Best Type of Tutorials for Teaching?

by BeckM2
15 replies
I run a tutorial website and I have both video tutorials and text tutorials.

Does anyone have any experience as to which users prefer more? or when it's better to have a text tutorial vs a video one?

I know that text tutorials are faster to read, and I also know (and try to practice) the idea that unless a video tutorial is well done, not to bother.

Thanks.
#teaching #tutorials #type
  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Video tutorials can be nice, especially with SMALL tasks or ones that need detailed examples, but are otherwise BAD! HEY, they are nice for looks and explanation, but provide text AS WELL!!!!!! Difficulties in language just make this MORE important. I think I spoke here earlier about how my uncle "translated" for his Danish boss who is/was fluent in English. When his boss asked what language the guy was speaking, my uncle said "ENGLISH, He's from texas!"!

    Steve
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1463618].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    I think it depends on what type of info is being produced.. some people like text so it reduces the amount of note taking.

    I think if it's very complicated or technical then a video could be best (point and click method).
    Signature
    IMPORTANT MESSAGE: I'm currently on vacation & will answer all messages when I return - Happy Holidays!!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1463627].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Rick Johansson
      I usually do video tutorials. They have more inherent value and you can position them as a "look-over-my-shoulder" type of thing in the sales copy.

      You could actually do both...just tell them "you also get the text version you can print out and read on your spare time--so you can learn the material more"...

      I would never do just text tutorials (that's just me).

      Rick
      Signature
      Rick Johansson M.S: "Expert Of Earning HONEST Long-Term Internet Income"

      Are You Committing The 5 STUPID Mistakes That Could Be ROBBING You From Earning LONG-Term Internet Income? Click Here To Find Out!.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1463730].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Some people find it easier to learn by watching, but I prefer reading. Why? It's much easier to find a specific part of a lesson in a text based tutorial than to find it in the middle of a long video or rummaging through multiple videos. If the text tutorial has a table of contents that links to the individual lessons or chapters, then finding exactly what you want is a breeze.

    To be honest, with the exception of imparting motivational topics, I've always thought the perceived value of video and audio was greatly overrated. With a plethora of videos that are nothing more than poorly produced, low quality slideshows of text messages, I think the "perceived value" of videos has already started to fall.

    I always pass on products that are only in video or audio format. If there's no text, I won't buy. With the disappointment many experience after buying overpriced videos, video-only products are going to become harder and harder to sell. Just my two cents, spend it wisely.
    Signature

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1463786].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author NyceGuy
      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      If the text tutorial has a table of contents that links to the individual lessons or chapters, then finding exactly what you want is a breeze.

      To be honest, with the exception of imparting motivational topics, I've always thought the perceived value of video and audio was greatly overrated. With a plethora of videos that are nothing more than poorly produced, low quality slideshows of text messages, I think the "perceived value" of videos has already started to fall.
      Right on point.

      I think except for a few good ones, most video products have a lot of fluff. Most people who prepare video use it as scape-goat to some sort of laziness in preparing well-written, grammatical correct, spell-checked content. With written content you cannot easily talk yourself out with non-preparation without it being so obvious to the reader.

      Most videos are always ad-libed, blabbered, and underprepared. Most people do not even have a cheat sheet for the points they are going to discuss on. They just turn their cameras on and start talking away.

      But I have developed respect for Michael Rasmussen's video products. You can tell that he most probably wrote every word he is speaking out on his videos. They being professional is always a plus.

      So for those shy beings not wanting to be seen in videos, or not so tech enough to bother making videos, text could still rule for a number of years to come.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1477429].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MizzCindy
    I would want both. I like to be able to read and process at my leisure, but I also want to see the process.

    However, the biggest question is this. What are your visitors/students/customers telling you? Have you gotten any feedback from them regarding what they prefer and why?

    Good luck.

    Cindy
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1463898].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author BeckM2
      Well that's the problem. I don't have any comments -- in fact I just started a thread here about what I can do to try and generate some comments.

      Also, I even have a spot on the site (and in the main navigation, no less) to offer people free generation of tutorials that they might need. I figured what better way to get great content then by answering real questions that real people are looking for...

      That being said, nobody has asked me to create a tutorial for them from this part of the site, so it's been pretty frustrating.

      I do get a few hundred visits per month and the traffic and time on the site is slowly building, so hopefully things will improve.
      Signature
      Short Hills Design, LLC
      Internet Marketing for Dentists and Physicians
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1463950].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MizzCindy
    Aha. Are you building a list? A list can often give you some great feedback if you get responsive folks to sign up. Or maybe some type of survey built into your tutorial products? Make sure there's some sort of reward for taking the survey, like extra free training, so students are more likely to want to take it.

    Or how about a little cheat? Try to find some forums related to the types of training you offer. Many times people will post questions regarding training issues or how they learn or preferences, etc.

    Although, I still think the best answer in most cases is to offer both written and video, it's really a better idea to base that decision on real feedback whenever possible.

    HTH!
    Cindy
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1463964].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author BeckM2
      Aha. Are you building a list? A list can often give you some great feedback if you get responsive folks to sign up.
      Do you mean like a constant contact or aweber list? I figured that since I had no comments yet, why bother having a mailing list...


      Or maybe some type of survey built into your tutorial products?
      That's a great idea! I don't know why I didn't think of that myself. Do you know of any good wp plugins that handle rating/commenting In the meantime I will get started searching.


      Thanks.
      Signature
      Short Hills Design, LLC
      Internet Marketing for Dentists and Physicians
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1464158].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author NyceGuy
    Some information can still be best relayed through text.
    Some niches have become so advanced, so fast that you have to actually make a video to be perceived as valuable by the customer.

    Sometimes looking at it this way can help:

    When a niche had so so so much text content easily available online, then making video tutorials will certainly appeal to the customers.
    When there is little information searchable online in a niche, using text will just be ok.

    But this is just my opinion.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1477401].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author richdirtygirl
    Hi Beck!

    we did some tests about bouncing in pdfs and video.

    what we found is that common sense rules... (in this case )

    in cases where it was easier to see it done, the video was better. Example: how to make a custom shape mask in fireworks.

    in most cases, we settled for pdfs where half was chit chat and the other half was the "getting the hands dirty" section where you show screen captures and follow the process click by click (can show you one if you want).

    now we are playing with other formats, but no conclusions yet.

    but... each niche is different, and my writer is not yours... so to get the right answer.. just ask your customers.

    Laura
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1477501].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author steveniam
    Some people only can understand through text and some only through video. So if you want to cater to all audiences, you will need video, audio and text.
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1477578].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author GingerColeen
    I think I stand with the crowd here when I say BOTH. The video is nice to watch and does give a higher perceived value but I like to be able to highlight rather than take notes so I want something that I can use as a resource.

    The guys over at Market Samurai have a video at the top of the page and a screen capture of each slide below the video with a transcript of what was said on that slide.

    Here's an example: Noble Samurai Dojo - Golden Rule #3: How to Assess Market Competition

    I love it. Now, I don't have to watch the whole video to find that little tidbit of info I can't exacly remember!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1568027].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      I'm pretty much a match-the-tackle-to-the-fish kind of guy, so there isn't much I can add to some of the answers you have already...

      > Use the format that best gets the job done. If 2-3 minutes of video will do the job of 30 pages of text, go with the video. And so on...

      The only thing I would add about providing a text version to go with a video is to make it truly useful by cross-indexing, linking, etc. Simply providing a word-for-word transcript, courtroom style, can be more frustrating than looking for a point in a video.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1569428].message }}

Trending Topics