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Videolessons: When is the time to turn off the camera?

Is it really necessary to keep the camera on all the time, or is it better to turn it off for more effective training?

The current situation of social distancing has made video the only form of live interaction in remote working relationships. Online training has also seen an exponential increase in videolessons both in asynchronous mode, i.e. in the form of content recorded and used by users when they need it, and in synchronous mode, i.e. during webinars or virtual classes. But is it really necessary to keep the camera on all the time, and above all the beneficiaries of the course do not risk distraction? Here are some useful tips to make the best use of the videos during online courses in asynchronous and synchronous mode

Asynchronous video lessons: how to avoid distractions

To create video lessons in asynchronous mode you should never forget that video is in some ways a passive experience. The trainer records a video and when the beneficiaries of the course use it they do not have the possibility to interact live with him/her. This implies that in order to make the asynchronous video lessons effective and not to lose the student it is necessary:

  • Keep the video short so that the attention drops after 5 minutes of passive viewing.
  • Take care of the quality of the video, starting with audio and images, to provide meaningful content
  • Take care of the script to give the video a natural and smooth touch, using subtitles to ensure everyone's participation
  • Choose an engaging narrative voice
  • Intersperse the short videos with quizzes to check the understanding of the beneficiaries

Synchronous video lessons: how to manage the use of the camera in webinars and virtual classes?

In synchronous training, the trainer and the beneficiaries meet through a live webinar or virtual classroom, accessing via their own LMS, learning management system, or videoconferencing software. Since it is easy to get distracted by the course content and get lost to observe colleagues, it is important that the trainer defines the rules of the meeting in advance. For an effective synchronous videolesson it is necessary:

  • Decide who and when the camera can be activated. For example, you can decide that only the trainer activates the video, while the participants do it when they speak.
  • Deactivate microphones and participants' chat. This prevents other forms of distraction when the cameras are switched off.
  • Use different types of video for eLearning. In addition to the camera aimed at the trainer you can use screen shares, YouTube videos or videos already recorded, presentations, virtual whiteboards.
  • Take care of the quality of the videoconference with a stable connection, impeccable audio and lighting.
  • Provide discussion sessions where participants can have their say in plenary session or divided into working groups.

Read also " Tips for a smooth videoconference

Video lessons: how to make them effective

The trend towards videos as training tools continues to increase exponentially. In order to make videos effective, both in synchronous and asynchronous training, it should not be forgotten that this is a passive learning mode in some senses for the beneficiaries. To make video training effective, it is important to eliminate any possible element of distraction, from the low quality of images and audio, to unwanted comments in the background during a webinar, from the lighting of the trainer's room to the rhythm of the narration. Besides taking care of the quality and choosing the length of the videos, it is important to ensure the variety and especially the participation of the beneficiaries with quizzes and live discussions.

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