How to Use Different Types of Video in Online Training Courses

From simple screencast recordings to beautiful animated videos, you can find the type of video that fits best with your brand and learning goals.

No matter how you slice it, videos now are considered one of the most valuable and practical resources in eLearning and online training.

With attention spans getting shorter by the day, video excels at cutting down complicated, boring, or abstract concepts into easy-to-digest chunks of information. All while delivering it in the most engaging, immersive, and entertaining ways.

From simple do-it-yourself (DIY) screencast videos to gorgeous animated videos developed by professional video production companies, the creative possibilities are endless. All you need to know is how to effectively use the medium to fit your company’s purposes and employee needs.

So let’s look at some of the best ways you can implement video in your training course to provide a better, more compelling learning experience.

Types of Video to Use in Training Courses

One of the best things about video content is how versatile and adaptable it is. However, depending on the topic you want to cover and your target audience, some styles will be better than others.

Read on to learn how to use video in different training scenarios. For the sake of clarity, I’ve divided them into two main categories: live-action videos and animated videos.

Live-Action Videos

These are great when you want to add a “human touch” to the experience. This makes it easier for the audience to trust and connect with the message you want to convey.

Some of the most common live-action videos you can develop for your online courses include:

1. Talking Head Videos

We human beings are naturally attracted to other people’s faces because they show emotions and expressions that are familiar to us. Talking head or interview-like videos can be engaging and, above all, convincing—doubly so when they feature a subject matter expert or an authority figure within your organization.

So you can use them to convey best practices on how to interact with customers, pass on expert advice on industry-related topics, or have other employees share work experiences and lessons learned with them. They also can send a nice message to boost employee confidence. Doing so will help you improve the reception rates and effectiveness of your learning course.


2. Screencast Videos

If anything, screencast videos—a type of tutorial video—can be didactic as a learning tool because they are simple, clear, and very easy-to-follow. Simply put, these videos are based around recording a computer’s screen and usually feature a narrator. They are perfect for walking people through all the steps necessary to accomplish a process or explain the ins and outs of a piece of software.

For example, business owners can implement screencast videos on their onboarding processes to teach new employees how to manage tasks internally, such as using the computer system, scheduling meetings, making conference calls, and so on.


  1. Demonstration Video

When it comes to training employees, one of the most important things you should teach them is how your product or service actually works—even more so if they involve tricky features or complex procedures.

A product or service demonstration video can help to show your staff in detail what your product does in action, especially to the sales and customer support teams. With this type of training, you’ll make sure they can effectively communicate your product’s value proposition to prospects or quickly solve your clients’ most common doubts.


Animated Videos

Animation is versatile, fun, and appealing. If you’re creative enough, there’s no actual limit on how you can get your video’s message across. Here’s how you can use it to make your training process more memorable and impactful:

1. Character Animated Videos

Character animated videos combine the appeal of solid storytelling with meaningful and gorgeous visual design.

Whether you use it for educational purposes or not, character animation can make your video’s message more relatable, empathetic, and human—something that’ll ultimately help you add personality to your course and more easily create an emotional connection with the audience.

For example, you can develop fun, animated company culture videos to teach your employees everything about your brand’s story and core values. Or use character animation to cover more delicate but essential issues, such as company regulations on sexual harassment or corporate bullying.


2. Whiteboard Animation Videos

Whiteboard videos stand today as one of the most powerful tools to share knowledge. Educative in nature, the style recreates someone writing on a whiteboard, using seemingly drawn lines that “come alive” with animation.

What’s so great about whiteboard animation videos is that they’re uniquely created to synthesize a large amount of information and deliver it in the most effective way—combining educational content with a super entertaining approach.

So when you need to share a lot of important information, using these videos can help you enhance the experience and reduce the cognitive load for the viewer. For example, when you want to explain role-specific knowledge to employees or train your staff on your company’s new policies.


3. Motion Graphics Videos

In a nutshell, motion graphic videos are like graphic design in motion. They combine sound, text, symbols, charts, text, and animation to explain something.

A motion graphics video is a type of explainer video that’s mostly used to convey hard data and written information in short, memorable, and understandable ways. This turns what’s abstract, flat, or boring into something simple, engaging, and enjoyable.

For example, developing a series of short motion graphics to address common questions related to your product or company can help your staff be more productive. Whenever they have a question, they can access those videos and quickly find the answer.


4. How-To Videos

How-to videos are designed to help answer specific questions and quickly instruct people to do something they didn’t know before. Such videos go over all the steps needed to accomplish the process or task in a straightforward, clear, and concise manner.

From teaching compliance and safety to giving new hires a standard “know-how” to get the basics right, many businesses include them in their training programs because they are super educational, dynamic, and engaging.


That’s a Wrap

Solid training programs translate into motivated and more productive employees, in part because they can help them understand your company as a whole and what’s expected of their positions.

Of the many different options available to educate employees, video stands as the most engaging and versatile. From simple screencast recordings to beautiful animated videos, you can find the type of video that fits best with your brand and learning goals.

Now it’s time for you to start working on your next training program, and analyze how you can include video to make your employees’ development more entertaining, engaging, and effective.

Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of explainer video production company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.