The Link Between Effective Explanation and Design Thinking
Design Thinking, in essence, is to think like a designer. When designers have to solve complex problems and come up with innovative solutions they employ Design Thinking. So, how does a designer think and why should this be relevant to those who are not designers?
Designers are deliberately sensitive to the needs of people and empathize with their subjects before attempting to design an object. They also clearly define the issue before starting an ideation process to come up with solutions that will meet their subjects’ needs.
There is a definite link between effective explanation and Design Thinking. Design Thinking can help us think differently about how we explain ideas and maximize the effectiveness of our explanations.
An effective explanation is engaging and ultimately gives understanding to the recipient. Whether it is in a classroom situation, an executive meeting, or a product presentation effective explanation skills are essential if you want to have the desired impact on the target audience.
Phases of Design Thinking
The first phase of Design Thinking involves empathy – the designer communicates with those who experience the problem, in order to get a full understanding of the issue. In order to truly understand, the designer avoids making assumptions, and instead gathers real insights into the issue.
Great explainers also need to have an excellent knowledge of their audience. No assumptions can be made, because what may be perfectly clear to the explainer may be perplexing to others. Just like the designer empathizes with the subject, the explainer needs to know the difficulties that the audience face, because the explanation should be matched to the audience: it must not be too complex, nor too simple.
In the second phase the problem is formulated in clear terms. Once this is done, the designer can start working on ideas and solutions. Similarly, an explanation cannot be offered until a real problem area has been identified. In order to define the issues that the audience may have with a topic, questions need to be asked. It is not only about what the audience already knows, but also about what they need to know next.
The third phase involves the finding of potential solutions. The designer comes up with as many ideas as possible to solve the problem. This may involve brainstorming, mind-mapping, and even role-play. Ideas are then refined and narrowed down to those that are most feasible.
When it comes to effective explanation, there is a host of ways to explain concepts. It is just a matter of finding the most suitable way – the way that will best suit the target audience. Humor can be used to engage the audience; stories can create interest, enhance meaning and spark empathy. Analogies, metaphors, comparisons and images can clarify information. Characters can be incorporated, or info-graphics, videos or diagrams can be used. And so, Design Thinking ideation can be applied to find compelling and effective ways to explain concepts.
In the fourth phase of Design Thinking feasible ideas are being put to the test. Potential solutions are examined in more detail to identify constraints or flaws. As part of this process, ideas are accepted or rejected, improved or re-designed. Effectiveness of explanations can be examined in a similar way. Ask questions to test which explanation styles may suit the target audience best. By asking relevant questions crucial modifications may be made to explanation styles generated during the ideation stage.
The fifth phase involves testing that may provide further insights for refining or improvement. (Design Thinking is not necessarily a linear process. Re-thinking, re-defining and more ideation are part of the process.) Equally, the effectiveness of an explanation needs testing. An assessment of the recipient’s understanding will be necessary to ascertain the success of the explanation. Only if there is engagement and enlightenment can we say that the explanation is effective. And, like designer products, great explanations can repeatedly be polished and improved.
The purpose of Design Thinking is to improve outcomes by analyzing the needs of those involved. This is also a fundamental part of effective explanation. Once designers know the real issue they do not immediately offer a solution. Instead, they stop to consider a wide range of potential solutions. This is necessary in effective explanations too: a careful consideration of various ways by which a concept can be explained to perfectly meet the needs of the target audience. So, by making use of Design Thinking, explanations can be designed to be truly effective.
mysimpleshow’s Top Tips for Using Humor in Explainer Videos (Part 2)
When it comes to humor there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Humor can transform an average explainer video into a compelling memorable experience. Laughter increases endorphins, which makes the viewer feel good, relaxed and in a better frame of mind for receiving and processing information. However, humor will only be effective if it has been appropriately applied.
Three do’s and one don’t:
ONE: Do not just use any old joke!
There are some pitfalls when using humor in your explainer video… If humor is not used correctly, it can have an adverse effect! Do not just throw in any joke that you recently heard. It will, in all likelihood, be completely out of place and distract from your main message. The humor used in your explainer video script needs to fit in with the topic. For example, if your explainer video is about financial planning the humor should probably involve money or financial services, and not just any random topic. If you cannot come up with a related joke, rather do not include humor in your script, as it will serve no real purpose.
TWO: Use humorous stories.
People tend to remember better when an explainer video makes effective use of humorous real life stories. For example, when explaining properties of solids one expert cleverly made use of a silly, yet amusing scenario where one geek wanted to propose marriage to another geek. The discussion that followed was based around chemical principles: in the story the geek carefully considered whether to give his geek partner a ring with a diamond or with graphite, because one is more kinetically stable and one is more thermodynamically stable…! (The humor in choosing the best ring will, of course, only appeal to scientists – the wit used in an explainer video needs to appeal to the target audience.) As such, humorous stories engage viewers and enhance memory retention. So, include amusing stories that relate to the topic of your explainer video.
THREE: Use dry humor.
Using dry humor in your explainer video script may be challenging, but it can be very effective. Dry humor involves a deliberate display of a lack of emotion. When no emotion is shown in a ridiculous situation it can be quite hilarious. Comedian Elayne Boosler once said “I’ve never been married, but I tell people I’m divorced so they won’t think something is wrong with me.” This is a seemingly sincere delivery without much expression, and is a good example of dry humor. Dry humor appears to be unintentional. To incorporate dry humor in your explainer video allow your main character, or narrator to deliver humorous lines in a very straight-forward and frank way, as if what is said is not funny at all, but very serious indeed.
FOUR: Use unrealistic exaggeration.
Incorporate unrealistic over-the-top exaggeration into your explainer video’s script. This makes scripts compelling and interesting. Unrealistic exaggeration is not meant to be taken literally and is therefore humorous, and ultimately engaging. (For example, if you want to explain the solution to a problem, over-exaggerate the problem to such an extreme that it becomes hilarious. Then explain how the problem can be solved with ease.) Unrealistic exaggeration, as with any other form of humor, needs to fit in with what you want to communicate with your explainer video. To put a smile on the viewer’s face, the exaggerated situation needs to be directly linked to the topic.
Humor is an important tool in the making of explainer videos. Humor and laughter have a number of benefits. It decreases anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and stimulates the release of endorphins. So, if an explainer video is really entertaining it can greatly transform an average explanation. Especially if the topic is complicated (or even a bit dull) the explanation can be made exciting with a touch of humor. So, use humor to turn your next explainer video into a compelling memorable viewing experience! (Have you read Part 1 of this series?)
Research tips for script writing
The foundation of a great explainer video script lies in its research. Unless you are already an expert in the field, explaining a complex or detailed topic needs thorough research. A carefully researched script enhances the quality of the video and determines the success of the explainer video, but the challenge is to write a script that is clear and concise. So, what is needed in order to do effective research for a great explainer video script?
Choosing research material
Viewers will watch your explainer video primarily because they want to learn about the topic that you explain. For this reason your video needs to include the necessary knowledge to clarify the topic sufficiently. Those who watch your explainer video will expect you to know what you are talking about – so, if you want to make a professional explainer video it is paramount that you conduct thorough research. Even the smallest mistake can make a big difference to the credibility of your explainer video. Make sure that you use reliable sources of information. Do not just assume that all online material is reliable. And, if you come across contradictory information, investigate further to establish the correct information.
Save all your resources together in one place so you can easily find them later. Create a research document for “original research material”. Then organize research material in such a way that you can find information quickly. The best way is to number articles / sources and to highlight relevant information in each text. Make sure to also put a reference at the end of each source of information, in case you want to revisit the website. When you come across a key piece of information, copy the relevant text (and its link) and paste it into your research document, so that you can easily revisit it.
Remember to be concise – so, right from the start, cut down to only the essential information. As you read through your research document, highlight information that you will definitely use in one color and information that you need to revisit in another color. Copy the highlighted texts and save them as “Draft 1”. Then start to re-write the information in your own words. Once completed, save this document as “Draft 2”. Edit “Draft 2” and save it as a new document, called “Draft 3”. Now begin to set the information as part of a story. Once completed, save the document as “Draft 4”… Numerous drafts may be needed, but continue to edit and improve your script until you are satisfied with the outcome. (Use different colors to highlight areas in your drafts that you need to come back to. E.g. use different colors for double-checking, additional research, or re-wording.)
Use time wisely
The aim is to carry out comprehensive research in as little time as possible. Look for articles that are concise and to the point. Keep your research focused on the key factors of the topic. Brief overviews are often very useful. If well-written, these should give you the essential bits of information needed for a short explainer video script. Of course, the amount of research time needed will vary, depending on your existing knowledge of the topic. However, make sure that you do not overburden yourself with too much research material. For a short explainer video a maximum of 3 sources should be sufficient for the writing of the script. Preliminary research, that gives you a general feel for the topic, may include more reading material and videos, but set a time limit for yourself to work through the materials.
Thorough research for an explainer video script is a fundamental step in video creation. You may find that 20% of your efforts count for 80% of the video’s success! The more effort you put in at the research stage, the better the script will be. With the necessary research conducted successfully, your explainer video script will have depth and authority. It will have the potential to become a great explainer video that is a legitimate and valued source of information.
Ways to spark your creativity
You are about to make an explainer video, but still need that creative spark to come up with some outstanding ideas for the script writing and, of course, for the making of the video clips. So, where does creative inspiration come from? How can creativity be boosted, so that you can produce an exceptional explainer video? Let’s consider a few practical ways to spark creativity.
A relaxed state of mind is a prerequisite for creativity. When relaxed you start to think freely. If you struggle to relax, purposefully engage in activities that make you feel relaxed. For example, play your favourite video game. It will encourage a positive relaxed mood and boost creativity. Or, take your work to the coffee shop and order your favourite drink. Soon you will feel relaxed and ready to come up with ingenious ideas. The welcoming smell of the coffee plus the moderate level noise in the background will aid relaxation and encourage creativity. Time and time again it all comes down to relaxation – it helps us to think more freely and boost creative productivity.
Another true and tested way to enhance creativity is walking. It provides one with “thinking time”. And during “thinking time”, one generates ideas without even trying to do so. Writers, artists, and philosophers often follow very specific routines that, time and again, involve walking. Take German philosopher Nietzsche, for example: he walked for several hours per day and used this time to conceive great ideas! Walking somehow makes it easier for the mind to operate on a creative level. So, go for a walk to relax and to generate creative ideas. Make sure to take your mobile with you and use it to record ideas – either make a voice recording or type a quick note of your ideas.
This may seem to be a complete contradiction, but if you want to be optimally creative and productive you need to allow time for doing nothing. To be creative one needs time to daydream. We are more inclined to be creative when our minds are wandering. After all, creativity and innovation stem from our ability to use our imagination. When you daydream you visualize… when you visualize you paint a picture with your thoughts. Allow yourself time for doing nothing, in order to give your mind space to be creative.
Make use of a whiteboard to display relevant ideas that come to mind. (Use a blue or green marker on the whiteboard, as those colours tend to enhance cognitive performance!) Display your ideas in the form of mind-maps, or even as storyboards. Storyboards are useful when you are visualising a process, whereas mind-maps are more useful when you are generating initial ideas for your project. Mind-mapping also allows for a topic to be further developed by adding more and more idea-layers to the mind-map, each time breaking down key terms into their comprising parts. This guides the brain to unravel the topic into many relating ideas and triggers creative thought.
5. Creative Corner
A suitable environment will boost creativity. Therefore, create a space where you can be optimally creative. Make your “creative corner” relaxing and inviting, but also practical, complete with white board, music dock and comfortable chair! The idea of a designated space for creative purposes conditions the brain to get into the habit of being creative specifically in that area. In this space you can play music, close your eyes, daydream, and jot down ideas on the board – all is at hand… Or, you may want to stand at the whiteboard and consider your options. People are most creative in pleasing environments. Therefore, create a space that will positively affect your mood, work ethic, and creativity.
So, we have established that relaxation is essential to creativity. However, one cannot truly be relaxed if you have not had enough sleep. Therefore, if you struggle to come up with new ideas, “sleep on it”. While sleeping, restructuring takes placed in the brain, which allows one to look at possibilities in a new ways. Even just a short nap can do the trick, as the brain gets refreshed and stimulated anew. Then, get back to your creative corner, or go for a relaxing walk to spark your creativity!
mysimpleshow’s Top Tips for Using Humor in Explainer Videos – Part 1
Humor can transform an average explainer video into a powerful explanation that will be remembered for a long time to come by the target audience. A good joke or a humorous story can spice up a dull topic. Humor reduces anxiety, facilitates learning and improves performance. It is, therefore, an ideal tool to use in an explainer video! But, you need to know what you are doing. Humor needs to be used with a lot of forethought.
Four do’s and one don’t:
ONE – Do not use potentially offensive humor!
There are some definite no-no’s when using humor in your explainer video. One of these involves distastefulness – offensive humor should not be used. Consider the target audience very carefully when you create the humor for the explainer video script. Avoid sensitive topics. Humor that has a racist, sexist, or obscene tone may be offensive to viewers and alienate rather than engage your target audience. The same can be said for humor that involves religion or politics. So, when incorporating humor in your explainer video make sure that it does not to have a humiliating or derogatory affect that will only serve to push viewers away.
TWO – Use Wordplay.
Wordplay can be used very effectively to put that twinkle in the eye and make your explainer video humorous. Some words sound alike but have different meanings. When wordplay is used in an explainer video a joke can be made that exploits the different possible meanings of a word. So, think of words that you will need to use when explaining your topic. Then identify some that may have double meanings. Use these as inspiration to add humor to your explainer video script. Clever wordplay can successfully insert humorous moments into an explainer video.
THREE – Imitate, with realistic exaggeration.
Exaggerate situations slightly to get a humorous effect. In literature terms this is called parody – i.e. an imitation of a familiar situation, but with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect. This can be achieved by poking fun at typical situations. How? By imitating and overstressing noticeable features. For example, you can achieve a humorous effect in your explainer video by using a situation that most people are familiar with, like a birthday party. Then make fun of the situation by adding in things that go wrong at the party. Or use a well known movie as inspiration. Make fun of it in your explainer video by making your characters similar to some well known characters from the movie; or make your video’s storyline similar to that of the movie, but slightly exaggerated and, of course, much, much shorter. (Remember, explainer videos need to be short and to the point!)
FOUR – Use self-disparaging Humor.
Humor can work very well if it is at your expense. Self-disparaging humor can be used effectively to connect with the audience, provided that the viewer is laughing with you. So, an easy way to incorporate self-disparaging humor in an explainer video is to create a problematic situation and a character that the audience can laugh with. Self-disparaging characters know their own weaknesses and shortcomings and are not afraid to point them out in a humorous way. A shortcoming, that could potentially be embarrassing, is consequently portrayed in a comical humoristic way. This makes the character vulnerable and therefore the viewer is inclined to listen to what he / she has to say, with extra attention. The character thus becomes more relatable to the audience. It is about finding the funny in life’s challenging moments and incorporating that in your explainer video, in order to connect with the audience.
When used effectively in explainer videos humor boosts levels of interest and increases the motivation to learn. However, humor must not be over-used; it needs to be incorporated into the explainer video script with the necessary forethought. If the humor succeeds the explainer video will truly engage viewers, increase understanding and enhance memory retention. So, use humor to make your explainer video topic engaging from the get-go, by nurturing a relationship with the target audience.
Communicating with Clients through Videos – Part 2
With an increased emphasis on digital communication in today’s world, more and more businesses make use of video in marketing campaigns. However, video can also be used to communicate with clients in compelling ways! Effortlessly, video is posted on social media platforms or sent via direct mail to clients. And so, effective video communication has the potential to establish strong client relationships.
Ways to communicate
There is just so much that you can do when it comes to using video to communicate with clients – the options are endless! Use it to make an announcement, demonstrate a product, compare products, share your company story or remind clients how great your product/service is through video testimonials, to mention but a few! Let’s explore this further.
1. Explainer Videos
Use video to communicate to clients how to get the best out of your product/service. Make short how-to videos or instructional videos. Or, make use of video communication to explain a process or concept relating to your business. Animated explainer videos can be utilized very effectively for this purpose. Create these regularly and cost-effectively by making use of video creation tools like mysimpleshow. Read here to understand how to write a great explainer video script.
2. Case Studies & Testimonials
Communicate with clients, using case study videos to promote your products. By using case studies, as well as testimonials, credibility is added to the benefits of your product/service. Videos with authentic testimonials of loyal clients, showcasing products/service, can provide highly effective low-cost communication. Find out more ways to use explainer videos for your business.
Communicate with clients using diary style videos, where you (or your colleagues) talk to the camera. This method can be used very effectively in answering client questions. Anticipate frequently asked questions and make a series of short FAQ videos that is ready to use when needed.
Keep clients up to date by sharing videos of up-coming (or even of recently-held) events. This serves to keep their interest and to keep clients up to date with company events. Also use video communication to introduce a new product/service. Alternatively, invite a client to company events and product/service launches by creating video invitations.
5. Share Company Culture
Share your company story in a short video with clients – this will enhance brand awareness as well as customer loyalty. Also, share company culture to help clients to identify with your brand: share a product tour with your clients, by using video to take them on a virtual tour of your company! This type of video includes behind-the-scenes clips and introduces team members to your clients. Promote your business further by starring in your own company videos, speaking to your clients directly. This will personalize your business, build credibility and ultimately create customer loyalty.
6. Personalized Material
Use video to communicate directly with loyal clients – this gives that personal touch that makes clients feel valued. So, plan specific video communication at regular intervals to ensure that you stay in touch with clients. For example, send video-wishes for birthdays, special events or specific holidays. Get to know your clients’ interests and send them relevant information. By using video, as opposed to mere written communication, you vividly remind the client that they are dealing with a human being – this helps to break down barriers and creates a personal connection that will strengthen your relationship.
Remember that your communication video to clients also provides an opportunity for a call to action. Video allows you to speak directly to your client in order to make a sincere call-to-action. You can, for example, encourage your client to visit your website, call for an appointment, use a special discount code to make a purchase, subscribe to your newsletter, or simply to “like” or share your video. Here are even more options.
In today’s hectic lifestyle many would rather watch a quick video than read a lengthy document to obtain necessary information. Video communication is cost-effective – yet exciting and impactful! By using video to communicate with clients, you can meet their specific needs and at the same time build a virtual relationship with your clients. So, when planning how to optimally communicate with your clients, include videos!
Did you already read part 1 of this series?
Explainer Video Trends in 2019
How can you get the most out of your explainer videos in 2019? By following these five explainer video trends for 2019 it becomes possible to create outstanding videos! After all, if you are familiar with the latest trends in explainer video creation you will be able to make the right video to engage your target audience. These popular 2019 trends will aid engagement with your target audience!
The 2019 trend for explainer videos is to make more and more use of stories to get the message across. Since the beginning of time stories have been a popular mode to explain moral lessons. In the 21st century people still love a good story! Stories are increasingly used in explainer videos – with the primary purpose of clarifying concepts. If the story is compelling, viewers will not merely tap through the video, but watch it from beginning to end. Yes, an explainer video that tells a story makes a human connection that grabs attention. Moreover, viewers not only enjoy the experience, but actually learn something!
In 2019 it is all about animation! The time-consuming and costly process of producing a live shot video now makes place for user-friendly animation technologies that allow for rapid production and editing. This is thanks to digital animation technologies. Not only is it more cost effective to make these animated explainer videos, but they are often also more interesting than live shot videos. In addition, they can easily be made using online video creation tools, like mysimpleshow! Animation allows for endless creativity. Animated explainer videos are versatile and powerful. Moreover, animation combined with a powerful script can be a winning combination!
3. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (or AR) is another top trend for explainer videos in 2019. AR is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the real-world footage is “augmented” by computer-generated perceptions. It may be as simplistic as adding 3D bitmojis or drawings to real-life images. In this way, AR does not completely replace the user’s real-world environment, but alters one’s perception of the real world. As overlaid digital creations are interwoven with clips from the physical world, AR gives the viewer a unique experience. AR adds an interesting dimension to explainer videos and 2019 will see optimal use of this phenomenon.
4. Interactive Videos
2019 will also see more and more interactive videos (or IV). Video is a great medium to introduce, explain, demonstrate, convince, etc. – yet, explainer videos can be made even more compelling and effective by the use of interaction. IV is a type of digital video that encourages viewer-interaction, by prompting the viewer to click on indicated areas on the screen that initiate a certain action. These may, for example, give the viewer additional information or take the viewer to another clip in the same video, or to another video. IV moves the viewer from being a passive user to giving the user an active viewing experience. Especially when it comes to explaining complex concepts interactive videos can be very useful in guiding the viewers at their own pace. 2019 will witness an increased popularity in the use of interactive videos.
5. Short Videos
The trend for 2019 is to go for smarter, shorter and consequently, more effective videos. Patience, as well as attention span, somehow come into play in the busy lives that we live today… In a hectic world, with limited time, videos need to get to the point quickly. It seems that the digital age has made us more effective in shifting through unnecessary information. Video needs to grab the viewer’s attention within the first 10 seconds of viewing! Even then, almost half of those who continue to watch beyond the first 10 seconds will click away before they reach 60 seconds, unless the clip is truly remarkable. More than ever, the trend in 2019 is to keep the explainer video short!
These top explainer video trends in 2019 aid audience engagement, to ensure that you truly connect with viewers through your explainer videos. So, familiarise yourself with the latest trends and take your own explainer video to the next level by following these trends!
Communicating with Clients through Videos
In today’s world of technology people from across the world may potentially be your clients – no longer is it merely the people in your immediate surroundings! Video allows you to still communicate “face to face” with a large global client base. Moreover, video provides a low-cost, yet highly effective, way for communicating with clients. Compelling videos keep clients engaged, enhance client communication, and further regular communication. So, how does one approach the creation of videos for client communication purposes?
In order to communicate effectively with clients through video, the material needs to be concise – keep it short and to the point. Moreover, the videos need to be made with fore-thought and purpose. Let’s explore this further.
First of all, decide what needs to be communicated to clients. Do you need to explain product use, make special offers, share testimonials, answer questions, or do you simply wish to keep contact with a valued client? Also, consider what your clients may need, or what they may like to know, or what will interest or benefit them.
If video communication with clients is a new field to you, start by considering what you currently communicate to clients and think how this can be done using video. Written or verbal forms of communication can to be converted into video format. So, consider all forms of current communication for translation into video material that can be shared with clients.
However, avoid sharing non-relevant information in your video communication – do not waste your clients’ time! Therefore make sure that you carefully select the most appropriate information that you want to convey when communicating with clients.
Next, put the selected written or verbal forms of communication into video format. Decide on a video strategy to execute the communication. In other words, think of an appropriate style that will convey best what you want to communicate by devising ways of creating short videos that clearly communicate the relevant information. You may need to make an explainer video with animation, or do a video interview, or talk directly to the camera, or make a short dramatisation, or make a demo-video, etc. (Video communication is exciting and does not need to be expensive. You can create video material quickly and easily by using existing images combined with key words, or use a video creation tool like mysimpleshow.)
Whatever you choose, it is paramount to stay concise when utilizing video. By keeping the content brief it will be most effective. In order to communicate clearly and effectively, stick to one idea per video. Decide what your aim is for a particular communication video: is it about a sale, or are you introducing a new product, or do you want to share a testimonial… Then, be short and to the point to ensure that viewers are watching your video content till the end.
Finally, make sure that your clients see the communication videos! How? By choosing the right communication channel to reach your client and to deliver the video in a way that ensures the client engages with it. Communication channels include direct emails, social media, public sites (like YouTube), your own website, etc. For example, you can communicate with clients via email, using videos that are so inviting that clients are curious to watch them. Also, consider communicating with clients by putting videos on your landing page. Keep the client’s attention with an intriguing video that has a clear purpose and perhaps even include a call-to-action.
Remember that short message videos can also be sent to clients’ mobiles. Make these very short and use them as informative clips, short reminders, or as special offer announcements. Or, send an encouraging message, or a useful tip, that you wish to share with specially-valued clients.
In addition, do not overlook the use of video in face-to-face interaction with clients. You can make use of videos when meeting clients – to simplify ideas or to explain concepts or proposals. Or, show a video as a talking point. In this way you can communicate with individual clients in meetings, or with groups of clients at larger events (like workshops, seminars and conferences). Ensure that these videos are visually interesting and captivating.
Just like you would not dream of making your verbal communication with clients tedious, nor creating dull written communication, video communication needs to be executed in such a way that it keeps the clients’ attention. Stay relevant when you’re communicating with clients. Moreover, get the balance right. Do not bombard clients with videos… At the same time, make sure that you do not lose contact. Carefully planned content, an appropriate video style for your message, and a carefully selected channel, all work together to significantly improve communication with clients and strengthen your relationship with them.
Next time we will explore specific ways in which videos can be used to communicate with clients!
New ways of teaching and learning: How flipped classrooms are doing it upside down
The way we consume information changed a lot – digital, mobile, time-independent.
The way we teach didn’t – frontal, linear, scheduled.
But one-size-fits-all doesn’t work with learning. Students are different but forced to learn the same way in the same amount of time.
Fortunately, there are already concepts which try to supersede the old-school mechanisms anyway. One of them wants to turn classrooms (and lecture halls) upside down and is therefore called the flipped classroom.
But wait! What does ‘flipped’ mean?
Well, the traditional way of teaching goes like this:
The teacher explains a new topic. At the end of the lesson there might be a few minutes left to do one exercise on this topic. As soon as the lesson is over, everybody leaves the classroom as fast as possible. If the teacher is lucky, they are barely able to cat-call what homework should be done.
During the following lesson, the teacher asks about the homework. Most students will say they tried, but weren’t able to complete it because they had some questions. The topic is then explained again in reference to the homework. So far, so classic.
The flipped classroom way goes like this:
Students learn about the new topic at home via video lessons. While in class, they will make use of what they’ve learned through exercises as well as the help of others and their teacher.
So within the flipped classroom, the teacher is more of a guide than the instructor, differentiating their role compared to the traditional way of learning.
Effects of a flipped classroom
Sounds cool so far, right? But what are the possible effects of a flipped classroom?
– Students are able to gather information at their own pace. If something is not understood, they are able to rewind the video. If something is going too fast, they are able to stop the video to first digest and reflect on the content before continuing.
– Classroom time is used in a more productive way.
– The teacher has much more time to coach students and work on practical tasks during the lessons instead of lecturing on theory and concepts.
– Students don’t give up so quickly when a solution is hard to find. At home, there is no one to ask for help, so students tend to lose motivation at a faster rate.
– Students become active learners instead of being listeners.
Teacher Wendy Roshan tried the flipped classroom and approves in an article which was published in the Washington Post: “Students become more independent learners because they work with one another more often in class and they get more individual attention. And they did better than ever.”
As experiences of the Clintondale High School, which flipped all of its classrooms, prove as well: All those effects lead up to better results as “the failure rate (…) in math dropped from 44 percent to 13 percent; in science, from 41 percent to 19 percent; and in social studies, from 28 percent to 9 percent.”
Another plus is the willingness of students to do their homework: “While only half of the students did traditional homework, 75 to 80 percent watch the videos.”
Also, teacher Kanchan Chellani told NBC about the ‘flipped experiences’: “Students now are scoring on average five points higher – the difference between a B+ and an A.”
Flipping practically and successfully
While all of this sounds great, there’s still some criteria to keep in mind for the successful practical implementation of a flipped classroom:
– Define objectives.
– Write an outline to make sure the online lessons have a logical structure.
– Keep the videos short (which means 3-15 minutes).
– Keep it rich in variety. Use images, infographics, and everything else to avoid monotony.
– Recap the most important points at the end.
– Give your students an opportunity and hint to note their questions so they won’t forget them until they are able to ask the teacher. Maybe even make it possible to ask questions online via chat or e-mail while watching the video.
– To make sure students are really learning the content of the online lesson, there should be a script with tasks to be fulfilled by the students while or after they have watched the video.
Ready to flip your classroom? Then start to create your own explainer video with mysimpleshow and make it a part of your own e-lesson.
Happy teaching, happy learning!
Must-have this season: An explainer video on your landing page
Although “must-have“ sounds a bit as if an explainer video is a regulation, we don’t want to force you to embed a video on your landing page. But because we have your best interest at heart, we’ll provide you with some advice for morphing your website into a fertile channel.
And of course we aren’t only saying “do it“… we also give you some really good reasons to.
1. Videos increase conversions
All successful companies have one thing in common…they make money! A video on your landing page can help you to boost sales: As studies revealed, videos on a landing page can increase conversions up to 80% or even double the number of sales, which are achieved through your landing page.
2. Videos provide much more information than text
A picture is worth a thousand words… imagine what a video is worth! Visitors are either busy or lazy or short on time (usually a combination of all three), and therefore would rather watch a video instead of reading text. That’s because information transported through images is absorbed 60,000 times faster than it is through text. WIN!
3. Video combines the most relevant facts with a cool story
If your product or service is more complex to explain, do your visitors a favor and try to keep it as simple and entertaining as possible. So evaluate your most important points, discard everything else, and think of a cool story to transport your message.
4. Google loves videos
Your chance to reach a top position on Google’s rank page will be much higher if there’s a video on your website. To be precise: 53 times higher. In all seriousness, what successful business doesn’t want to be on the first page of Google results?
5. Video captures your audience
That also has something to do with the fact that an explainer video on your landing page will make your visitors spend more time on your website. So Google will assume that your content must be really cool, and reward you with a better position. Talk about opportunity!
Okay, we guess we might have convinced you to put an explainer video on your landing page. Did we? So we up the ante: Come on, come all… come this way and check out our summary of the most important rules of HOW to use video to enhance your landing page performance.