We are inspired by our many customers who are working in many different ways to enhance eLearning applications with the power of live video, bringing educational opportunities to broad global audiences with richer student experiences. TokBox is very pleased to to invite John Leh to author this guest blog on video use cases for eLearning. John is CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning with decades of experience with learning management systems and eLearning approaches. He is also “fiercely independent” and all opinions expressed in this article are his own. Welcome, John!
Until recently, video has been an elusive component of eLearning. While learners tend to prefer this format, it has historically been time consuming and expensive to produce, store and distribute. But now video is going mainstream, thanks to the emergence of cloud platform technology, industry standards like WebRTC, high-speed wireless networks, mobile devices and social media. In fact, over the past few years, both live video and streamed on-demand video have seen exponential growth in business and consumer markets – and learning-related applications are no exception.
Live Video for eLearning Top 10
Here are the top 10 examples from today’s Learning Management System (LMS) market where video is dramatically enhancing the learning experience:
- Virtual Online Meeting Tools
Even though virtual learning is a popular instructional delivery method, approximately 78% of the learning platforms we track do not include a native virtual meeting tool. Instead, nearly all vendors rely on integration with one or more third-party virtual online event applications. These platforms may support broad capabilities, such as coordination of breakout sessions and group assignments, but are typically not tightly integrated and branded with the LMS, which is the direction we will see next. The most popular features include live session streaming and recording capabilities for on-demand content delivery.
- Peer-to-Peer Collaboration
Also in demand are communication tools that facilitate collaborative learning, particularly peer-to-peer between students as well as student-to-instructor. This functionality can be built into a virtual meeting solution or provided as a standalone feature set to enhance any live online or blended course. It can facilitate dynamic, real-time interaction within the context of a class, or asynchronously through discussion boards and email pathways. Peer-to-peer live video communication is a natural extension of classic collaboration technology. It is particularly attractive among academic institutions and associations, where it adds value to virtual education by enhancing the quality and timeliness of student interactions.
- Support for “Paid” eLearning Customers
Many learning platforms are designed for commercial training companies and extended enterprise audiences (customers, channel partners and other non-employee learners). Learners in these settings typically pay for education, so they expect high-quality, highly responsive support. Incorporating live video into these support solutions streamlines communication while simultaneously improving the customer experience.
- Coaching, Mentoring and On-Demand “Expert” Forums
Communication tools that facilitate coaching, mentoring and “find-an-expert” scenarios are increasingly popular in learning platforms. Typically, communication with experts occurs via text messaging and offline channels, but innovative vendors are adding live video to this mix. This kind of functionality is most prevalent in modern corporate learning platforms, and to some degree, in solutions designed for association and commercial training sectors.
- On-The-Job (OJT) Training and Offline Assignments
In eLearning environments focused on skills development, video can be a powerful way to complement the learning and evaluation process. For example, if an employee must learn a series of physical steps to repair an appliance, a video clip can demonstrate the process. After reviewing the video and practicing, learners can record themselves on a mobile device as they complete the repair. Then they can upload the video to the LMS, so the instructor can easily review it and share feedback – including real-time within a live video session.
- Broadcast, Recording and Distribution of Live Classroom Training
Classic instructor-led training has long played a central role in learning strategies. Demand for in-person training continues, where live video is enhancing the experience. For example, in the healthcare industry, live streaming broadcasts of surgeries and patient consultations are making medical expertise and education much more accessible and efficient.
- Live Proctoring
Live in-person proctoring at a brick-and-mortar institution is secure but expensive. Live video proctoring – sometimes streamed from multiple camera angles — is being deployed as a viable, cost-effective alternative. Proctoring is essential in multiple environments. For example, associations and commercial training providers must validate test completions for professional certifications, licensing and other business requirements.
- Tradeshow and Virtual Event Broadcasting
Many associations, publishers and software companies rely on live tradeshows and conferences to bring constituents together for in-person networking and education. Often, attendees can earn continuing education credits for workshops, certification seminars and other learning activities at these events. Live and on-demand video broadcasts extend the conference experience to a much larger global audience. For example, in 2016, more than 160,000 people traveled to San Francisco to attend Dreamforce – the live annual conference for the Salesforce.com community. However, through live streaming and recorded on-demand video, more than 15 million people attended conference sessions, worldwide.
- Translation Services
For organizations with a global footprint – including employees, partners and/or customers – live language translation is often available as a premium learning service. Live translation can be incorporated into customer support communications or directly within learning content and consulting services. Live streaming and recorded video translations can make a tremendous difference in the learning and support experience for customers around the globe.
- Mobile Apps
Mobile apps that leverage the power and immediacy of video are in a category of their own. Theoretically, “mobile first” apps can deliver many or all of the capabilities outlined above, but in a more streamlined, coherent and memorable fashion for users who are on-the-go. Not surprisingly, many technology buyers increasingly consider fully-integrated mobile apps a priority for all learning functions.
Video is the great equalizer in the “live” vs. “online” learning debate. Video bridges this gap by enabling dynamic, real-time interactions, while providing access to compelling, durable content that can easily be integrated with traditional classroom and eLearning activities. Modern communications platforms have conquered key technical and financial hurdles, allowing much faster adoption within web and mobile eLearning applications. This means video technology now has the potential to transform learning in fundamental and far-reaching ways.
Editor’s note: See our website for more information about how the TokBox platform is powering education organizations. Developers can sign up for a free trial account and download SDKs and documentation at our Developer Center.
About the author
John Leh is CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning, LLC. Named one of the Top 20 Global eLearning Movers and Shakers of 2017, John is a fiercely independent LMS selection consultant and blogger who helps organizations develop and implement technology strategies – primarily for the extended enterprise. John’s advice is based on 20 years of industry experience, having served as a trusted LMS selection and sales adviser to more than 100 learning organizations with a total technology spend of more than $65 million. He helps organizations define their business case, identify requirements, short-list vendors, write and manage RFPs and negotiate a great deal. You can connect with John on Twitter at @JohnLeh or on LinkedIn.