioral pathways where learners receive contextualized feedback depending on the choices they make. It can be a powerful tool for learning professionals who want to ensure they’ve tailored learning for the individual.

Use interactive video for onboarding. Whether you see onboarding as a pure HR function or it is managed by the learning team, it is something most medium- to large-sized organizations grapple with. Interactive video for onboarding is a neat solution that is cost effective and helps standardize your organization’s approach, which is especially crucial for those with international teams where there is a desire to foster a common culture. And it needn’t be expensive. Tools like Vyond, or even PowerPoint or Canva, can be used as a base for your interactive content, either as stand-alone interactive videos or in combination with simple, filmed video clips and interviews. It can save time and money as well as deliver better results and a more connected workforce.

So, there you have it, five ways in which interactive video can supercharge learning. Once you go interactive, the sky’s the limit in terms of the potential applications.

About the Author

Mike Todd is founder and CEO of Near-Life, the first interactive video and VR authoring tool for everyone. Mike previously worked in film and digital content for the likes of ESPN, PBS, BBC and others. He produced and directed Hulu’s first ever documentary of the Month. Then he launched Near-Life in 2015 to bring a new approach to immersive learning. Near-Life is now a multiple award-winning company, working at the intersection of creativity and technology, that has supported organizations ranging from the World Health Organization, USAID, WalMart, AbbVie and countless others.

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