Why Use Instructor-Led Videos in e-Learning?

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Connecting with e-Learning materials can be tricky. They are a fantastic way to up-skill yourself without great cost, and they allow you to learn in the comfort of an environment you know, at your own pace. Yet, without face-to-face instruction, you miss out on a lot of the advantages that come with in-person learning, including the ability to interact with a knowledgeable peer.

Instructor-led video training can be a great way to restore some of this personalization to the learning experience.

What is Instructor-Led Learning?

Classically, instructor-led learning means a course or training delivered using a real human to present it. Think anything from actual face-to-face learning through virtual training. It’s been synonymous with synchronous learning, or learning that occurs in real-time, due to the need for an instructor to present live.

However, with the smart use of artificial intelligence advancements and an explainer video company, many modern learning institutions are replicating the benefits of instructor-led learning for on-demand courses, too.

Why People Matter to the Learning Experience

In the communication arena, both speech and reading/writing words are very late to the table on the evolutionary scale. Humans (and other animals) were communicating wants, needs, new ideas and thoughts, and so on long before we learned to speak- and written communication followed millennia later.

While listening and reading are now two key learning tools, we haven’t lost that deep level of engagement with non-verbal communication. A lot of how we perceive messages and learn hinges on who delivers them, and how. Just think of the classic classroom situation in a school. If you have a dull, disinterested instructor who clearly hates children and barely seems to like the subject matter, you’ll find a classroom of struggling students. However, the very same curriculum presented by an active, engaged instructor who loves the subject and is willing to interact with the learners, pushing them to be their best and assisting them when they struggle, will have very different results.

Likewise, if you encounter a stranger at a bus stop at night who asks for the time, you’ll likely feel at ease and want to help them if they approach gently, have a genuine and open face, and maintain a polite distance. If they’re instead trying to get closer, touch you, and are wearing a shifty expression, you’ll back off fast, expecting a bad experience.

As the old saying goes, it’s not always what you say, but how you say it- and much of that critical ‘how’ is delivered through non-verbal communication.

What Counts as Non-Verbal Communication in Learning?

Simply put, non-verbal learning cues and communication in the learning environment include:

  • The tone of voice and level of engagement the instructor shows
  • Their facial expressions
  • Their interest in interaction with the student, and ability to find the right way to explain a concept to people who learn in different styles

These aspects are easy to come by with a (good) live instructor in front of you. When we look at e-Learning, however, even a live streamed video puts a barrier between these vital non-spoken communication cues. This can make it harder for learners to engage with the content, because it’s harder to engage with a very important aspect of how we communicate.

And this is also why many other great e-Learning resources can fail. Engaging diagrams, interactive videos, and well-thought-out written material are all great supplements to the learning experience, but they don’t quite have the same ‘magic’ as engaging with a human who loves the material.

What Benefits Do People See in Instructor-Led Learning?

The single biggest benefit to instructor-led learning has always been the ability to tailor the learning material to the students present. The instructor can answer specific questions, take immediate feedback and adjust the teaching plan accordingly, and even stimulate the incorporation of hands-on exercises and learning to broaden the accessibility of the course through different learning styles. Not everyone learns well from a voice alone. Some people learn through visuals, while others need to hear, touch, write, or read to properly assimilate facts.

Of course, wherever there’s humans, there’s the ability to mingle and network, helping students build a better bond with the coursework, people in the field, and each other, too. In turn, this helps the format carry a lot more perceived value with students themselves. On the course provider’s side, they can keep costs lower than running in-person classes, but still provide quality tuition and great course outcomes.

Lastly, and often underestimated in discussions, having a ‘face’ to the course helps re-introduce a human element to the course structure. Students can respond to non-verbal communication, fostering a deeper connection with the material and the presentation.

What Courses Suit Instructor-Led Learning?

Any course can benefit from a human face, but it’s particularly effective for cases where:

  • Hands-on learning is favored
  • The material is complex or difficult
  • Students are starting from a low knowledge point and need to upskill quickly
  • Face-to-face learning or networking has particular value
  • Personalization or extra assistance is of great importance.

Meeting the challenges of online learning has been tough as more and more learning opportunities have gone online. While e-Learning is a great equalizer, allowing students to access knowledge no matter where they are in the world or what their personal circumstances may be, it does lack a human touch that’s hard to replicate outside of a traditional classroom environment. 

Luckily, with advances in digital technology, and creative, holistic solutions to the issue, instructor-led learning can re-humanize the online learning experience, deepen the learner’s appreciation for the subject, and ensure a happier learning environment all-around. If you’ve struggled to engage with e-learning courses before, this could be the perfect balance you’ve been looking for.

About the Author

Tevai is good at two things: creating compelling content through her work at Crystal Zebra Writing Solutions, and consuming caffeine. When not crafting copy that drives her client’s campaigns, she can be found enjoying the world with her Lhasa Apsos.