Technology

Have Streaming and Online Services Really Been a Game Changer for Training?

Yesterday we began our special three-part question-and-answer session with Steve Rozillis, head of Customer Evangelism at Panopto, concerning contemporary methods of capturing training sessions. Today we’ll look into why it’s so important to store lectures and what streaming and online services have brought to the table.


L&D Daily Advisor: Why is it so important to record and store lectures?
Rozillis: If information is worth teaching, it’s worth recording.
For any specific instructional activity, recording is important because it enables that information to be made available on-demand. Each video will be useful to those who attended the class and want to revisit a concept they learned as well as those who weren’t able to attend because of location or scheduling issues. Those recordings will also be valuable to future employees who join the company after the session was held but will still benefit from seeing what was presented in the past.
Looking to the bigger picture, recording formal and informal learning activities helps an organization build a library of institutional knowledge. And in the knowledge economy, it’s been said the only sustainable competitive advantage is the ability to learn faster than one’s competitors. Making internal expertise available on-demand is one way businesses are helping their people make faster, better-informed decisions.
When everyone in an organization has access to a searchable library of every recorded training presentation and activity, it provides a foundation for personalized learning. Employees can consume material at their own pace, in any location, and in bite-sized chunks as they hop between devices. Video also helps to quickly recall course material as employees implement the new knowledge into their everyday work.
L&D Daily Advisor: Streaming and online storage have made sharing lectures easier. Is easier really better? In what way?
Rozillis: Think of the last time you asked a colleague to help you understand a process or work through an activity. Now think of what you’d have done if your colleague hadn’t been there. For employees seeking out information, more content is always better.
The easier it is for content creators to record and share instructions, information, and institutional expertise, the easier it will be for employees to find the relevant details they need, right when then need them, and successfully complete what they’re working on. YouTube already shows this effect in action—when people want to learn a new task, they search YouTube. Why? Because they’re almost guaranteed a relevant result based simply on the sheer volume of content.
For those involved in formal training, making it easier to produce and share instructional content frees up more time that can be invested in developing new or updated materials and reaching new audiences.
For those who’ve previously relied on text-only solutions to share instructional or informational content informally—whether it’s the software engineer documenting how a new process works or a senior executive sharing a companywide announcement—making it easier to record that material is a much more efficient use of time. Likewise, the resulting recordings are often more clear, engaging, and detail-rich than text documentation.
The vast majority of what people learn in the workplace isn’t taught in formal training. It’s learned socially, either through experience or in conversations with coworkers. And yet today, most companies do little or nothing to preserve and share that expertise. In that world, easier is absolutely better.
L&D Daily Advisor: How have recent developments changed the way that lectures are recorded and stored?
Rozillis: There are three major technological advancements that have changed lecture capture.
First, video cameras are now everywhere. A camera capable of shooting professional quality video used to cost thousands of dollars—now most of us have multiple high-definition (HD) digital video cameras at our fingertips, built into our smartphones and laptops. This newfound availability has made it substantially easier for more people to record more content in more places.
Storage too, has been simplified—10 or 15 years ago, every video had to be recorded to DVD (or some other type of physical file). Those files could only be shared with one person at a time, and doing so meant finding a way to literally deliver the DVD to the viewer. Today, a video file can simply be uploaded to the cloud where thousands of viewers can stream it simultaneously—and it can all be done at a fraction of what recording to DVDs used to cost.
And finally, video files have now become searchable. Thanks to technologies like automatic speech recognition (ASR) and optical character recognition (OCR), modern video platforms make it possible for viewers to search for any word spoken or shown in any recording and to instantly fast-forward to any relevant moment. Best of all, it all happens automatically—so instructors never need to worry about tagging their video files again.
Join us tomorrow for the third and final part of our question and answer with Steve Rozillis, and learn about special equipment and software needed to record and store education and training sessions.