Contrary To Software Tutorial Video Popularity, There Are Better Options for Learning Company Software

Videos are popular, and there’s no denying that. And we all know how learning & development loves to jump all over what’s popular. That sometimes even means doing things just because they are new and we recently learned them, whether the ideal solution or not.

Not everyone is guilty of this, and I know many make a significant effort not to try solving a problem with the wrong solution. Many don’t do this, but there seems to be an unreasonable draw towards video since it’s so popular on YouTube and TikTok in our private lives.

Yes, they can also be helpful in our professional lives, but not as much as we’d like to think. For software tutorials, videos are one of the worst solutions for anything longer than a quick task.

Yes, I said it: videos are a horrible way to learn software, especially complex company software if they’re not broken up into very specific short micro-videos, aka a form of microlearning.

Videos are popular but this isn’t a popularity contest, it’s your employees success on the line.

Because video dominates our personal lives, it’s no surprise that software tutorial videos are also immensely popular. But is popularity synonymous with effectiveness?

Video tutorials might not be the best option for efficiently learning company software. You might wonder why something visually stimulating is such a poor option for learning software.

There’s much to unpack here, including why video doesn’t always work well and some better options. Videos can indeed be engaging and provide a step-by-step demonstration of how to navigate through various software features. However, they often lack the interactivity and hands-on experience crucial for proper comprehension and mastery.

Indeed, there exists a better alternative for learning software that also helps put things into real-life context with real situations relating to how employees work they must do with the software.

It ensures effective learning and enhances employee performance within the company: custom eLearning with scenarios and software simulation.

Real practice is better than passively watching a video.

This innovative approach combines realistic scenarios that help employees connect their learning to how they use it on the job. It also lets them practice in a safe environment! How cool is that?

It proves a more dynamic learning environment that actively engages employees in problem-solving and decision-making. By actively participating in software simulations, employees can grasp the intricacies of the software, understand how to apply it to their work better, and develop the skills necessary to navigate complex situations with the software.

Software video tutorials are fine for a quick hit of a task where employees know precisely what they need. But not for learning processes, practicing, and gaining a deeper knowledge of system software.

The days of passively watching videos aren’t going anywhere, but deeper learning and practice for important company software requires something more. No more hoping to retain information through passively watching on the screen and calling it good.

That’s not good; it’s time to explore the world of custom eLearning with software simulations and witness firsthand how it revolutionizes how we learn company software.

Get ready to uncover the secrets of helping non-techie employees learn company software.

The Popularity of Software Tutorial Videos

You can learn almost any software on YouTube by searching software tutorials and then the software name. You can even learn many different tips and tricks on TikTok, though I’m not sure how many full tutorials you’ll find since it’s in a short video format.

YouTube has been the #2 most visited site on the internet for a long time, and TikTok isn’t doing too badly, either, in the top 20. TikTok’s website popularity doesn’t account for the app’s popularity, though, which is unarguably very popular.

Software tutorial videos have always been very popular for consumers learning software and at work. Most workplaces even offer learning platforms such as Udemy and LinkedIn Learning, which are almost exclusively video-based, whether software or not.

The #2 website on the internet is YouTube and software tutorials are a popular video category.

That means video is the single most popular way to learn software, whether complex or not. I learned how to use After Effects from videos, and when I want to learn how to perform a task, I usually run across a video.

Needless to say, video is damn popular.

With the rise of platforms like YouTube and the increasing accessibility of video creation tools, finding a tutorial for just about any software program is easier than ever. These videos offer a step-by-step demonstration of using different features and navigating various interfaces, making them seem like an ideal learning resource for software.

However, popularity doesn’t always equate to effectiveness. While software tutorial videos may be visually engaging and provide a basic understanding of how to use certain functions, they have limitations when learning company software.

There are many limitations to using video tutorials for learning software. Let’s dig a little deeper into those limitations.

Limitations of Video Tutorials for Learning Software

Video tutorials have many limitations, making them easy and popular, but they are not the best solutions for helping employees learn the software. Here are a few reasons why video isn’t the best solution for video tutorials, contrary to their popularity.

Lack of Interactivity

One major limitation of video tutorials is the lack of interactivity. Watching a video is a passive experience that doesn’t require active engagement or critical thinking. Of course, those who care about learning the software will do whatever it takes to learn it, but it won’t ensure people know the details they need to do their job effectively.

It’s easy for people to become passive observers rather than active learners. This can lead to a superficial understanding of the software without truly grasping its intricacies and doing it for yourself.

Videos are not interactive and are easy to zone out watching.

Heck, I’ve even cared about learning software but found myself zoning out a bit because of talking and then missing where the software walkthrough part started up again. Then that means I have to back up a bit.

And that’s not even mentioning getting tired of tabbing back and forth between the video and my software while trying to pause and not miss anything. That’s about as interactive as videos get; it just doesn’t cut it for authentic learning.

No Experience

You only get hands-on experience with a software video tutorial if you’re tabbing back and forth, doing what’s being done in the video, and trying to keep up. Oops, didn’t move fast enough? Now you have to rewind and find where you got left behind.

All that I can say about that is ugh, because I’ve been through it way too many times, and I don’t want to go through that at work, too.

Learning by doing is the most effective way to learn when possible. It helps you retain information better and develops practical skills that can be applied directly to work. Employees may struggle to apply what they’ve learned in real-world scenarios without the opportunity to practice using the software firsthand.

No Skill Checks

This isn’t always relevant because employees do it while learning, but sometimes it is. If the software being learned is essential and accuracy is vital, then checking skills is important.

Videos can’t check for skills unless it’s a separate event from the video or the video is part of a course. All of that is so impractical when an eLearning course can provide better practice and skill checks all rolled into one package.

Tiring Format To Learn Software

Maybe you think I’m exaggerating, but I don’t think I am. Learning software from a video is tiring. Some processes get tricky fast; constantly tabbing back and forth between a video and your software isn’t ideal.

I’ve also found some of the most helpful software tutorials in written formats and, in fact, learned many complex tasks for SharePoint from Microsoft help articles alone with absolutely no video involved.

It’s hard to keep up with a software tutorial video when you have to tab between the video and your software.

Not to mention, I can skim a help article much easier than skim a video. But that doesn’t apply to eLearning since it’s not easily scanable. Video is the least effective and most tiring way to learn software. It’s just not practice, even though it’s extremely popular.

There are better options for helping employees learn company software, even though they aren’t as popular and are sometimes more expensive. Then again, is it more costly if it’s effective?

Enhancing Employee Performance through Custom eLearning

To overcome these limitations of software video tutorials, there’s nothing better than a mix of help articles and our favorite and specialty, custom eLearning solutions for software simulations.

Custom eLearning is an easy way to combine stories, scenarios, and realistic practice that contextualizes the process needed to learn company software. It’s a practical application with all the best elements for a real story of how employees will use the software for their jobs.

There’s nothing better than creating an interactive learning environment that actively engages employees in problem-solving and decision-making while having them do the process the same way they’ll do it on the job.

By incorporating realistic software simulations and scenarios, employees can actively participate in using the new tools for their jobs. The best part? They get to do it in a safe environment.

Custom eLearning is more effective at helping employees learn company software with real practice and scenarios realistic to their jobs.

Most of the time, company software isn’t available to employees yet (but it should be available soon because training as close to the time of need is essential!), so they can’t practice. Or worse, if they practice in the real system, they’re liable to mess something up. Eeek!

Realistic software simulations allow employees to get actual practice with real-world scenarios but in a safe environment. That’s a much better way to learn if you ask me.

Let’s look deeper at the hands-on approach and how it allows employees to develop critical thinking skills and gain practical experience navigating complex company software.

The Importance of Interactivity and Hands-on Experience

You already know videos can’t provide the level of interactivity a software simulation offers. But why is that even important?

There are two situations I can think of off the top of my head as to why video tutorials are bad for learning company software:

  1. Employees shouldn’t watch a video and practice in a real company system that could break something or cause issues.
  2. Training is often done before employees access company software, so they’re passively watching videos that are difficult to understand without actually doing anything.

That should be enough to scare you off of software video tutorials for company software. And then there’s the fact that performance is the goal of teaching employees how to use software. That’s why we think performance objectives are a better state of mind than learning objectives.

Performance means doing something. Learning to do something is best by doing it in a safe environment. That means interactive software simulations are the best way to learn company software.

Interactivity is vital when it comes to effective learning. Employees will retain information and develop a deeper understanding of the software by actively engaging with the software.

Doing the process in software is more valuable than watching someone else do it.

Custom eLearning development always includes interactive elements, and employees can click their way through their learning. No more sitting back slack-jawed while the video goes right by them.

With good storytelling and scenarios, there are sometimes great opportunities for decision-making and challenging employees with situational learning.

Hands-on experience is crucial for learning software. By allowing employees to practice using the (simulated) software, they gain confidence and develop the muscle memory necessary for efficiently navigating processes and critical thinking.

The results of interactivity in realistic software simulations are so much more potent than passively watching a video. Practical experience allows people to become more proficient in using the software and critical thinking to work through problems instead of always simply reaching for the phone for help.

Of course, there’s no reason you should discourage them from contacting someone if they need help. We would never encourage you to do that.

Now it’s time to move on to how scenarios and the context that can be built into software simulations will empower your employees with company software.

The Role of Scenarios And Context That Videos Don’t Provide

Next to interactivity, the most significant advantage of custom eLearning is the ability to create scenarios that closely resemble real-world situations. Videos typically provide a process that is straightforward and task-based. However, it’s simply not comprehensive in helping employees apply that information to their jobs. And sometimes, software processes and procedures don’t make sense without the full context.

Videos may provide a general overview of using certain features, but they often lack context and fail to address specific challenges that employees may face. Software simulations in custom eLearning can be tailored to address specific job roles within the company, allowing employees to practice using the software in scenarios relevant to their daily tasks.

This contextual learning helps bridge the gap between theory and practice, ensuring employees can apply their knowledge in real-world situations. Learning doesn’t get any better than that when you learn the software and how to apply the processes to your job.

Now that’s real learning!

Benefits of Custom eLearning for Learning Company Software

Earlier in this post, you saw the limitations of video for learning software. Let’s flip that around and see some of the benefits of custom eLearning for learning company software.

With a well-built custom eLearning course, there’s no lack of interactivity. Employees use their brains and click through actual simulated software from the beginning.

Employees come out of their training with real-world experience, ensuring they’re ready to do their job with the new system. That means they’re more comfortable in their job and ready to go.

Software simulation courses provide interactivity, experience, skill checks, and an easy format to consume it all.

Thorough software simulations can include skill checks when relevant. That means they can learn how to use the tool and be asked to demonstrate how to do the tasks they learned. That way, it’s not a boring multiple-choice or true/false test; it’s an actual, interactive skill check.

Software simulations are accurate to the software employees are learning. That means there’s no switching between software and a video. Even if the software isn’t available to employees yet, they can learn it by clicking through and performing the actions rather than passively observing. It’s not tiring at all!

Are you ready to transition from having your employees passively watch software tutorial videos and move into a more interactive way of learning? Read on!

Transitioning from Passive Watching to Active Learning

To transition from passive watching of video tutorials to active learning through custom eLearning, companies need to invest in developing comprehensive training programs for company software. That doesn’t mean all software tutorial videos are thrown in the recycle bin.

Software tutorial videos still have their place for quick and short tasks that don’t need a lot of context. They’re also helpful for quick walkthroughs by a subject matter expert who needs to share something quickly. Lastly, they’re also beneficial when the number of employees needing to learn the software is small (less than 100-300 or so).

Designing software simulations is much more detailed than software tutorial videos, takes longer, and costs more money. A short tutorial video might take employees 3-5 minutes to watch and cost $4,000-$7,000 to develop. However, a custom software simulation course might take 15-20 minutes for employees to take and cost $15,000-$20,000 to create.

Software simulations are more time-consuming and expensive to create but can provide more value overall when employees can do their jobs better.

It’s more expensive, but for scalable and effective training for company software, nothing beats a custom eLearning software simulation course. It’s more effective in every way and provides actual practice when there’s something at stake for employees that they must get right and be efficient using the software.

Good training provides employees the tools and resources to actively engage with software and feel comfortable using it. Companies can enhance employee performance and productivity with a good software simulation course that delivers actual practice.

Custom eLearning equips employees with the skills necessary to navigate complex software systems and empowers them to understand how to apply what they learned to their jobs.

Wrap Up

While software tutorial videos may be popular, they’re not always the most effective option for helping employees learn company software. Custom eLearning offers a more engaging and interactive learning experience incorporating hands-on practice, scenarios, and context.

Videos are passive, while realistic software simulations are interactive. By transitioning from passive watching to active learning, companies can enhance employee performance and ensure that their workforce is equipped with the skills necessary to excel in using company software.

So, even though videos are popular on YouTube and TikTok, they’re not the best solution for learning company software. It’s time for your organization to embrace the power of software simulations in custom eLearning and unlock the true potential of your employees.

We specialize in corporate IT training, especially realistic software simulations for company software. If you’re ready to help employees achieve better results with company software, schedule a free consultation, and let’s talk about your next company software launch.

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