The name VideoBook was first registered and used in the UK in 1982, by Yorkshire film producers Studio 21 as a trading title and style for an innovative set of local-interest, sell-thru video films, at a time when most video films were only available as rentals. The name VideoBook was in commercial use by Studio 21 in the UK until 2000, and has recently been acquired by a new UK film production company.

Nowadays, the name (without the two uppercase characters) has become synonymous with a form of online training that delivers web-based training via downloadable training videos. Most videobooks are single website entities that focus on teaching the user (typically a subscriber)a particular topic (see links below for examples). Videobooks are, as the name implies, similar in content and outline to a "regular" book. The videos are typically recorded by a trained instructor and offered to the viewer on a subscription-based model. The user visits the videobook (the website containing the training videos), purchases a subscription, and can then download any or all of the training videos.

Videobooks are different from many Computer-based training (CBT) models in that videobook videos are typically in a shareable/portable (non-proprietary) format. They also differ in the content delivery

Key features of a Videobook

The basic component of a videobook is video. Comparing videobook to printed book and audio book -- the printed book will have printed text (words), the audio book will have audio words. The videobook will have text showing on user screen along with pictures and video clips, if necessary. The text displayed may get animated along with related audio commentary in the background. Videobook may also contain video footage shot from video camera or video footage collected from any source.

*Delivery: Typically, web-based delivery in video format. Downloadable videos, free of cost or at low cost for a subscription
*Focus: Videos focus on teaching a specific task (task-based videos)
*LEARNER'S FREEDOM: Learner can watch the videos in any order they wish; the videos are presented in a recommended order but, due to the downloadble model, learners can download and watch videos in any sequence. Videobooks provide freedom to learner to learn in his own pace and at his own leisure time

  • TEACHER'S FREEDOM : Videobooks provide freedom to subject expert to prepare video content in the way he wants
  • CONNECTIVITY: Require no Internet connection to watch the video (Internet connection is required to download the video however)
  • PORTABILITY: Videos are portable and non-proprietary - users can watch the video on any computer and most portable devices
  • TARGET GROUP: Target market is usually the individual instead of a corporation or company department
  • COST OF PREPARATION: Videobooks are very cost-effective and easy to develop using low cost screen capturing software. Lot of scope to enhance the functionalities of screen capturing software, available in market at present.
  • PROCESS OF PREPARATION: Videobooks may be prepared for any topic of knowledge using a) presentation software such as Powerpoint, b) Screen capturing software such as Camtasia and c) Text-to-Speech software, such as TextAloudMP3 to provide audio commentary. With the use of these three powerful tools any expert can develop videobooks at his leisure time, modify & finetune the content as per learner's feedback and release improved versions of videobooks conveniently. Readers who are interested in developing videobooks on their own are requested to browse to learn step-by-step procedure to develop videobooks.
  • Competition and Comparison

    Videobooks often get lumped in with CBTs (Computer-based training) and e-learning yet they are distinctly different. A comparative analysis of each is listed below:
    Computer-based training (CBT) is a very effective medium for training employees. Although it offers an excellent ROI, CBTs often carries a high start-up cost for business looking to implement and are therefore marketed mostly to companies/departments (cost is often too high for an individual to purchase). CBTs are an excellent tool for training and can feature online (trackable) quizzes, excellent examples and 3D motion video. Many CBTs can be viewed offline (no connection to the Internet may ever be required) and most CBTs are delivered via CD-ROM or DVD via postal mail or in-store purchase. CBTs are historically proprietary and often require special software to be installed on the user's computer.

    e-learning and videobooks are also often compared because both models use the web for content delivery. The main differences between the two are cost ( [e-learning] is typically not a low-cost medium), target market (e-learning has historically been too expensive for individuals and so the target market has primarily been companies and departments), and portability (e-learning requires an Internet connection to participate).

    See also

    * e-learning.
    * [ How to convert a presentation to video or dvd.]
    * computer-based training
    * web-based training
    * [ Blog Entry: "How Do Videobooks Compare to CD-ROM Video Training?]
    * [ Blog Entry "Are Videobooks E-Learning?"]

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