Image Archives

Sean Hecking picture

By Chris Karel published March 13, 2018

In this interview, I dive into website health and the best SEO tools you can use to improve Search Engine Optimization. I sat down with Sean Hecking of Interactive Cleveland to get his expert insights on the topics. Sean is an experienced digital marketing consultant that helps companies build and execute successful Internet marketing strategies. He primarily focuses on search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and Google AdWords pay-per-click search marketing.

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How to get started with marketing automation and the reasons why it matters to your customers.

By Chris Karel published February 19, 2018

Chris: So if someone is new to Marketing Automation, where do you think they should start?

Patrick: What I think it comes down to with Marketing Automation is that it’s not something to just dive right into without first thinking it through. And really, most things in marketing and sales are that way. You don’t just dive in and run. It’s important to know what you are trying to do and then set up a plan to execute.   Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published February 12, 2018

The “Ask a Producer” series features a conversation with an expert video producer to get answers to your questions regarding video production for businesses. “How do you remove the background noise?” usually comes up when there was a breakdown in the pre-production process. In other words, more attention should have been paid to background noises during the location scout or at the very least, right before you began recording on the set. For more information on the various stages of production for corporate video check out The Four Stages of Production. Continue reading

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Video marketing interview

By Chris Karel published February 5, 2018

Kathie Kinde Clark on how to grow your content marketing audience by 30% and TWO easy wins using video in your marketing strategy

In a career spanning 25 years, Kathie has marketed products ranging from insurance to t-shirt transfers. She got her start in traditional direct marketing, and has successfully transitioned to focusing on content marketing. Kathie is currently the Content Marketing Strategist for Stahls’ Transfer Express, a leader in the apparel decorating industry. In her spare time, Kathie does freelance photography and wastes an inordinate amount of money and energy on Cleveland sports teams. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, where she frequently shares actionable advice on content marketing and improving company culture.

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By Chris Karel published January 29, 2018

The “Ask a Producer” series features a conversation with an expert video producer to get answers to your questions regarding video production for businesses. “How long will it take to make?” is a common question during pre-production. There is no easy answer to this question because a video is always a custom product based upon the needs of the business objective. Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published January 22, 2018

What does it mean to color correct a video?

The “Ask a Producer” series features a conversation with an expert video producer to get answers to your questions regarding video production for businesses. “What does it mean to color correct a video?” is a question that stems from confusing industry jargon. Knowing the definitions of the following keywords will help you have an informed conversation about video color correction. Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published January 16, 2018

How do I make sure the CEO looks good on camera?

The “Ask a Producer” series features a conversation with an expert video producer to get answers to your questions regarding video production for businesses. The question, “How can we make sure the CEO looks good?” often comes along with concerns over limited time, preparation, and appearance on camera. Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published December 25, 2017

Waxing Nostalgic with Scrooge and Old Films

During this holiday season, it’s time to wax nostalgic while also fulfilling my blogging mission. In 2017, I set out to answer customer questions with knowledge about professional video production. I also created a sub-channel on YouTube, Flashback Friday, to showcase our 78-year history because in many ways it is the history of industrial film/video. Continue reading

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Title image: Jeff Leo Hermann on where B2B marketers should be focusing in 2018: video, video, video, video, video!

By Chris Karel published December 19, 2017

Jeff Leo Herrmann on where B2B marketers should be focusing in 2018: video, video, video, video, video!

Jeff Herrmann is a B2B showrunner and president of Madison, Michigan, and Market. Content Marketing writer, speaker, and mobile marketing pioneer, Jeff loves helping CMOs align their content marketing strategies to a winning sales process. Jeff has an intense belief that organizations are better off engaging their audiences with educational and entertaining content rather than blasting them with traditional interruption-based advertising and sales campaigns. I had the privilege to talk with him about his thoughts on video as a strategy. Continue reading

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TitleImage: Boost Your video marketing plan with this funnel

By Chris Karel published December 12, 2017

Boost your video marketing plan with this funnel

Video marketing stats are everywhere. And making video has never been easier, but deciding who should make the video is becoming muddier by the minute. In this post, I offer recommendations for the types of video that can be made by anyone v. videos that should be made by professionals. Continue reading

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Title Image: 5 most wanted b2b video types

By Chris Karel published December 5, 2017

What do B2B video shoppers want this holiday season?

As 2017 starts to wind down, and I watch the stream of egg nog lighten the color of my home brewed coffee, I think about holiday shopping for my loved ones. A few Amazon Prime searches later and the question hits me like a nor’easter off the North Coast in January. What kind of B2B video are you asking for this holiday season? In my recent talks with corporate video production “shoppers,” here’s what I’ve found people are asking for this holiday season. Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published November 28, 2017

Pro-Tips for making your first live streaming event successful

So you want to produce a live streaming event and you have a plan for getting started. With location, equipment, and a marketing plan in place, now it’s time to perform. As you prepare for your first live stream event, let’s look at the next two stages of a live stream workflow: the stream script and the rehearsal. Continue reading

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TitleImage - How Do I get started with live streaming?

By Chris Karel published November 21, 2017

How do I get started with live streaming?

Live streaming is growing more popular every month since its 2016 swell! According to Livestream, “80% [of brand audiences] would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.” The data is sobering, especially since I’m a blogger. Let’s figure out how to get started this week. Continue reading

Video Production

Title Image: Should I record video In-Studio or On-Location?

By Chris Karel published November 14, 2017

Should I record video in-studio or on-location?

Choosing to record video in-studio or on-location can be a critical decision to make during pre-production. To begin, answer this question:

What kind of video story are you trying to tell?

Depending on the type of video story you are creating, your choice between studio or location, or a combination of the two, will emerge like caramelized onions in a savory rue. It takes time in the pre-production saute pan to make a decision that is best for your message, budget, and timeline. So let’s consider four factors that will give you awesome sauce on the screen.
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By Chris Karel published November 7, 2017

Story Time: Video in Email Increases Engagement

Are you a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner? Are you looking for ways to increase engagement with your email? If you answered yes to both questions, then read the short story below. Chris offers thought leadership on ways to improve how you use video in your business operations.  Continue reading

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Improving Your Corporate Videos

By Chris Karel published October 24, 2017

Improving Your Corporate Videos: 5 Answers – 3 Pro-Tips – McCormick’s Storytelling Series

Over the past 30 weeks, I’ve focused on answering questions related to improving your corporate video content. In each post, I try to provide professional advice for marketing managers, training professionals, and business owners. My goal each week is to be your go-to knowledge source for corporate video production. Every ten weeks, I create an index of the previous posts. If you are a CRAFT subscriber, consider this an index to weeks 24 through 33, with the exception of my CM World 2017 conference takeaways.   Continue reading

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What is the 3-word essence of your story?

By Neil McCormick published October 17, 2017

What is the 3-word essence of your story?   

What is the 3-word essence of your story? Everyone is familiar with the 30-second elevator speech. You’ve likely developed one for your personal, “Who am I and why am I here?” story. And you probably know your company’s 30-second, “Who are we and what do we do?” story by heart. But, can you market yourself with just three words? Let’s look at how to refine a story by using a 3-word Brand Mantra. Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published September 26, 2017

VIDEO PRODUCTION SURVEY: Two minutes, three words, and a big thank you!

WANTED: Blogger seeks your input: 2 minutes of your time will lead to valuable, relevant, and interesting video production content. Big thanks @ the end.  

THANKS

Video Production

3WaysToImpropveCorporateVideos

By Chris Karel published September 19, 2017

3 Ways to Improve Corporate Videos

So you are looking for ways to “improve” your company’s marketing or training videos. If your video skills consist of capturing candle-burning birthday songs and the occasional pet trick on your cell phone, check out the Ask a Video Producer post on the 4-step process for producing video content. In the meantime, here are three Pro-Tips to get you started on improving your corporate video productions. Continue reading

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3Takeaways_CMWorld_2017

By Chris Karel published September 11, 2017

3 Takeaways from Content Marketing World 2017

I went through a fairly long period of not feeling successful, though in hindsight it’s more accurate to say that I didn’t really know what success was.

Joe Pullizzi, Content Inc. from Chapter 1: Beginning with the End in Mind.

When I launched the content marketing initiative at my current workplace, I used Pulizzi’s Content Inc. as my roadmap, I made PNR: This Old Marketing my weekly podcast, and I circled CM World on my editorial calendar as my midyear check-in.

So here I am, the Monday after my first CM World, and I feel energized and enthused!  Continue reading

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image: Four Steps to Make Video Testimonials

By Chris Karel published September 6, 2017

Four Steps to Make Video Testimonials

Here are four steps to make video testimonials that increase engagement and boost sales. Looking for more reasons to use video testimonials? Check out the other 19 statistics that support the use of testimonials in marketing today. As a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner, these four steps will help you create great corporate video content to grow your business. Continue reading

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infographic and template to aid in creating a call sheet

By Chris Karel published August 29, 2017

What’s a Call Sheet?

In corporate video production, the call sheet is an agenda for the day. It includes report times, location addresses, plans for meals, and relevant contact information for everyone involved that day, and it can include shot and prop lists.

Whether you are a marketing manager, training CallSheetTemplateByCinecraft2professional, or business owner, the call sheet will help you plan out an entire day of video production. To make use of this tool, download and customize my simplified call sheet template and use this five-step infographic to guide you as you create your first call sheet.

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title image: hands holding cell phone - why cant use cell phone video

By Chris Karel published August 22, 2017

Why can’t I just use cell phone video?

“How about if I just get someone to shoot some cell phone video?”

It’s a fair question. Every day, millions of people consume cell phone video on Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit. At first glance, it’s easy to think cell phones can be used to produce a professional video. Here are three technical limitations of cell phone video that can cheapen your brand. Continue reading

Video Production

Title image of a makeup kit spread out on shiny black velvet. Text reads: What's in your makeup kit?

By Chris Karel published August 15, 2017

What’s in your video production makeup kit?

“Does his forehead look a little shiny?” Jenn says, pointing at the monitor.

I nod in agreement and look at Dave, who looks back at me and nods. Dave, my Key-Grip-value-add-go-to-guy, walks over to the gear cart, unzips a small black pouch, and pulls out an oil-absorbing sheet. He deftly maneuvers to the on-camera talent and kindly explains what we saw on the monitor.

Problem solved! No more shiny skin thanks to a single oil-absorbing sheet, and Dave of course!

In this “Ask a producer” post, I offer Pro-Tips for creating and using a small makeup kit to elevate the look of your corporate video. As a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner you can use this post to create a makeup kit to ensure your on-camera talent looks great! Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published August 8, 2017

How do you scout locations for a business video shoot?

Scout locations for your next corporate video shoot with these eight Pro-Tips, especially if you are a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner. Searching for the right place to record video is vital to a successful production. Even though Scout Locations is #11 on my pre-production checklist, it’s just as valuable as the other items and should not be overlooked in the interest of time or budget. Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published August 1, 2017

Making a Business Video: 5 Questions – 5 Answers – 5 Pro-Tips

Over the past 20 weeks, I’ve focused on answering questions related to corporate or business video. In each post, I try to provide professional advice for marketing managers, training professionals, and business owners. My goal each week is to be your go-to knowledge source for corporate and business video production. Every ten weeks, I create an index of the previous posts. If you are a CRAFT subscriber, consider this an index to weeks 11 through 20.   Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published May 23, 2017

Making a Business Video? 10 Answers to 10 Questions

The purpose of this post is to provide you with links to 10 separate blog posts that answer 10 specific questions about making professional video. If you are a CRAFT subscriber, consider this an index to the past 10 weeks.

 

Ever since I made my first video in high school, I’ve been teaching people about video production. I love teaching and I love video. So, it has been Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published May 16, 2017

What do you mean a JPEG of my logo won’t work? 

If you are a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner and you need to make a video, then “The CRAFT: Video Production Blog” is for you. The purpose of this post is to explain the difference between vector and raster graphics and give you pro-tips for using both types in a video production. So, please comment and let me know your experience. Continue reading

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8 Authentic Tips for New eLearning Professionals

By Meagan Lawton published May 10, 2017

When I started working at Cinécraft, I was totally new to eLearning. I had no experience writing courses or using eLearning-specific development tools. However, I had a background in multimedia and writing, and a strong desire to learn, so I knew I could be successful. Now, a year later, I can build courses with both Storyline and Captivate, and I’m thriving as an instructional designer. Continue reading

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By Neil McCormick published May 2, 2017

PUT STORYTELLING TO WORK FOR YOU

Storytelling is NOT rocket science, but telling a story with a purpose IS a form of brain surgery.  You need to get inside the target audience’s brain, leave a lasting impression, and change behaviors.  Story can do that.

Now how do you get inside your audience’s heads and change their minds, soften their hearts, or move them to action? Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published April 25, 2017

How much will a business video cost? Use the Time:Talents Ratio

The purpose of this post is to provide you with consumer wisdom on the Time:Talents Ratio, which may help you determine how much a business video will cost. If you are a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner and you need to make a video, then this blog is for you.  Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published April 11, 2017

What type of video do I need? 12 Business Video Types

If you are a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner and you need to make a video, and you want to explore video types, then this blog is for you.

Are you planning to make a video for your business? Simply stated, you need a video that satisfies your business need. Refer to the 12 business video types below to aid you during your planning process.  Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published April 4, 2017

Pro-Tips: Conducting Interviews for Video

If you are a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner and you need to make a video, then this blog is for you.

The purpose of this post is to provide you with advice on how to conduct a video interview, The purpose of this post is to provide you with advice on how to conduct a video interview, and generate a conversation about technique. So, please comment and let me know your experience. Continue reading

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By Kim Lindsey published March 22, 2017

Now Is The Time For You To Know The Truth About Notepad

Notepad is our friend

… is one of my professional mottos. In 16+ years as a writer, I’ve consistently promoted this handy little tool  (free with Windows!). Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published March 21, 2017

Wardrobe? What should I wear on camera?

If you are a marketing manager, training professional, or business owner and you need to make a video, then this blog post is for you.

“Wardrobe” is a performing arts term that refers to costumes, shoes, undergarments, hats, and personal props such as gloves, jewelry, etc. (wiki). In our business video production world, we are generally talking about the clothing that you wear on camera. Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published March 14, 2017

How do I handle the narrator? Can I narrate?

If you are a marketing manager, training professional or business owner and you need to make a video, then this blog post is for you.

I always suggest using professional voice actors, also known as voice talent, voiceover artists, or VO talent. A seasoned pro brings years of practice and mastery that leads to a smooth, articulate recording that will elevate the perception of your brand. Continue reading

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By Chris Karel published March 7, 2017

So, I need a business video script. Do I have to write it?

If you are a marketing manager or business owner and you need to make a video, then this blog post is for you.

The simple answer is yes. If you want to make a professional video, you will need to write a script. Don’t freak out! If you work with a video vendor that acts like a business partner, Continue reading

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Top five things that separate amateur from professional video

By Chris Karel published February 28, 2017

Top five things that separate amateur from professional video

If you are a marketing manager, training professional or business owner and you need to make a video, then this blog post is for you.

Gear, script, audio, lighting, and distribution are the top five things that determine the level of professionalism in a video product. Sometimes a homemade cell phone video can get Continue reading

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101: Don't Leave the Learner Behind

By Tiffany Lombardo published October 20, 2016

It’s important to take a step back and think about the learner. Most learners are busy, not just at work but in their personal lives as well.  Common sense tells us they don’t have much room in their brain to store information that is not directly relevant to their lives or jobs. When we ask them to take a training course, it needs to be engaging and easily connect key concepts to their everyday work.  Unfortunately, training often becomes a one size fits all solution that does not take the unique needs of learners into account.

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Save the Learners! Build an Open and Shut Serious Game Strategy

By Dan Keckan published March 11, 2016

(This article was published in the March, 2016 issue of Training Industry Magazine.)

Have you ever sat in front of an eLearning course that you spent 200-250 hours designing and developing and thought learners are going to love this course? They are going to love it so much, they will be motivated to take it. They are going to stick with it till the end and feel compelled to take it again as the Flow Theory suggests! If your answer is yes, then you have probably already incorporated a successful serious game strategy. If your answer is no then keep reading.

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By Meagan Lawton published August 26, 2015

“The Perfect Basket”

Everyone’s heard the old saying that you should never put all of your eggs in one basket. Whether you have relationship eggs, money eggs or real eggs, you want to put them in different places to minimize your risk of losing all of them at the same time.

As a non-risk-taker, this makes sense to me, and I usually follow this advice. However, this past spring I didn’t, and I ended up getting pied in the face, sitting in a cell block, and collecting brains.

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By Dan Keckan published December 30, 2014

When designing a custom eLearning course, you know that getting the right information is critical. But Subject Matter Expert (SME) buy-in is even more critical to your training’s success – and in the end, key to whether or not you will have a happy and repeat customer in your portfolio.

When we encounter a Subject Matter Expert who isn’t engaged in the process, our first impulse is to work around the issue – and I could point you to many articles telling you how to do that. But let’s step back and look at the situation using practical psychology. When you work through the conflict instead of around it, you hone your people skills, and you just may win over your Subject Matter Expert and “get the information anyway.”

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101: What type of video should I put in my eLearning?

By Dan Keckan published August 8, 2014

Begin with this premise:

Video is one of many assets available to instructional designers.

By 2018, per Cisco Systems, 84% of internet traffic will be video content. What does this mean for training professionals? We need to establish a training video lexicon. It is a proven fact that a firm grasp of word meanings is a strong predictor of successful writing. That being said, designers and clients that share a common language will be more effective and efficient in satisfying business objectives. Furthermore, choosing the type of videos for your eLearning course should be based on your learning objectives.

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301: Branchtrack Review: Easily Storyboard Simulations

By Dan Keckan published July 8, 2014

Three months ago, I dove into Branchtrack and whipped together a first aid simulation in about two and half hours. “Wow!” I thought, “This is great. Thank you to Cathy Moore for the suggestion!”

Before moving on with the story, here’s a hi-level description of the product: Branchtrack is a superfast way to author, design and deliver branched simulations. They believe in “learning by doing, trying, playing and failing. (They) believe that serious can be fun and easy.” I learned about the tool while studying with Cathy Moore in her Scenario design workshop. Back to the wow.

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201: Muddling through Moodle

By Dan Keckan published June 23, 2014

There is an allure to Moodle’s value proposition. What’s not to like about FREE?!

For a company considering an LMS solution, spending $100,000 annually can cause sticker shock. In return, the organization receives an untried delivery channel to host, track, and report on the training content delivered to employees, distribution channels, and customers. Alternatively, many Software as a Service (SAS) LMS solutions have a cost-per-registered user model that seems affordable when you have a limited number of users, but can ramp up to be a very pricey annual expense if you have a large user base.

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201: The Mobile Learning War is Heating Up - Review

By Dan Keckan published June 16, 2014

It’s no secret that mobile learning is a hot topic at every training conference we attend, blog article we read and webcast we watch.  You would think that with so much customer demand, authoring tool companies would be on top of this trend.  However, so far, it’s led to some painful learning experiences.

For the past few years Lectora, Captivate and Articulate have advertised that their products are compatible with mobile devices.  And those advertisements are true, they are compatible.  However, do they create engaging, performance-driven learning experiences?  I think most of the people reading this would agree when I say, “No.”  Furthermore, the use of the term mobile devices is used way too loosely. Smartphones may be fine for performance support, but their screens are too small to effectively display traditional eLearning courses. So for sake of this article, we will consider our experiences with the iPad.

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301: How Does HTML5 Fit in the eLearning World?

By Dan Keckan published September 13, 2012

If you’ve recently had a discussion about developing mobile learning for your customer the conversation of HTML5 has probably come up.  So, what exactly is HTML5?

The simple answer is, HTML5 is the newest version of HTML.  For those of you who aren’t aware, HTML makes up most of the web content and framework on the internet today.

The more complex answer is HTML5 has the potential to include new and improved functionality within web browsers, without the need for plugins, while incorporating the newest versions of JavaScript (JS) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

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201: When is it the Right Time to Marry eLearning and Video?

By Dan Keckan published August 28, 2012

When is it the right time to marry eLearning and video? We get this question all the time from clients. As technology has advanced and internet bandwidth has increased, training professionals are eager to enhance their offerings with more engaging, multimedia rich content.

So when is the right time to use video in your eLearning projects?  Simply put, when you want your audience to learn a particular behavior, otherwise known as behavioral modeling.  And, when you use it in an eLearning course it can be quite effective.

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By Dan Keckan published

Are you a training department of one?  Have you created training that fell short of the client’s expectations?  Are you often going outside the scope or over budget? Here are 5 questions to ask a prospective client in one of your company’s line of business when they come to you with the desire for a custom eLearning course.  Hopefully these time-savers will keep you on track to success! Continue reading

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By Dan Keckan published

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are vital to the success of any learning experience. SMEs provide a keen sense of the way employees work and the knowledge and skills employees must have in order to do the work.

It is the responsibility of the Instructional Designer (ID) to provide the information in a format that promotes learning and retention. It is the responsibility of the SME to ensure the message is clear and correct.  The challenge comes in keeping the SME within the boundaries of the budget and timeline.

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