• Communications

Bringing New Life to Old E-Learning Videos

It’s no secret that professional training videos can cost a pretty penny to produce. The costs of script writing, talent, animations, studio rentals, and equipment can quickly add up depending on the length and complexity of the project. A professionally-created corporate training videos cost between $500 and $10,000 per finished minute, with the average ranging from $1,500 to $3,500 per finished minute. That means a single 30-minute training video can cost upwards of $45,000 to produce — which, for most businesses, is not an insignificant sum.

Given these costs, businesses are seeking ways that will help them maximize the lifetime of their investments in video creation. For most companies, this means finding ways to distribute the training as widely as possible within their organizations. Rather than limiting the video to playback once during new employee orientations or company meetings, for example, the video is uploaded to the company’s Corporate YouTube or learning management system for employees to access on an on-demand basis. This way, employees can view training content as needed in order to refresh their memories or learn new skills they may not have caught during their initial training period.

Uploading training content for your employees to view is just the tip of the iceberg, however.

Did you know you can breathe new life into your existing training content by using your video platform’s features to create interactive learning experiences?

We were tipped off to this great blog post by Brent Schlenker of Litmos challenging the blog’s readers to turn a documentary video about Arizona reptiles that he created while in college over 20 years ago into a modern-day e-learning module. In the blog post, Brent linked to his original video below, digitized from a VHS tape and uploaded to YouTube:


Although the video wasn’t designed for educational or corporate training purposes, it’s still a great example of learning content that can be repurposed in a modern e-learning context using Panopto’s video platform.

Related Reading: How To Produce Better eLearning Videos


The Interactive Video Learning Experience with Panopto

The first step in making this video more useful for today’s learners is making the video broadly available for the people who want to watch it. In our example, we uploaded the video to Panopto’s cloud-based video content management system, where it was automatically converted into formats that can be played by any device. In corporate settings, this means that employees out in the field can access training on-demand from any device including desktop web browsers, smartphones, and tablets — regardless of operating system or form factor. For organizations that use a learning management system, videos uploaded Panopto can then be integrated and accessed seamlessly from the LMS.

Click the image below to view the video using Panopto’s Interactive Video Learning Software



Next, all content spoken during the video has been indexed and made searchable. Viewers can search for specific words or phrases and Panopto will automatically fast-forward to the exact point in the video where the words were said. Curious about how to identify the regal horned lizard? Search for “regal horn lizard” and click on the first entry to learn how this particular animal blends into its surroundings.

ADA and Section 508 compliant captioning, viewable on both desktop and mobile browsers, has also been included to support deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers.

To assess the viewer’s knowledge after watching the video, we’ve embedded a quiz at the end of the recording. Viewers can take the quiz directly from the web-based Panopto video player, without having to open a separate link in a new browser. Although we’ve used a Google Doc to host the quiz, it’s just as easy to embed a quiz using SurveyMonkey or any other web-based survey or quiz tool.

However, embedding content into Panopto videos doesn’t have to be limited to online quizzes. Additional camera angles, PDFs, website links, and more can be added into the video using Panopto. For this video, we’d recommend adding links to recent research about the reptiles discussed during the presentation so that the students keen to learn more can easily do so.

And, finally, interactive features like notes and bookmarks help learners save thoughts directly to the video — no more scribbled notes on scraps of paper or lost in notebooks amongst other pieces of information. We’ve added a couple of sample notes and bookmarks to illustrate how a student might use them to denote review points. Video notes can be used to call out specific points of the video that the learner can refer back to later, and can be saved privately or shared with others in your organization. (You must be logged into a Panopto server in order to view Notes and Bookmarks).

The Flipped Classroom Approach

Videos like the one above are particularly well-suited for flipped learning environments in which students view course content and lectures prior to attending class. In-class time is then reserved for discussion, exercises, or other activities under the guidance of the instructor. In the context of a biology course, students would watch this video prior to attending class; during class, the professor could then lead a discussion about changes to the animal habitat since the piece was originally filmed, and the impact that may have had on the reptiles featured.

The flipped approach can also be applied to corporate settings as well. Employee training, onboarding, meetings, town halls, and more can be flipped.

Ready to Panopto For Yourself?

Panopto makes it easy for organizations to leverage video technology for e-learning and communication. For more information on Panopto, or for a free trial of our video platform software, contact our team today.