Engaging learners with interactive video

Matt Mason, eWorks Accredited ConsultantMatt Mason is an award winning instructional designer and the newest addition to the talented team of accredited consultants at eWorks. If you’re Interested in using interactive videos to engage your learners, Matt’s summary of the best tools available to create this powerful type of video will help you get started.

Video is a powerful learning tool…

yet it is often underutilised. Did you know that Youtube has more than one billion unique users each month and over six billion hours of video is watched during this time? The popularity of YouTube and other video sites, such as Vimeo and TED Talks, highlights how much people are engaged when consuming knowledge through video. Video provides a multi-sensory resource, where people can learn by listening, watching and sometimes reading. And now the use of video in learning is even more powerful, with the use of interactive video providing another way for users to engage and learn.

Interactive video increases the learning experience…

by providing learners with the opportunity to interact with the video content. One way that videos can be made interactive is to give learners the option to choose the small chunk of content they want to watch, then choose a path to take based on the scenario provided in the video. Quizzes can even be embedded into the video, allowing for a knowledge check to occur before progressing further. In addition to all of this, the videos play natively in modern browsers and across devices, including tablets and handhelds.

So what are the tools required to create the interactive videos?

Below is my run down on four of the best applications that I have tested so far (in no particular order):

1. Klynt

Klynt is a very straight forward, easy to use application. Users can upload a selection of their videos and, using the mind map like storyboard, can connect the videos together. Hyperlinks can then be applied to the primary screen, which links to the other videos. An example of this can be seen in the Klynt Demo. Klynt has a responsive HTML5 player that can be embedded in a browser or other applications. It also has the ability to add detailed analytics to measure the effectiveness of your video project.

Of the three applications, Klynt has the most affordable pricing option, with a free 14 day trial demo version, a lite edition for a one-time fee of $199, and the pro edition for a one-time fee of $599. Klynt also has the least amount of features, compared to the other two programs. If you are interested in checking out Klynt, you can view their range of tutorials.

2. Rapt Media

Rapt Media also has an easy to use drag-and-drop authoring platform. As with Klynt, Rapt Media allows you to link between videos, allowing users to choose their own path. A great example of this is Deloitte’s interactive recruitment video. Rapt Media has a one-click publishing function, allowing you to publish your video to multiple devices easily. Rapt Media is also cloud-based, giving you easy access to your interactive video files from any internet-enabled device.

While Rapt Media has a slicker interface and output than Klynt, it does come at a cost, with one quote I received for an entry level account starting at $550/month. There is, however, a free account from which you can start building and testing your videos. If you are interested in checking out Rapt Media, view their range of how-tos and tips.

Credits: Amphibious Landing Exercise 2013 by dvids

3. HapYak

HapYak has a large amount of features but it is not as easy to use as Klynt or Rapt Media. It also differs by linking to video files stored elsewhere, rather than uploading the video files to the application. This tool allows you to link to video files hosted on streaming sites (such as YouTube) or hosted on your own website.

It has a range of tools including the ability to build video chapters, hyperlinks in videos and the ability to draw on the video – to point out important details to learners. My favourite function of this tool is the quiz function. Multiple choice quizzes can be built into the video to pop-up over the video screen at pre-determined times, to provide an opportunity to assess understanding of the video content. The quiz results can also be integrated with an LMS. A great example of this can be seen in chapter two of Brightcove’s interactive video (nb. you will need to request a demo).

Hap Yak is also a cheaper option than Rapt Media, with a free plan (up to five interactive videos) and a professional plan of $100/month. If you are interested in checking out HapYak, view their Getting Started Guide.

4. ChatMapper

ChatMapper is an easy to use tool for creating branching dialogues and other non-linear training resources. It is built using an intuitive tree graph, with different nodes showing the branches of the dialogue. This tool can be used in the creation of interactive scenario based videos, where the users make decisions at various points. Each node can be set to branch off to another video file, or a specific time in the existing video file.

ChatMapper is a freemium product. It has a free version with limited functionality. Paid licensing options ($65 and $495) are also available. A fully functional publisher licence (incorporating 3D avatars) is also available. You can see full details of the features and pricing on the ChatMapper website.

It’s time to get started!

Interactive video is an excellent way to engage your learners and make learning enjoyable. And it can also be fun and interesting for you, the designer. So enjoy playing with interactive video, and drop me a line to let me know which application you prefer and why.

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