Video Tutorials vs. Reading: What’s Better and How to Make Your Choice

There are different ways of acquiring knowledge – via reading, watching a video, or listening to audiobooks or podcasts.

There are different ways of acquiring knowledge – via reading, watching a video, or listening to audiobooks or podcasts. 

They are based on different means of perception, and some are easier to follow. There has been a long-standing idea that there are auditory and visual learners. 

However, recently, it has been proven that such differentiation has no evidence. People learn better when they have various means of information, but not when they use only a particular one.

The question is then what to stick to longer – a video tutorial or a book? Let’s talk about the pros and cons and how to choose what’s better.

Pros of Reading

Reading is an essential part of our lives, whether it is an educational process or pure enjoyment with a good fiction book. For years it has been the main way to learn something new. 

It remains an important part of the academic process, especially when studying in college. If you want to write assignments as good as EssayPro specialists do, you’ll have to read a lot. Yet, this is not the only advantage. Here are a few more:

  • Reading increases vocabulary. This will automatically make you a better writer. You will learn new words, constructions and remember the grammar and spelling rules easily;
  • Learn on your terms. You can choose a pace that is comfortable for you. There is an opportunity to read slower or faster. And the more you read, the better you get at it;
  • Reading benefits brain development. This process keeps the brain active and increases connectivity among different areas. It prevents age-related cognitive function reduction. It reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s, among other diseases;
  • Beneficial for mental health. It reduces stress and helps to overcome depression symptoms easier;
  • It is an active learning process. Reading takes more energy because the brain stays active through the whole process. In the long run, it increases the chances of remembering this information for years;
  • Books usually contain more information and details on a given subject. As they are bigger in volume, they have significantly more data than a video tutorial.

Cons of Reading

Now let’s talk about the flip side. Here are the main “cons” of reading in comparison to opting for a video:

  • It takes more time. Depending on the reader’s skills, this process can be much slower than watching a video;
  • Books are not cheap. And they are not always available at libraries or stores nearby. There is a possibility to buy them online, but not everyone can afford all the volumes they would like to read;
  • Some people have learning difficulties, which makes reading hard for them. For instance, such an activity will not be easy for people with dyslexia. They might benefit from watching a video or listening to the audio instead;
  • Books get outdated. The science is constantly developing; new studies prove or debunk previously known ideas. Some books can provide outdated data that has no value for modern days just because it was written much earlier.

Pros of Video Tutorials

Thanks to YouTube and other broadcasting services, there are lots of visual information and educational courses. 

Overall, they are fun and entertaining, so people tend to choose this option more often. Here are some other pros of watching a video:

  • It takes less time. Watching a tutorial is quicker than going through the whole book. You can learn basic information in half an hour, and it is great;
  • They are entertaining. Creators are pressured to make entertaining content as the competition is fiercer than ever. That’s why videos have lots of engaging moments, links to sources, visual data, etc.
  • They help to grasp the general idea. If you are introduced to a new topic, a tutorial can be of great help. It is good to start with one to understand what the topic is about, what the key elements are and where to look next;
  • They are easier to follow. It is a passive way to learn, so the brain is not so active and tired. It means that the information will probably not stick with you for a long time. Also, you can watch videos at almost any time and any place (if there is an Internet connection);
  • The majority of tutorials are free, especially on YouTube;
  • You can watch how a person really does something and learn from practice. It might be very helpful to follow the process with someone and see exactly how they did something.

Cons of Video Tutorials

As with any other issue, there are drawbacks regarding this option as well:

  • Videos tend to deal with a surface level of knowledge. They are designed for the general public and do not go into detail, so they are better to get introduced to complex topics before reading further;
  • Finding a good tutorial is hard. There is too much content and it is hard to figure out which one is good. So you might spend more time looking for a great video than actually watching it;
  • Tutorials offer only the narrator’s’ perspective, what one thinks is important to know. It is always better to have a wider picture.

In Summary

Choosing the type of learning should depend on personal preferences and the overall goal. 

If you want to have a general idea of something fast – choose a video, it will do exactly it. When you need a closer and detailed insight on a matter, it is better to opt for a book.

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