8 Types Of Training Videos Compared (With Examples)

Written by
Kevin Alster
Published on
June 4, 2024
Table of contents

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It's no secret: People love videos.

In fact, we watch 100 minutes of digital videos daily!

And videos are far more effective at teaching people a skill than text.

So if you're thinking of using one of these types of training videos to upskill, onboard, or train your next cohort of employees...

... the numbers are in your favor 🎉.

This post makes it easy to understand various types of training videos, when to use them, and how you can get started making them.

Did you know?

Studies have shown that viewers retain 95% of a video's message vs. 10% of text-based messaging. Now that's one way of making sure your training is a valuable and productive time for employees.

What are the types of training videos to use and when do you use them?

Which type of video you choose depends on several factors such as your:

  • Learning objective
  • Target audience
  • Available resources
  • Chosen delivery platform

In the below list, we'll cover exactly what scenario you'd want to use each type in to make sure your workplace training excels. But if you're stuck on how to best engage online learners or want to get started immediately, consider choosing a "how-to" tutorial video. It's not only the most popular type of video but also the most versatile.

Type 1: How-to training videos

How-to videos are considered instructor-led training videos and are the most popular types of training videos. 

With a person to narrate or demonstrate, these instructional videos teach employees how they can complete a task step-by-step.

To describe any process, you can pair your script — the information you’re teaching — with different visuals like screen recordings, B-roll footage, or whiteboard animation. The goal is to separate content into logical, consecutive steps leading to a precise result that learners can reproduce.

Here's an example of a how-to video that demonstrates using Trello, a popular project management tool. 👇

Project Management in Trello

How-to videos are best for:

  • Teaching a skill
  • Instructor-led training videos
  • Illustrating how to use a product or piece of software
  • Conveying complicated concepts with explanatory visual graphics
  • Demonstrating technical process instructions
  • Software tutorials covering a specific feature

Type 2: Screen-capture tutorial training videos

Screen-capture tutorial videos (also known as screencast training videos) are a simpler alternative to how-to videos. While they're still considered instructor-led training videos, they’re more straightforward and require less production time and budget. 

They typically take the form of a video demonstration of a task paired with audio narration. Screen-capture tutorials are popular when you need to work through actual software on screen to help the user learn a new task.

You can create screen-capture video tutorials (without using other visuals) using dedicated software or use other software to edit videos together and make more engaging content.

Hybrid screen-capture videos that include a talking head or animation typically generate a higher response rate over screen-only recordings.

Here’s an example of a hybrid video, combining software tutorial screen recordings with a talking head video 👇

How to Create a Screen Recording Video

Screencast training videos are best for:

  • Instructional videos covering technical processes, software tutorials, or demos
  • Customer support content as an engaging alternative to written FAQs
  • Over-the-shoulder style tutorial videos
  • When you need to create instructor-led videos

Type 3: Animated training videos

Within the umbrella term of animation, there are many styles of animated videos, from sleek infographics to funky whiteboard videos or friendly 2D cartoons.

Animated training videos excel at teaching concepts rather than actual tasks. Because they can quickly adapt to the idea that needs to be conveyed, they're a powerful visual aid when getting your employees to that "aha" moment.

Did you know? 🤔

Whiteboard animations can increase information retention by 15% for certain topics.

But despite their popularity, creating beautifully designed animated videos can be laborious and expensive. Moreover, they can often feel too kid-like for a corporate brand image.

The below training video showcases how the BBC teaches stress management to their employees👇

Managing Stress - Brainsmart - BBC

Animation is best for:

  • Explaining ideas for the ethos of large-scale software companies
  • Instructional videos that need to explain invisible or difficult-to-imagine concepts
  • Making videos with bland graphics and statistics more visually appealing

Type 4: Presenter training videos

A presenter video (also known as a talking head video) puts an expert or an actor front and center. The presenter guides learners through the topic via audio narration. In the mix, you'll often find demonstration videos to help learners visualize the subject matter.

Did you know? 🤔

A 2016 and 2018 study showed that human learning is most effective when resources are paired with a human face. Face-based resources can lead to significantly more learner engagement.

To create presenter training videos, you'll need to hire actors, lights, cameras, and a production studio. Alternatively you can create training videos using minimal equipment with a text-to-video maker like Synthesia.

Check out how we used AI to create a "make a talking head" video tutorial below👇

How to make a talking head video using AI

Presenter training videos work best for:

  • Quickly creating training content from in-house resources
  • Showcasing a presenter’s knowledge and skills
  • Lending authority and credibility to instructional videos
  • Scenario-based training videos that need to cover different topics

Type 5: Presentation training videos

Not to be confused with presenter videos, presentation videos are all about the information you visually show on the screen. Rather than teach, they're best training videos to use for informing and making excellent compliance training videos or report overviews.

Check out the editable presentation video below to see how you effortlessly combine great visuals, animation, and an AI avatar to demonstrate a company’s core values👇

Company Values Template: AI presenter included

Presentation videos are best for:

  • Conveying messages that hype up the audience
  • Showing off how a product/service works
  • Crafting creative and fun presentations for any business aspect
  • When you don't necessarily need instructor-led videos

Type 6: Lecture-capture training videos

Lecture capture is simply in-class recordings that students can access at a later time. These recordings make it easy to refer back to an in-person event or include those who were not able to attend.

Recordings typically include training discussions, visual resources presented during the training (like PowerPoint presentations), and the full-length lecture.

Use these types of training videos when you have a live event. Be prepared to spend a small budget on quality recording hardware and editing software. It's wise to break up recordings into snippets to make it easier for learners to digest.

Check out this example of a lecture capture on the topic of employee retention, for human resources management, by the renowned professor Armin Trost 👇

RETENTION 1/2 - HRM Lecture 10

Lecture capture is best for:

  • Live presentations, events, and lectures
  • Granting repeated access to valuable, one-time training resources by expert

Type 7: Interactive training videos

Interactive videos, also known as simulation training videos, create a real-life tutorial environment.

Learners don’t just sit and watch passively.

They actively interact with the instructional video by clicking sections of the screen, taking tests, and even switching scenarios.

When creating interactive elements for your training videos, you can use story-based branching scenarios, built-in polls and quizzes, gamification, hotspots, and augmented or virtual reality dispersed through the learning modules.

It takes specialized software to create such complex tutorial videos, but the result is often memorable and spectacular.

Did you know? 🤔

87% of consumers prefer an interactive educational video to a standard one. 

User-driven decision-making is a huge benefit of this simulation training videos. People feel more involved and are more likely to pay attention.

Check out this series of interactive HSE training videos that hooks you from the start, makes you select a learning scenario, and shoots questions at you for a practical learning experience.

Simulation training programs are best for:

  • Creating videos for safety training regulations
  • When you need resources to pair with an in-person regular training session
  • Creating high-impact, active learning experiences
  • Planning customized learning paths for particular outcomes

Type 8: Micro-learning videos

Micro-learning videos break down complex topics into short, easy-to-follow lessons.

This approach removes the pressure of instructional videos that were otherwise ineffective due to their length. The easily digestible, three-minute format of micro-lessons helps make complex subjects more approachable.

Micro-videos are more about the length and subject matter than the overall look of the instructional video. Frequently, micro-training videos employ kinetic typography and whiteboard animations, webcasts and live demos, or interactive videos

Here’s an example teaching the challenger sales model in five short microlearning videos. The intro is only one minute and a half 👇

The Challenger Sales Model - Lesson 1

Micro videos are best for:

  • Short and sweet product knowledge training
  • Speeding up employee onboarding with bite-sized teaching materials
  • Simplifying compliance training, especially in highly regulated industries

Ready to choose your favorite types of training videos?

You don’t need to start from scratch, hire an entire production crew, and pay thousands of dollars to create employee training videos.

You can get a head start creating training videos with AI.

👉 Pick a training video template from the Synthesia library to get started today.


Frequently asked questions

How long should my training videos be?

Learners are more engaged with training videos of under 20 minutes, the average preferred length being 3-6 minutes.

  • Create shorter videos for the more straightforward topics and expand your videos on the more complex subjects. 
  • Make video training more effective with complex topics by segmenting your training into video chunks of up to 6 minutes.

What are short training videos called?

Short training videos are commonly referred to as microlearning videos. These concise and focused videos are specifically designed to deliver small, bite-sized bursts of information that can be easily consumed and retained by learners. Microlearning videos offer an efficient and effective way to deliver targeted training content, making them a popular choice for organizations and individuals seeking quick and accessible learning solutions.

What are the different types of learning videos?

There are any different types of learning videos, but the 8 most common types are:

  1. How-to training videos
  2. Screen capture training videos
  3. Animated training videos
  4. Presenter-led training videos
  5. Presentation training videos
  6. Lecture-capture training videos
  7. Interactive training videos
  8. Microlearning videos

How do I measure the success of my training videos?

The most apparent evaluation metrics are the number of views and the completion rate. You can take your research further by getting feedback from the audience with surveys or focus groups that will tell you how well they received the training video.

How much does it typically cost to develop training videos?

Developing a live-action training video costs anywhere between $1,500 to $10,000 per minute.

By contrast, AI video production using online tools can cut costs to $10 per minute of training content. Using an AI video maker will also ensure your video will remain relevant to future training programs as it's easy to update videos with new content.