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Interview with Scott Rehling - Advantages of using Rich Media
Scott Rehling in the Texas Longhorn locker room filming for Vmag
Today we are talking to one of our partners, Scott Rehling of Lava Studios. MicroAssist and Lava Studios have worked together on many rich media projects. Scott is also a frequent participant in MicroAssist's Programs.
MicroAssist: Scott, What does Lava Studios do?
Scott: Lava is a rich media content developer/production company.
MicroAssist: Can you define rich media from your perspective for us?
Scott: The way we define rich media is utilization of audio, video, flash, and multimedia to create compelling, interactive content which is then distributed via the web, broadcast television and digital media platforms such as DVD, or CD.
MicroAssist: What are the advantages of adding rich media to your message?
Scott: Adding audio and visual content to your message tends to be more compelling in the sense that it draws the user more into the message, gives you the potential to add some interactivity, and is simply more interesting. The bottom line is that humans are visual and studies have shown that visual and audio cues resonate more than just text based messages. All of this adds up to better results (more leads, better adoption rates, higher rates of responses on call to action, etc)
MicroAssist: I was reading that in face to face communication only 7% of the message is the words used, 38% is tone of voice, and 55% is body language. We're missing out a lot of opportunity to communicate in our e-learning if we just rely on the written word.
Scott: I completely agree!
MicroAssist: I know you have done some cool client projects where you have used rich media to improve the message. Can you talk about one of them?
Scott: Sure. I'll talk about a couple. Whole Foods has been printing recipes on their website and in printed materials for years. Lava studios is now creating a weekly video blog program, called the Secret Ingredient, which is a cooking demonstration show, which visually brings the recipe to life.
MicroAssist: I've seen that. I used it to make Chef Lambert's coffee roasted brisket. Perfect recipe for Super Bowl Sunday.
Scott: Excellent! I'm not surprised- the show is extremely popular! Although they don't have specfic scientific data to prove it, they believe that the show is contributing greatly to awareness about the products featured in the shows and subsequently, sales of those items in their stores. Another good example is the work that we're doing with Bulldog Solutions. Bulldog is in the sales lead generation business and they utilize webinars to generate leads. Previously, they were just sending out emails to announce the events and to recruit participants.
MicroAssist: And now?
Scott: They began working with Lava to produce video announcements of the events and avatars which they place on their own and their clients websites, announcing events. With the rich media messages, they are seeing the number of participants going up by double digit percentages.
MicroAssist: One of the concerns many of our e-learning clients have is about thecomplexity of adding rich media. How difficult is it to add video or audio to a presentation?
Scott: It kind of depends on the production values you are trying to attain.
MicroAssist: Is there anyway to give ballpark estimates on cost for either audio or video? For E-learning it is frequently more about the message than about high end production values
Scott: So, for example, simple audio podcasts are fairly easily produced and distributed. With an investment in a decent microphone and some basic audio editing software, simple audio podcasts can be produced by anyone. If you're looking for slightly higher production values, with some professional editing, music, etc. outsourcing to someone who specializes in that.
Scott: As far as video, unless you have someone in house who specializes in production, it can be a difficult proposition to attempt to produce in house. The good news about all of this is that with proper planning and execution, content can be created relatively affordably in reference to the return that you can gain.
MicroAssist: We have found that using a professional that specializes in creating a powerful message does more than just improve production values. Frequently they draw the best information out of Subject Matter Experts and present it in a way that other people can learn from.
Scott: To give you an idea, a typical weekly audio podcast (3-5 minutes in length) can be as low as $300 per episode
MicroAssist: That is a lot more affordable than I would have thought. A lot of our clients are just too busy doing their own jobs to become an expert on producing podcasts.
Scott: And a weekly videocast of similar length can be under $1000 per episode. I would tell you that many of our clients tried to "do it themselves" first unsuccessfully, and then came to us
MicroAssist: What other interesting stuff have you been doing?
Scott: Productized avatars, which add rich media and the ability to personalize and localize a web presence.
MicroAssist: That is really cool. That would have great use in E-Learning.
Scott: Avatars can be used as virtual instructors.
Scott, Thank you for your time. We'll see you at the next Program!