The VLOG: a key tool for business & education in crises

Coronavirus response

As a breadth of educational institutions and businesses this week work against the clock to migrate as much as their business or practice online, it’s a key point of reflection for us all, to consider how prepared we have been to date, to skill ourselves, learners or employees, in being able to engage professionally and authentically on screen.

Let me share some key points of learning to help you fast track your conversion. I’m happy to field any questions too if you need. We are all in this together, and through our sharing, can help take some of the stress out of the situation.

Have VLOG, will travel!

For those following my posts, you will be familiar with my ongoing journey of ‘one VLOG’. Since my initial airing of an experimental ‘call to action’ VLOG through Linkedin I have worked to embed a ‘business VLOG’ as a 21st-century skill assessment device. From the Nexus Conference (UWTSD, 2019) to its appearance at the 28th ICDE World Online Conference in Learning (WCOL, 2019), it’s now recognised as an exemplar technology-enhanced assessment device by the Association of Learning Technologies, and the National Institute for Digital Learning, Ireland [thanks to Rob Lowney & Suzanne Stone (Dublin City University) for its inclusion]. The point being, learning to skill people in their employ of technology matters, and to this end, the business VLOG will serve as a credible technology-enhanced assessment device, targeting the development of ability to communicate authentically and professionally in front of a camera or online, in a professional business context.

Industry advocates

As captured in [An industry advovate for graduate vloggers] , in a VUCA world, graduates and professionals, from all contexts need to communicate confidently, authentically, and with authority, when presenting orally to colleagues, management and many types of stakeholder.

Vlog competences

Professional Vlogging requires:

  • Critical thinking
  • High-level oracy
  • Authenticity
  • Authority
  • Transparency
  • Digital storytelling

Communicating professionally over real-time or recorded video requires the ability to:

  • Relax in front of a camera/screen
  • Overcome self-consciousness
  • Digest content before starting to record/deliver key messages
  • Potentially convert longer scripts/directives into prompts for explanation
  • Show a confident level of engagement with the audience
  • Have the discipline to summarise the work with flow
  • Have an awareness of being ‘evidence-based’ and ‘fit for context’
  • Reflect/be self-aware of presenting skill
  • Show verbal confidence, tone and personal brand

I have no joy in elevating the importance of these skills in such desperate times, but hope to highlight this is an important opportunity to work on and enhance these skills. Everyone needs to work quickly to migrate their ‘delivery’ online where they can. For many, as a reaction to the coronavirus outbreak, this may be the first time they will manage or communicate to their teams, customers or stakeholders remotely.

Consequently, if designing a vlogging assessment or training support: you can help learners/staff focus on:

  • Professional introduction and close
  • Natural flow
  • Cogent evidence-based argumentation through verbal citation of literature/sources (flexible to the context: in education a focus on the underpinning research, business a focus on the business case/evidence)
  • Cognitive skills (e.g critical evaluation of research/evidence to support an argument, portray effective critique)
  • Continual focus on ‘context’
  • Professional tone and energy to maximize audience engagement
  • Clarity of recommendations
  • Time constraints being used effectively e.g. filtering key points of emphasis
  • Technical basics: edit, upload, unlisted
  • Presenting speech: natural tone, energy, authority

If you are interested/impacted by this themes, then please feel free to get in touch.


See original post in 2019

“Video Killed the Radio star” (The Buggles, 1979) was the 80s hit tune that acknowledged the power of the then emerging video medium. I believe, within academia, we have yet to fully make use of the VLOG communication device. Here I argue the ‘VLOG’ has the power/agency to disrupt written discourses in some areas of business and management academia.

“Don’t Ask Anyone To Do Anything You Wouldn’t Do…” so  view my VLOG below, which is a call to action for fellow educators and professionals to make more use of VLOG activities/assessment, to develop skills in its effective use by business/management graduands, and in developing skillsets of the talent of Industry 4.0.


To VLOG or not to VLOG? by Felicity Healey-Benson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://emergentthinkers.com/2019/03/03/to-vlog-or-not-to-vlog-for-industry-4-0/.

References
Grombrich, C. (2012) Academic Vlogging [online]. Available at http://www.carlgombrich.org/academic-vlogging-ii/ [Accessed 2/2/2019]

Healey-Benson, F. (2020) ‘Success Story 1 – Vlogging’ in ‘The ‘What’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of Technology-Enhanced Assessment Seminar’, Dublin City University Teaching Enhancement Unit, National Institute for Digital Learning, 5th March 2020.


Healey-Benson, F. (2019) ‘Technology-Enhanced Assessment – Exemplar 1’. In Lowney, R. & Stone S., (2019) ‘Crowd-sourcing an OER: Exemplars and Case Studies of Technology-Enhanced Assessment’ [367], ALT (Association of Learning Technologies) Winter Conference 2019, 11-12 December 2019.


Healey-Benson, F. (2019)’ To Vlog or Not to Vlog’, ICDE’s 28th World Conference on Online Learning, Dublin, Ireland, 4-7th November 2019.

*Short-listed by the Sponsors of the WCOL (800+ delegates from over 80 countries) as ‘Best Concise Paper’ of the Conference


Healey-Benson, F. (2019) ‘Vlogging Skills for Industry 4.0’, Wales NEXUS Conference 2019, University of Wales, Swansea, 10th July 2019.


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