Embedded Video: How it can personalise digital learning for a fraction of the cost

Embedded Video: How it can personalise digital learning for a fraction of the cost

Affordable, attainable, effective.

This collection of adjectives, as incompatible as they may seem, is why we’re here. It’s our distillation of the reasons why someone might choose the new kid on the block of personalised digital learning — embedded video (through use of iFrames) — over ready-to-go SCORM courses. 

To be clear, we’re not about to bash the SCORM learning experience over the head with a big stick. WE make SCORM-compliant courses (and we think they’re pretty good), we understand their enduring appeal. They remain the cheapest, fastest and easiest way to get your learning activities afoot. The fact that they’re trackable and scalable is also a huge bonus.

However, what you can’t do through SCORM is tailor to the learning objectives (or indeed learning styles) of the user. And that, according to Jeff Freyermuth, principal research analyst at Gartner, is a problem: 

…the traditional, one-size-fits-all approach to L&D will no longer cut it in the new work environment.1

Oh golly.

If your immediate reaction is ‘yes, but personalised digital learning is stomach-curdling-ly expensive’ then we implore you to keep reading.

Let’s talk SCORM and embedded videos

That intro featured some bold claims so let’s get down to the nitty gritty.


SCORM courses are, like an extended family holiday in Lanzarote, a package deal. They include everything you need to get students learning. Often, they feature:

  • Videos
  • Quizzes
  • Course materials
  • The occasional game

One of the pillars of SCORM learning is that it is trackable and this is essential for any organisation that assesses students against company and individual goals. With little more than a glance, L&D managers can see who’s been slacking engaging with the materials and how they are progressing.

SCORM also works with just about any LMS or LXP. Since the courses are readymade, they’re a cinch to deploy at scale. This is as seamless as it gets.

But — and this ‘but’ is about the size of a three-bed semi — there is no scope to customise the packaged learning experience. Learners must follow the format — you can’t remove unneeded sections— there is no personalisation.

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Embedded video 

This may sound intimidating but fear not because you’ve almost certainly encountered it before. Every time you’ve seen a YouTube clip on a site that isn’t YouTube, you’ve been looking at embedded video.

And if you’ve ever embedded a video into a webpage, you’ll know that the process is basically as straightforward as copying and pasting a line of code. 

What’s this got to do with L&D? Well, it allows learning designers to create engaging, personalised Digital Learning courses by using premade video content as the building blocks of — or supplementary materials to — their core messaging.

Suggested reading: Unsure why we’re sold on moving pictures? Check out this article on the three reasons video is so effective.

How can embedded videos be used to personalise digital learning in a SCORM-friendly way? 

If you’ve got access to an authoring tool and a halfway competent learning designer, you can use iFrames to create personalised learning pathways. Once the designer has their head around embedding code (and, really, this is not far off drag-and-drop) he/she/they are only limited by the quantity and quality of the video content they have at their disposal. 

They will have full control over the presentation, the order in which the course is completed and pretty much everything in between. While they won’t be able to make changes to the video on a frame-by-frame basis, they will be able to tailor it with the likes of logos and annotations.

Why is this good for learning? 

Personalisation is a big deal when it comes to engagement and adoption. Aligning course objectives with learner goals, for example, is a bit like putting on the afterburners. 73% of respondents in LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report said they would dedicate time to development if it would help them perform better in their role.2 Conversely, suggest an employee work through a SCORM course that is only partially relevant to what they do and you can expect it to take a while — if it gets done at all.

Personalisation has traditionally come at a cost. Making courses and content from scratch puts significant strain on financial and human resources. It remains the ideal for many L&D professionals — but it is also unrealistic for a lot of businesses, not everyone is owed a favour by Steven Spielberg and his production team.

Using iFrames for video-based learning is the happy medium between the rigidity of SCORM and the expense of bespoke content. When utilised correctly, it offers:

  • A really useful amount of control. 
  • Full integration with your LXP or LMS.
  • Those same tracking features you know and love.
  • Customised learning courses — that boost learning adoption. 

And let’s not forget the flexibility and versatility it offers. The same content can be repurposed in any number of ways.

So, how can video arts help? 

At Video Arts, we have a cracking library of iFrame content that we think you’ll love. We don’t, however, have a patent on iFrames. You can absolutely trawl the web for resources and use them in the way we’ve just outlined. 

What we are offering, however, is material you can trust. It’s been compiled by subject matter experts and it’s been shot by a professional production crew. Those with high expectations won’t be disappointed. 

Oh, and it features BAFTA-winning comedians that your employees will recognise. It’s the stuff teachers and students in the traditional classroom setting would lose their minds over.

Suggested reading: Not sure humour is right for your organisation? Run your eye over this article on the secret to learner engagement (and then come and talk to us).

And look: if you still feel SCORM is the way, the truth and the life then we’ve got your back there, too. Believe us: there is nothing stuffy or dull about our out-of-the-box courses — in fact they’ll also have you in fits of laughter (whilst learning). 

We could talk about this for days. Probably time we suggest you contact us and let you get on with things.

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1 Jeff Freyermuth,
2 Anthony Santa Maria,

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