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Jul 2015

4 reasons why you should use selfie videos in elearning

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Shaping the future of learning

We talk a lot about storytelling in elearning. But all too often we jump straight to fiction so we can create a story that neatly ticks our learning objective boxes and is perfectly on brand. The result? Over-engineered stories that don’t quite resonate with their audience because, let’s be honest, everyone can tell a scripted, fake conversation a mile off. We’ve all seen Made in Chelsea…

So how could you use video more effectively in your elearning? You’ve heard of interactive video, but have you ever considered using the selfie video (apparently shortened to 'velfie') which is positioned to take social media by storm this year?

What’s a selfie video?

A selfie video is an informal, unscripted video of yourself that you shoot yourself. In a learning context, it’s a way of letting your audience tell their own stories. The subject can be anything from success stories to near misses, and the ‘stars’ can be anyone who’s relevant, whether that’s peers, managers, or customers.

If you’ve got a bunch of employees that have experiences others could learn from, then selfie videos could be for you. Here are four good reasons why.

1. Videos are authentic

Picture your typical video of a CEO welcoming new starters at the start of an online induction. He or she explains the vision of the company and says how happy they are that you’re a part of that. Now, instead, picture a montage of clips from different employees telling stories about what it’s like working there. They aren’t following scripts – they’re being honest – so perhaps they say things about how much they love the people the work with, the fact that they’re off on an exciting business trip next week or how much fun it was when everyone dressed up for Halloween. Which of those makes you feel more excited about joining the company? 

And selfie videos of employees aren’t just great for creating a warm, fuzzy first impression. They could also help in these areas:

  • Implementing a new process: A video of a supervisor explaining (or, even better, demonstrating a new process) is a great practical piece of learning and shows senior people within the company leading by example.
  • Behaviour change: Hard-hitting videos of peers talking openly about how a current issue affects them might just make their peers pay attention and open their minds to change.
  • Compliance: One or two true stories of near misses with things like data security or anti-money laundering will prove that this could happen to you.

2. Selfie videos are cheap and easy

All you need is a smartphone and 10 minutes of your staff members’ valuable time. If you want to get one of those smartphone tripods that look like three-legged robotic spiders then even better, but they’re not essential. These selfies are meant to look ‘homemade’, it’s part of their charm; so as long as you’re not trying to film in the dark you don’t need to worry about expensive lights or equipment.

Free apps like Capture, which make sure you record in the right mode and let you upload directly to private YouTube channels, make the technical side of things a doddle. Editing and adding captions will take a bit more time and effort if you’re going down that route, but it’s nothing in comparison to the savings made on shooting your own raw footage.

3. They’re quick to produce

I’ve seen enough of this type of video to guarantee that it will take no longer than 15 minutes from each person. More likely five. This makes them easy to update, so if you’re worried about things changing or people leaving, you can update your course in the space of a day.

4. Video builds engagement

Giving your staff a chance to get involved and have their voices heard will undoubtedly build engagement and excitement for the training. People will chat about video in the office as it’s happening, and be keen to log in to see Sheena from marketing’s ‘five minutes of fame’. In other words, they’re extremely effective at grabbing learner’s attention.

In my experience, you’ll be inundated with people wanting to take part. If this is the case, you could consider nomination or incentive programmes to win a place as a star of the small-screen. With managers or peers nominating people from their teams who exhibit the company’s values, appearing in a video becomes a form of reward for your learners.

Learn more about video in elearning

Interested in how video could impact your elearning? Get our guide, Lights, camera, interaction for ideas about using interactive. Or see our webinar recording for tips on going Guerilla.



Shaping the future of learning

Kineo helps the world’s leading businesses improve performance through learning and technology. We’re proud of our reputation for being flexible and innovative, and of our award-winning work with clients across the world.

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