Why Branching Videos?
When Bersin by Deloitte published their infographic ‘Meet the Modern Learner’ we were all surprised at the research findings:
– Workers can devote only 1% of their time to training & development
– Workers are online 27 times day
– Workers unlock their smartphones up to 9 times an hour
… and won’t watch videos longer than 4 minutes.
And that last point is critical to those of you in marketing and education, and ourselves in broadcast and corporate programme production … but it happily works with other developments already ongoing since Steve Jobs threw Flash out with the bathwater in one his famous tantrums.
Since 2012, when we all had to look around to replace our Flash-based web content, the options were limited to the then very new HTML5 and/or converting everything to H264 – now commonly known as .mp4 format.
So, how do we keep videos under 4 minutes in length?
Publish multiple shorts, like a series?
Or Branching? Otherwise known as interactive video.
We’ve been able to do this with YouTube since 2012 (or earler), but for those wanting a more controllable publishing platform (without ads and competitive interjections), we’ve been able to use e-Learning programmes like Camtasia, Articulate and Captivate in a limited though costly manner (licenses, development, costs per seat etc.).
But is there something that is more open source and usable with plug-ins to existing publishing platforms?
H5P was the result of this challenge, coming out of the Norwegian NDLA’s free-to-use high school learning portal’s need to replace all their web-based Flash content.
Here, a community driven project was established, with a few companies doing the heavy lifting.
H5P is a plugin for existing publishing systems that enables the system to create interactive content like Interactive Videos, Presentations, Games, Quizzes and more.
It currently works on WordPress and Drupal, with the Moodle plugin 1.0 currently undergoing evaluation by Moodle.org.
Everything is open source and free to use.
So, coming back to that Bersin by Deloitte paper on ‘The Modern Learner’, it is ever more important to keep our video materials under 4 minutes in length … otherwise they won’t stay till the end. And that’s why Vimeo stats have the totals ‘completed’ as well as ‘played’.
You do want your intended audiences to watch all of your hard work and ideas, don’t you?
Well then, keep it under 4 minutes and use branching if you have lots of messages and examples.
Otherwise they won’t watch it.