Are you looking for a library of corporate training videos to complement the training you create in-house? Not all videos are created equal. And not all vendors offer the same services and support. How do you compare?
- Can you preview courses without a trial? Many of our competitors have very few videos on their website. They require you to sign up for a trial. Our video library features full courses in ten categories you can view without filling out a form.
- Is a credit card required for your free trial? Many vendors require a credit card just to see their training videos. You have to wonder why do they hide them from you? Or, are they just trying to dupe you into an auto-renew? No credit card required with ej4.
- How many videos are included in the library? Will you be overwhelmed searching through thousands and thousands of courses to create your learning paths? Our library includes just enough.
- Is the search functionality sophisticated and user-friendly? Can you easily find the courses and topics you need? Or, do you have to scroll and scroll and scroll? Our search understands context and is intuitive.
- Beyond the search functionality, is the content curated? How is the content organized? Topics, competency-based learning tracks? Our content is organized by both.
- Does the library include all of your required topics to address your pain points? You may need multiple vendors for your corporate training videos depending on your need of specialized topics or industry-specific content.
- Is support from a learning consultant included or at an extra fee? Does this include implementation and support throughout the entire contract? With ej4, support is included at no extra charge.
One of our most popular blog posts “How to Buy eLearning Content for Your LMS (And Not Regret It Later)” goes into much more detail.
Compare the Videos
This article is really about comparing the videos. You will be putting this training content in front of your learners on a regular basis. How can you be sure you are choosing the library that is the best fit? That teaches the lessons and skills you need? That your employees will actually make the time to watch? Hopefully, this list will be a helpful resource.
1. Do a Side-by-Side Comparison
Choose a series that you plan to assign to a large group of employees like anti-harassment. Choose a topic that is in your “must-have” list. Watch the videos and simply see which you like best. There may be a clear winner right away.
- Which videos hold your attention?
- Which delivers the key learning points in an engaging way?
- Did you actually enjoy the videos?
- Were they too long? Too short?
- Could you pass the exam?
2. Consider the Video Styles
Different vendors produce their employee training videos in different styles and you need to decide which is the best fit for your learners and your learning environment. As you evaluate the various styles, consider the time and effort that goes into each video with scripting, graphics, visuals, music, and editing. These will factor into the value and the cost. I would also think about your learning culture and if the video style is a fit.
Live presenter, little editing. Some of our competitors feature a live presenter talking to the camera, almost like a lecture in school. The presenter might be sitting at a desk or standing on the set. It is likely shot with one camera and has very little editing. It’s an easy style of video to create. Write a script, set up the camera, lighting, and microphone and shoot. Very cost-effective.
These videos can “check the box” and cover the content you need pretty easily. The question is how effective are they? Are they engaging? Do they change behavior? What about your visual learners who need on-screen graphics to reinforce the learning points?
Live presenter, minimal graphics. This style is a mild upgrade from the first. Adding in graphics requires a designer and video editing. It better supports your visual learners and is more engaging for many viewers. Be sure to view the graphics with some scrutiny. Are they simply PowerPoint slides with bullet points? Or are they adding value to the lessons in the video?
Live presenter, newsroom-style. One of our competitors in particular frequently uses this style. The set has a very high-tech, futuristic energy. It is 100% branded with the competitor’s name, logo, and colors. The content is explained in an interview-style with some accompanying graphics. These videos can be pretty interesting, however, the look and feel are the same from topic to topic. If the video was muted, it would be hard to tell the difference.
Live role-play. Videos featuring role-play scenarios with actors can be helpful to explain real-life situations and bring the learning point to life. Some can be awkward and uncomfortable. Others sound robotic and mechanical. The casting of actors who your learners will find relatable is important along with a script with real-life language that connects with your learners.
Diverse, live presenters and thoughtful, creative graphics. This is ej4’s sweet spot. We work to offer diversity with our presenters to appeal to a diverse workforce. Their delivery must be engaging and hold your attention. Try closing your eyes and listen to a video. Is script and the presenter engaging enough to listen to?
We also spend a lot of time thinking about the lessons we are teaching and what visuals and graphics can tell that story or illustrate a point. For example, our series on understanding harassment features robots because harassment is more about control and power than sex. For our series on cybersecurity, we created a group of Dick Tracy-like cartoon villains to represent the different types of malware.
Animated with no live presenter. Companies use programs like Adobe Captivate, Camtasia, GoAnimate, etc. to create animated eLearning courses. These may have traditional video embedded, show screen captures, and desktop demos.
3. Compare the Approach to Microlearning
Microlearning is a popular buzzword in the industry and different vendors interpret this term in different ways, so be aware. With ej4, our videos average 7:12 minutes long. Each course has a title slide, beginning, middle, and end. It teaches a complete thought with designated learning points. If the course is part of a series, we suggest a specific order in which they are taken but they also can stand alone.
We’ve seen some of our competitors take an hour-long video and divide it into smaller chapters and call this microlearning. I guess that depends on your definition of what microlearning is. Yes, a smaller chapter is short-form but does it make sense out of context of the full hour of content? If you use the search functionality in the LMS and come upon one of those 5-minute chapters in the middle of the hour-long series, does it make sense?
4. Evaluate the Age of the Videos
Can you tell how old the content is based on the clothing or hairstyle of the presenter? Is the content current? Nowadays, your corporate training videos on harassment require special versions for the states of California, Connecticut, Maine, New York City, and New York State (Additionally, Illinois as of January 2020). If they don’t include those versions, it’s not fresh and it’s not current.
Some companies require employees to watch the same program year-after-year. If it is boring and outdated, some learners will skip to the exam without watching the video. This was a pain point we solved for a new client.
Ultimately your decision will be made on a host of factors about the vendor, videos, support, pricing, and technology and how they fit with your learning ecosystem. You may find these other resources helpful as well:
- Training videos are just one element in your Learning Ecosystem. Learn more about the full Learning Ecosystem in our eBook.
- When choosing a partner for off-the-shelf training content, it should align with your overall strategy. Read more in our eBook on evaluating your learning strategy.
- Read one of our most popular blog posts that will give you tips for buying eLearning content for your LMS.
- See how we stack up with the competition by comparing eLearning providers.