Wednesday, September 10, 2014


This summer I’ve put the smoker on my backyard deck to good use.  I’ve made beef brisket, chicken, spare ribs and even grilled fish with it.  We’ve enjoyed the variety of meat and side dishes that go with each.  Summer barbecue season is thoroughly enjoyable. There are as many forms of barbecue as there are people who make Barbecue.  You can even spell it multiple ways depending on where you live.  Barbecue, barbeque or simply BBQ.  Which is the right way to BBQ? What meat makes the best BBQ? Do you use sauce or rub, and if you use sauce is it vinegar based or catsup – or it is ketchup – based?  When people ask me what is the best I often answer – it depends on what you like.

Come to think of it, this sounds a lot like the online learning community. Greg, what is the best way to _____?  If you’ve read my blogs you know my answer.  “Well, it depends on many things including what you need to accomplish.” Let’s take the case of video learning.

What is video learning anyway? 

Let’s look at what the experts say.

Jadin, Gruber and Batinic say that “Video-based e-lectures offer interactive learning and more vivid and personalized forms of self-regulated learning.” Jadin, T., Gruber, A., & Batinic, B. (2009). Learning with E-lectures: The Meaning of Learning Strategies. Educational Technology & Society, 12 (3), 282–288.  Bill Tucker in his article on Flipped Classrooms writes “Videos of lectures viewed prior to class make up what is now being coined the ‘Flipped Classroom.’  Classroom time now becomes the place to work through problems, advance concepts, and engage in collaborative learning. Most importantly, all aspects of instruction can be rethought to best maximize the scarcest learning resource—time. Flipped classroom teachers almost universally agree that it’s not the instructional videos on their own, but how they are integrated into an overall approach, that makes the difference.”  By Bill Tucker Winter 2012

Does it work?

In the Jadin, Gruber and Batinic led study, 28 participants learned from two forms of video based learning; 1) Multimodal - a video-based e-lecture with synchronized written transcript of oral presentation, or 2) Unimodal, an e-lecture without the transcript. Learners could be classified as “repeaters”, whose primary focus was on the lectured material, or as “surfers,” who spent less time on the lecture itself and instead used the optional links. Study results showed that the learning outcomes were significantly influenced by learner strategy (with repeaters outperforming surfers), but not by presentation modality (with or without written text).”

The article in Education Next states “Flipped classroom teachers almost universally agree that it’s not the instructional videos on their own, but how they are integrated into an overall approach, that makes the difference. In his classes, Bergmann says, students can’t just “watch the video and be done with it.” He checks their notes and requires each student to come to class with a question. And, while he says it takes a little while for students to get used to the system, as the year progresses he sees them asking better questions and thinking more deeply about the content. After flipping his classroom, Bergmann says he can more easily query individual students, probe for misconceptions around scientific concepts, and clear up incorrect notions.”

A follow-up article in Education Next from the next summer states “Moving the delivery of basic content instruction online gives students the opportunity to hit rewind and view again a section they don’t understand or fast-forward through material they have already mastered. Students decide what to watch and when, which, theoretically at least, gives them greater ownership over their learning.”  By Michel Horn Summer 2013

Are others using video learning successfully?  One only needs to take a look at what the following organizations are doing to understand the power of video learning: Khan Academy, TED Talks,, YouTube, Howto, DIY Network, VideoScribe, etc….

What is the “best way” to use video learning?

Once again, what do you want to accomplish?  You can deliver a simple video of a lecture, a slideshow synchronized with audio, screen captures, screen captures with an opportunity to enter in your own information, a video with an opportunity to answer questions, or a video with a button that timestamps when you notice something and then comment on it.

Video learning can be used for trainings such as flipped classroom use, soft skills training, computer data entry or web application usage training, or customer service engagement training.  The list can easily be expanded as your needs dictate.

How can Raptivity help you?

Raptivity offers two major packs with over 190 interactions – Raptivity Essential and Raptivity Suite.  Essential is the basic package and contains three video based interactions, while Suite and its associated packs; offer many more video learning interactions providing different modalities - unimodal and multimodal.  All packs offer options utilizing different learning strategies (repeat and surfer) for their learning experience. Depending on the pack you have or choose, many of the video learning interactions can contain one or more of the following capabilities:

  • The video player gives the learner control over play, pause, forward, rewind, and volume options.  Often you can have multiple videos available for playing presented for selection as thumbnails, in cubes, or embedded within other interactions.

  • Captioning can be at either the bottom of the video screen area in a scrolling ticker format or in different segments at the top or bottom of the screen.

  • You can synchronize text with videos in the form of bullets or longer text blocks.

  • Video interactions can be set up to automatically pause when textual or audio content becomes viewable.  This gives the learner the ability to reflect upon the presentation while reading or listening to the textual content.

  • Learners can actively interact with a video using questions and feedback that appear during breaks in a video presentation.

  • Additional navigation links (quick links) to selected areas (tags) within a video can be added in addition to the normal video player buttons.

Having a collection of video learning interactions available to you through Raptivity Essential or Suite enables you to effectively reach your learners in different and engaging ways, thereby increasing the educational benefit of your output.  Remember, there is no programming needed - just selection of options within the framework of Raptivity.

Note: This blog has been posted by Raptivity Marketing Team on behalf of Greg Gardner.