Blended learning

Video at its best

‘Blended learning’ is a term that is much used and often underestimated. It doesn’t just mean using your online content to complement your face-to-face workshops! Video content is perfect for multiple uses and lends itself to a wide variety of development activities, as well as day-to-day learning opportunities.

Video works best when learners get the opportunity to discuss its content. Viewers benefit from watching a video privately, but the value of the learning is amplified many times over if, having watched it, viewers are able to explore the video’s topic more deeply. Discussing the learning messages with their peers, their manager or with a professional coach or training colleague, learners gain so much more. It’s when reviewing the video and discussing their reactions to it, that most individuals absorb greater understanding of the ideas and extract even more useful and transferable skills and knowledge.

Versatile video

Video works best when integrated into your other learning and development initiatives.

One of the great things about video is its range of applications. Just because the video is online doesn’t mean that it’s only for individual, personal viewing.

Videos for starting ‘awkward’ discussions

Videos are ideal for initiating discussions in a one-to-one context.

Many managers find it difficult to raise a topic with a member of their team, particularly if they want to talk about an ‘awkward’ topic like time-keeping, absence, personal hygiene or poor performance.


Managers often put off addressing issues that need to be tackled head-on, or at the other extreme easily blurt out something which is counter-productive. Having a short video to help introduce the subject and break the ice in a calm and non-judgmental way, means that managers have a clear starting point and are much better able to broach the difficult topic and start a dialogue.


Scene from What To Say When...

Videos for coaching

Videos used to trigger discussions in one-to-one coaching sessions are also very valuable. Helping employees to think through their personal development using video illustrations means that learners are prompted to explore and reflect on their own skills and behaviour in a non-threatening context. Videos help them to take a more considered view of their relationships with their colleagues – for example, dealing with ‘difficult’ people and thinking about how to react to criticism or disagreements. Videos are perfect for helping people to think about how they will handle promotion or manage colleagues who were once their peers.

Videos for ‘meaty’ meetings

Meetings get a bad press. Incorporate a video into your weekly team meeting or monthly senior management review and you can transform proceedings! Use video to spark discussion and trigger a ‘meaty’ and useful exchange about an agenda item – meetings needn’t be boring with video!  Or why not use meetings to get attendees focused on a ‘learning topic of the month’?

Best of both worlds

Traditionally, training was delivered in the classroom, face-to-face. With the advent of online learning and the rush to cut the cost of expensive and time-consuming workshops, organisations have embraced online learning, often without due attention to proper integration with the ‘real world’ of work. Video straddles traditional and digital learning and is enormously valuable in so many contexts. It really does enable you to get the best of both worlds. And that means value for money too.

In telephone research, online learners said using the videos in their meetings to trigger discussion was most helpful.

“The videos are a really, really useful tool”

There are so many opportunities for using video:

  • Personal learning

  • Group learning

  • One-to-one sessions

  • Coaching sessions

  • Team meetings

  • Training workshops

  • Lunch and learn sessions


Man viewing video on tablet

Want to see for yourself?