My experiences with training have put me into interactions with various people, who I've either worked with or have expressed an opinion to me. I sometimes agree and I mostly have an opinion of my own. As always, I have an opinion -- this time about the use of videos in training. Videos, I believe are a great tool to when used smartly. This said, I often see videos being used as time-fillers or as a substitute for linear, non-interactive lecture. As it turns out, a video being a linear format in itself is not really any different from a non-interactive lecture.
There are a few things I like to take care of, when running a video in class:
- do I have a set of key learnings that you expect to get out of the video?
- do students have something to observe, and watch out for when watching the video?
- do you have a debrief planned to wrap up learnings from the video?
I also find it useful to think if a video is really necessary. Could that be replaced by a low tech activity? Or by a facilitated discussion or an interactive lecture? Given my experience of training in environments with no electricity, I tend to err on the side of being low tech. It gives the trainer the flexibility to run the session regardless of the environment in which he's conducting the session. More importantly it reduces the setup requirements for your training and allows you to conveniently forget your laptop and your projector!