3 Different Types of Video You Can Use in Your Training Courses

Written by
Lizzie Davey
Jul 13, 2016

It’s no secret that video is a powerful learning tool. Since the emergence of online learning, it has been used more and more in the education landscape. Not only does it provide students who are all over the world to feel part of a community, but it helps teachers to demonstrate difficult concepts in an easy-to-digest way.

Video certainly has a role to play in the new online learning world, but it doesn’t have to just consist of stuffy lecture-style lessons. In fact, there are loads of different ways you can utilize videos in your lessons by implementing a variety of different styles and techniques.

So, what kind of videos can you create?

1. “Doing” Videos

These are the kinds of video that actively teach the student a hard skill. By the end of the lesson, the student will have learnt something new that they can put into action straight away.

In this category of video, students can get fully involved in the learning process as you walk them step-by-step through complicated topics and demonstrate difficult ideas.

Tutorial Videos

A tutorial video is made up of steps. Throughout the lesson, you’ll show the student how to do something by running through the steps yourself and showing them first-hand how something is done.

Interactive Videos

Videos that fall under the interactive umbrella allow students to fully immerse themselves in the learning process. Instead of simply running through the steps of a concept, you can employ elements that gives students the chance to pave their own learning path. Think quizzes, knowledge tests, and multiple-choice pathways throughout the lesson.

Simulation Videos

Similar to tutorials in that they teach a hard skill, simulations provide students with examples of what is being taught. Scenarios are acted out so students can get a real-life understanding, just like they might do in a traditional classroom setting.

2. “Lecture” Videos

I know I said online learning videos don’t have to replicate the stuffy classrooms of the past, but you can take elements of this proven method and add a modern spin on them.

This category of video is less about teaching a hard skill and more about passing on knowledge from teacher to student.


Interviews are a great way for students to hear first hand stories from people who have been there and done it. They introduce learners to different people and can offer a second hand insight into tricky topics.

Floating-head Videos

Replicating the lecture style of traditional learning, floating-head videos consist of the teacher talking to the camera. Here, you can pass across knowledge, use screenshots to highlight specific points, and use props to further explain the subject.

3. “Visual” Videos

Yes, all videos are technically visual, but in this category the videos have something extra, like illustrative elements or graphics to highlight certain ideas.


Animations are a great way to get across difficult concepts that are hard to explain using everyday props and settings. As well as providing learners with a visual way to take in information (and, let’s remember, visual information is processed by the brand 60,000x faster than textual information), but it can also be made interactive for a fully-immersive experience.

Animations can include simple graphics that appear on the screen to highlight specific points, or it could be an entire cartoon reenactment that further explains a difficult concept.

Analogy Videos

Students learn best when they can relate a difficult concept to something they are familiar with – something that’s relevant to them and their life. Analogy videos tap into this, using a familiar concept to explain an unfamiliar one.

This helps students create a cognitive shortcut which they can reference when problem solving in real life.

As you can see, there are numerous types of videos to choose from. Which ones you decide on is completely up to you, as they each come with their pros and cons. Your job is to figure out what style best suits your students and their needs, as well as choose a technique that fully conveys the topic you’re teaching.

For example, if you’re teaching a hard skill, a tutorial video might be the best bet, whereas if you’re explaining a complicated abstract idea, an analogy video might be a better option.

And you can always mix and match videos within your training program. You might complement an interview piece with an animation that goes into further detail, or you might tack a tutorial onto the end of a floating-head video.

Videos are a great addition to any course and an important way to convey information online, so if you’re ready to start implementing them in your courses, let Mapout help you.

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