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ATD Blog

What Are the Best Reasons to Use Video for Learning

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Most organizations are scaling up their use of video for talent development programs. Eighty-six percent increased the amount of learning video they made available over the last five years, and 91 percent plan to increase it during the next five years. That’s according to the Association for Talent Development’s new research report Video for Learning: Engaging, Reaching, and Influencing, which, among other topics, also examined what influences high-performing organizations to use learning video in their TD programs.

To uncover the top drivers overall, the research asked all 312 of its participants, each from a unique organization, to select up to five drivers from a list of 14. The three selected most frequently—all chosen by more than half of participants—were the need to deliver training to geographically dispersed employees, the need to deliver a consistent message to learners across the organization, and meeting demand for just-in-time learning. The next two—meeting demand for more engaging learning and less employee time available for instructor-led training—were chosen by just fewer than half of participants.

Next, the research compared the responses of participants from high-performing organizations (those who were doing well across several key business functions and had effective TD functions) to those of participants from other organizations. More specifically, it used statistical testing to identify significant differences, or differences that would be expected to appear again if the study were repeated, in what these high performers were saying and doing.

The tests unveiled two key findings concerning the factors that motivate organizations to use learning video. First, organizations that listed the need to meet demand for just-in-time learning as one of their top drivers were significantly more likely to be high performers. Second, although only 37 percent of organizations listed a desire to demonstrate hands-on tasks and skills among their top drivers, those that did were also significantly more likely to be high performers.


Two learning content areas in which video demonstrations can be especially valuable are interpersonal skills, such as communication and collaboration, and leadership and management development. Organizations that used video for these content areas were significantly more likely to be high performers, and as Tracy Mensching, curriculum and content director at Nusenda Credit Union, advised in the report, video serves as a powerful tool for depicting expected behaviors in these areas.

“You can provide examples who are good at these skills and vice versa,” Menschin said. For instance, you can show “implicit aspects of leadership” that are not expressly management, such as empathy, kindness, and having difficult conversations, as well as “the nonverbal aspects of these conversations.”

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About the Author

Alex Moore is a junior research analyst for the Association for Talent Development. Alex returned to ATD in 2019 after spending a year living and working in Chile. Prior to moving abroad, Alex was a writer/editor for ATD working on TD magazine, a research coordinator at ATD, and a customer care advocate at ATD. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 with a B.A. in English.

1 Comment
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Great article. I've always seen the real value of virtual instructor led training as being the ability for the participants to ask questions of the instructor. We show it, they try it, then we discuss. Think technical training. What suggestions might you have to provide that kind of experience via video learning?
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