Building content for a new learning management system is not exactly a walk in the park. Choosing, creating, and implementing the right elearning content takes time and resources in order to make sure that each lesson is consistent, engaging, and packed with useful information. You need learning material for everything from basic company policies to highly specialized in-line training and collecting the right content doesn’t happen overnight.
But while you’re wracking your brain for more dynamic ways to convey content, have you ever considered incorporating the trend of employee-sourced video learning? With just a few nudges in the right direction, you could go from a one-person-content-machine to floating on a tidal wave of original company-specific educational content spanning every department and employment level. The key is knowing how to ask, and how to make it easy.
Peer Learning is Always Present
Peer learning occurs when one coworker takes time out of their day to explain something to another coworker. In other words, it happens all the time in every industry. There is always on-the-job training even when official training happened in a little classroom far from where the work actually gets done. Old hands train rookies and those rookies eventually graduate to guide the next wave of new employees through “the ropes.”
However, when employees enact peer learning on their own, the time lost to the explanation is lost every single time. They can only provide training to people who are there even if their explanation was particularly good and would be worthwhile for all new department members to hear. That is where the video aspect comes in.
Let’s take a look at eight effective approaches to gathering more high-quality and highly-relevant training video material than you have ever dreamed of.
1. Make an Introductory Video to Introduce Peer Learning
You are about to ask your entire team to start making videos with mobile phones or webcams. Many will find this strange and a little embarrassing at first. Show everyone how the platform works and what a good example looks like.
It’s okay if you’re not movie-star perfect because neither will everyone else. All you have to do is point the camera at yourself and speak with confidence about what peer learning is, why you’re implementing this plan, and that it’s going to be great.
2. Take a Few ‘Test Flights’
While everyone’s getting used to the idea of making educational videos for each other, set up a workstation to do just that and take a few brave volunteers. It doesn’t matter at first what they talk about and they could recite tongue twisters or quote their favorite movies during this first part. What matters is that the team together starts to become comfortable with the technology, the platform, and the idea of making videos. Show the team how to access created videos by playing back your ‘test flights’ and everyone can have a big laugh together about whatever was said in testing.
3. Encourage Everyone to Share Something Interesting or Useful
Now that the ice is broken, encourage everyone to either take a turn at the one station or go back to their personal workstations to make at least one video about something useful or interesting to the team. This time, it needs to be work-related but don’t over-direct. This could easily be the first time some of your employees have ever pointed a web camera at themselves so privacy and decorum are surprisingly important during the introductory phase. Sit back and watch the videos appear on the platform as they are submitted. If you watch the videos right away, do so quietly without getting the team’s attention while they finish up.
After the first round, make it clear that part of the peer learning program is the belief that every employee has something to contribute to the training archive and consider scheduling time at least once every couple of weeks for employees to make at least one informative video. Not all the content will be golden, but some clips could be good enough to use for years.
4. Encourage the Team to Watch All New Videos
Now that you’ve established that there will be a steady influx of new videos, encourage everyone not only to make videos when they think of something that should be shared, but to stay current by watching any new videos that appear on the platform. While the number of videos will eventually be massive, for now, you have just introduced a new social media style bonanza of content, laughs, and deeply interesting little missives. You might be surprised just how eager, if strategically understated, your team will pick up on both making and watching each other’s videos.
5. Identify Team Experts and Encourage Them to Make Lessons
Now that you have the entire staff committed to videos and sharing their best information on the public platform, it’s time to identify your best contributors. Approach these expert resources quietly and talk to them about taking on a side-project to fully lay out a few larger concepts related to their department. Unless they want guidance, leave the first few videos up to their discretion on topic and length to see what comes out of it.
6. Suggest Long Explanations Go Into Video Lessons
Every workplace in every industry occasionally features a Speech. When the manager is fed up with getting paperwork that’s filled in wrong, when the team lead is tired of the new hire submitting assets in the wrong file type, or when the safety manager has to explain what the tape on the floor means for the 800th time. These are important speeches, ones that are often remembered by all who are there because of the frustration-fueled passion with which they are delivered.
Some of these speeches should be saved so that even if the same mistake is made again, there can simply be a video to refer to.
7. Approve videos for posting or Implement an Invisible Rating System
For our final tip, let’s acknowledge that not all videos will be equal in either quality or content. Some videos will be incredibly valuable to your training archive while others have little to offer.
There are a couple ways to ensure that the most valuable videos get seen. One way is to create a policy that content has to be approved by the manager before it is published for all to watch. Depending on the amount of submitted videos, this could become very time consuming. So, a more hands-off solution would be to put this into the employee’s hands. To promote organization of content, let team members add topic tags to help each other find the right video for a training task. To help ensure the quality, consider a subtle rating system that prioritizes videos watched more often while quietly shuffling less popular (and likely lower quality) videos to the bottom without hurting anyone’s feelings.
Peer to peer learning is a powerful and effective strategy for improving employee knowledge and efficiency. With the prevalence of tools like the LMS, that knowledge can and should now be recorded and made available for all employees. The other great side effect of this employee-sourced video training is that it takes some of the pressure off of the LMS administrators to create all of that content.
If you start receiving employee-sourced training videos and realize that you could use some additional help creating those modules, feel free to contact us at Knowledge Anywhere and inquire about our Course Development services.
Knowledge Anywhere specializes in providing organizations with a variety of elearning solutions, such as their Learning Management System, Virtual Reality Training solutions, and Course Development services. They have also created elearning tools such as QuickQuiz, an elearning Slack App, and SCORMify, an app that turns videos and documents into SCORM compliant courses.