Brain Rules for Video

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Brain Rules for Video

Postby tahiya » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:01 pm

I have to incorporate long passages of video into our elearning because it really is a fast way to capture a lot of expository content. I consider it learner abuse to string a bunch of video together and say "Learn!"
Taking a tip from cognitive science and the Brain Rules ideas both of John Medina, and the Head First training series of books from O'Reilly, I'm adding:
1. predictive prompting before a video topic, asking the learner to try and predict what the presenter is going to express
2. Visual "disturbances"--I'm creating graphics that pop up between segment, or in After Effects, right on top of the video, that re-express the material with visual puns or unusual juxtapositions to help learners make specific bits of information a little stickier ***the display set is awesome for this in combo with the flow chart.
3. Adding humor with captions and cartoon like effects (where appropriate) sort of like that old tv show, blind date I think it was called, where they added little doodles and thought bubbles and such
4. Using interruptions in the video to re-express materials and prompt learners to try and apply them with activities
5. "Plants" aka dummy student avatars that pop up and ask questions and then the video just repeats to reinforce a given point.

Here are some video "rules" I've come up with based on what cognitive science has discovered about attention and learning. I can't always do them all but they're a good reminder.

Grab attention immediately: DRAMA, DANGER, COMEDY
Pose a problem
Make the viewer WANT want WANT the solution
Show a story (don't tell it)
Punchy chunks, "bury the pipe" is Hollywood speak for hide your exposition
Repeat important information with cool video tricks or visual puns or drama
Give the user something to do EVERY 3 chunks of info
WRAP with an unforgettable image or phrase or both.
play, play, play
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:12 pm

Re: Brain Rules for Video

Postby Rob Penn » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Great ideas Tahiya! I know many people in the SmartBuilder community, myself included, would love to see the content you are creating which employs these techniques. Any chance you can share a link to some of it when it is done? :)

Regarding the "Pose a problem" rule, you may already know this, but there are some templates that uses this approach that may provide some ideas on how to do this: see templates 02.2.51, 02.2.53, 02.2.55 in the catalog ... layer.html

Lastly, we've started encouraging users to post ideas, questions, etc. relating to instructional design in the SmartBuilder User Group on LinkedIn. You can sign up here: ... 4539/about . Would you mind reposting your Brain Rules for Video in the User Group on LinkedIn?

This forum is still the place to post ideas and questions relating to SmartBuilder.

Rob Penn
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:19 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

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