Advice? Choosing content / topics: slides vs. video

Feb 19, 2014

We're developing soft skills eLearning modules. We created a couple of beta versions. One was animated slide based content (with voice-over), and the other was studio "talking head" video. After polling our clients as to which one they liked better, the resounding answer was "Can you mix the two?"

So, aside from quizzes and the like--which would be slide based--what sort of things work well for slide based content (with voice-over) vs. video?

We're trying to develop a learning path. each part could be slide based, video, or a mix between the two.

1. introduction
2. pre-test
3. explain the need
4. teach the tool
5. try the tool

6. review - important points
7. evaluation

And advice or help is super appreciated!

3 Replies
Daniel Brigham

Hi, David:

When you might consider video (many of the video bullets also related to voiceover):

  • When you want to break up the way in which the info is presented
  • When you are capturing interactions between people
  • When there is a strong element of drama present
  • When you want a "guide" to walk the learner through the content. A video guide can really help create a strong social presence, though an avatar works too.
  • When the content is highly visual: e.g., automotive repair, software training, getting the perfect expression out of your favorite puppet, etc.

When you might consider text:

  • When you don't have a lot of development time
  • When the learner is likely going to need to reread the text--e,g., the setup of a scenario or an important process they are going to be quizzed on
  • When you want to sum up a section in a word or two. Text is really good for summaries, especially if you've got a narrator, and you need to quickly sum up what he said on-screen.

Let me know if that helps. --Daniel

David Lieberman

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your reply! That gives me some stuff to think about, especially the point about re-reading.

All of our slide based content will contain voice-over, too. None of it will be strictly reading...

I'm having trouble deciding on a general scheme on which part of our learning path works best as slides (with voice-over), and which works best with video...

Daniel Brigham

Video is of course expensive to produce and update. So I'd look at the content, and ask "Where do we NEED video?" For example, maybe a process is being shown or there's an interaction between people. Or maybe you want a strong social presence in a few spots.

Anyway, if you want more help, you could create a more complete content list for or you could PM it to me and I can take a quick look. --Daniel

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