Adding YouTube Videos to Your Learning Management System

YouTube is by far the world’s most popular video site. YouTube reports that:

  • Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
  • YouTube is localized in 43 countries and across 60 languages
  • In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views or around 140 views for every person on Earth
  • 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute

That last metric stating that 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, should generate eureka squeals of joy from learning content developers. Sure, a lot of those videos feature musical performances by rock-star wannabes and cats doing funny things, but there’s a huge number of videos on content topics relevant to workplace learning.

Don’t believe me?

  • A YouTube search for “Safety Training” returns 56,000 results
  • A search for “Management Skills” returns 36,600 results
  • A search for “Business Writing” returns 57,000 results
  • A search for “MS Excel 2010 Tutorial” returns 40,200 results

The volume of content available on YouTube frees training departments from having to reinvent the wheel. Rather than focusing on creating content, they can instead focus their efforts on finding the best existing content to provide to learners.

Because there’s so much content on YouTube, it isn’t an effective learning strategy to say to learners “why don’t you go to YouTube and watch a few videos about project management.” The learner shouldn’t be required to sort through dozens of videos before finding relevant content. A more efficient approach is to find and integrate good YouTube content into your learning management system and ultimately into learning paths.

Chances are, your learning management system will allow you to link to YouTube videos which will open in a new window. This approach will display the comments posted by people on YouTube and will allow your learners to comment as well if they wish. The ability to comment anonymously, however, doesn’t always bring out the best in people on YouTube so if you prefer, you can—thanks to Google’s generosity and “don’t be evil” philosophy—embed the source video directly into your course player like this:

Time Management YouTube Video embedded in Absorb LMS

YouTube content can turbocharge your learning initiatives by significantly decreasing the amount of time required to provide learners with good content. Even if you’re hard at work creating proprietary learning content, you can quickly create and make available effective and entertaining content that will help your learners acquire new skills.