Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is one of those things that we've always known healthcare professionals, teachers and solicitors have to do to keep up with new legislation and research findings. Recently though, according to the CIPD Certification Service, participation in CPD has increased significantly as a result of technological developments, changes in consumer needs and uncertainty in the job market.
CPD allows us to keep up to date with new working methods, tools and techniques making us more productive over the long-term. Spending time on CPD demonstrates a commitment to providing the best and most efficient service to your clients and employers. It can provide us with the skills to be flexible and resilient to unexpected changes in our industry.
Committing to CPD can feel overwhelming and stressful in a busy workplace. Lifelong learning is a nice idea in principle but in reality how are we supposed to fit meaningful learning into a hectic schedule? We don't always have time to travel to conferences and seminars to earn CPD points. The solution is good quality online resources, so you can learn without leaving the office.
At the core of good online CPD is engaging video. As stated in an article about CPD and video in Education Today: Journal of the College of Teachers 'it is not enough for a video to merely explain and transmit.' They go on to say that it also needs to use the best of television production expertise to 'engage and inspire its audience.' But what elements can we take from television production to make CPD video most constructive?
For busy people, unstructured videos can seem endless. Well-planned content with a clear narrative and defined learning outcomes creates the most watchable, effective content. Short, concise chapters with the content clearly labelled make it accessible and easier to navigate. Video can now host an element of interactivity, such as quizzes, questioning participants to ensure that they remain focused, assessing their knowledge and providing feedback on their progress.
Technical quality is essential for creating engaging content, background noise and bad camera work are distracting for the learner. Part of what makes the TED Talks series so successful is the quality of their productions, which includes multiple camera angles using broadcast-quality cameras, crystal clear audio and great lighting. They are brilliant talks but if they were documented by someone with a handycam at the back of the theatre their engagement rates would be far lower .
Photo credit: Jon Sullivan (PDPhoto.org)
Making good editorial decisions about content is really valuable. Professional editors know how to produce a video that communicates the information in the most exacting and efficient way. Well paced editing with vivid, illustrative imagery will help learners to retain information. Think of any BBC nature documentary; David Attenborough would be nothing without those amazing time lapse shots of plants growing. Professionally produced motion graphics and info-graphics can also be used to illustrate complex information and appeal to different learning styles.
When produced to professional standards, video can make CPD more accessible and manageable for everyone. It can bring CPD topics to life rather than just 'explain and transmit' information.