Blog Post

Underscore: The Power of Video in Customer Education

By
Chi Johnson
customer education thought leadership by Intellum

Despite being educational in nature, videos are vastly underutilized in customer education. In this webinar, Intellum experts detail how and why videos (live, on-demand, short form, long form, and everything in between) should be a prioritized component of an education program.

Our session kicks off with Intellum Product Manager, Tamara Jones, diving into how we define and categorize videos in Customer Education, and the benefits associated with each.

Katie Erhardt, PhD then reveals what science says about utilizing video effectively in a Customer Education program. As Intellum’s Learning Science Research Analyst, Katie breaks down tons of research and digs into the difference between regular video consumption and using video for learning!

Here’s what we cover: 

  • What is the most effective way to deliver video in an education program?
  • How does video duration affect program efficacy?
  • What does learning science say about video and knowledge retention?



This particular session had so many questions that we weren’t able to get to them all! Not to worry, Katie and Tamara have provided answers!

Lingering questions: 

  • Is including an interactive table of contents on a long-form video a good alternative if you don't have the resources to chunk a long video into shorter videos?
    KE:
    I haven’t come across any research that directly compares these two, so it’s difficult to say! But the interactive table of contents does have evidence behind it, so if that’s an option - I’d recommend utilizing it :)
  • In reference to pedagogical agents- specifically ones using AI (like, Synthesia). I'm on the fence of it being super distracting and being impressed with how fast the tech is developing.
    KE:
      Ha! The speed at which technology evolves is definitely impressive! Pedagogical agents can be super helpful, the issue is that they are ONLY helpful when optimally designed - otherwise they do cause a distraction from the material. This article is one that I think breaks down your concerns in a meaningful way through research: Lin, L., Ginns, P., Wang, T., & Zhang, P. (2020). Using a pedagogical agent to deliver conversational style instruction: What benefits can you obtain?. Computers & Education, 143.
  • When are digital or animated instructors/pedagogical agents appropriate to use over a human one?
    KE:
    Generally speaking, humans tend to be best! But, if that’s simply not an option, pedagogical agents are very helpful! The issue with pedagogical agents is that they’re only helpful when optimally designed, so it’s important to follow the research. Simply having a pedagogical agent to have one, or using one without following the research, can result in distracting learners rather than helping them. 
  • Should the presenter be including personal stories/beliefs?  I am finding them distracting
    KE:
    Depending on the material, personal stories can be very helpful and encourage learner motivation through social partnering! If the personal stories are unrelated to material, it may distract and increase cognitive load. As for beliefs, again, it depends on the material, but may foster critical thinking!
  • Lots of people want to ‘force’ learners to watch a full video (like unable to skip to later), is there research about whether it’s best to do one option or the other?
    KE:
    Depending on the length of the video, I think segmenting would be the best option here! If we truly *need* someone (or multiple people) to watch an entire video, it’s important to segment the video and, potentially, include knowledge checks, discussions, etc. at those break points! 
    TJ:
    I totally agree with Kaitlyn. Segmenting the content is super helpful to learners. Also, being able to rewind is incredibly beneficial for learners as it helps them to “re-consume” learning content they have not understood the first go-round. I’m a huge fan of allowing learners to rewind or fast forward. That’s the beauty of on-demand content. Let learners learn at their own pace. Whether that’s slowing down or speeding up.
  • Do clients like a written document to accompany the web event? Like a white paper?  Or just the PPT slides?
    KE:
    From a research perspective, providing slides to learners actually decreases learning - so if you absolutely *have to* provide a copy of slides, it’s best to provide an extremely trimmed version of the slides. I think TJ can speak more to what clients like though!
    TJ:
    In my experience, having a copy of materials discussed in the video is helpful as long as it’s not distracting. A lot of learners do best by reading and extra materials that can support your learners will be helpful. I’ve seen a lot of clients provide some sort of documentation in support of their video content to reinforce key concepts and highlight takeaways.

Webinar resources: 

Underscore is a series of monthly webinars that elevates the voices of Intellum’s greatest asset, our people. Each month, our experts will share knowledge and practical advice on essential customer education topics.

About the author

Headshot of Chi Johnson
Chi Johnson
Brand & Communications Manager
Chi has a natural ability to inject charisma into strategy, communication, thought-leadership, and branding. She tackles every facet of her work and personal life with innovation, panache, and relentlessness.
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