ATD Blog

Toolbox Tip: Trade In Your Bullet Points for Interactive Video

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Not that long ago, video production was so costly and time-consuming that most e-learning designers didn’t include video in courses. With today’s tools, though, it’s easier than ever to work with video. You can shoot decent videos using your smartphone or an inexpensive HD camera, and then edit them with any number of free or low-cost tools, meeting the needs of even the smallest of budgets.

The trick with video is to use it without sacrificing the rapid element of your rapid development strategy. One quick and easy way to get started with adding videos to your courses is to use them as a more interesting and engaging replacement to information presented via bullet points.

Here are a couple of creative examples that illustrate how the right kind of video adds media-rich interactivity to courses without piling on to your production time.

Example: learning to cook

Notice how the bullet point information is integrated directly into the video. Watch the video and notice how you can learn more by clicking any of the buttons that appear throughout.


Click here to view the e-learning example

The key is to find topics that work well with this technique and are easy to record. Video that shows how to work on a machine or how to operate a piece of equipment works well, for instance. Role-playing scenarios are also good candidates for video.

Example: using the keurig brewer


Here is an example of how a Keurig coffee machine’s instructions might look in a typical e-learning course.



And here’s the same information presented as a video that illustrates what’s happening and gives the learner the option to display additional information with just the click of a button. Learners can opt to ignore the buttons and continue with the course uninterrupted. This is a great way to move from the one-size-fits-all delivery method of the bullet point slide to the personalized method that is possible with the interactive video.



Click here to view the e-learning example

Example: adding video to e-learning

The demo below reviews how to use video for building courses that stand out from the average slide, which is typically (and painfully) oversaturated with bullet points and text. Using video, you can deliver a customized experience to learners: Less knowledgeable learners can click on the interactive buttons to get the details they need, while others can just watch the video and avoid repeating the things they already know. And, with the tools available today, it’s super quick and easy to create interactive videos.


This won’t work for every course, but it’s a great way to start incorporating video into your e-learning projects. So, go ahead and give it a try. You’ll be glad you did, and your learners will love you for it!

If you’d like to try this yourself but don’t have Articulate Storyline, you can grab a fully functional, free 30-day trial.

About the Author

Mike Taylor is a community manager for Articulate. He has lifelong passion for learning, and more than 15 years of experience developing and deploying a wide variety of learning strategies and technologies. He holds an M.B.A. from Ohio University and a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from San Diego State University.

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