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The why and how of animation in e-learning design

E-learning design requires creativity in terms of course structure, content, and delivery. As course creators, we need to think about successful outcomes such as high retention and completion rates.

With online courses, there is a tremendous opportunity to share information in different ways to create equal chances for every learner to succeed.

Considering the learning styles myth, you should deliver information in a variety of ways to satisfy each learner's needs. The idea that people have different learning styles, such as visual or auditory, is easily debunked.

Learners retain information differently, but that doesn't exclude learning through all the senses. Each student's learning experience is unique, but that only shows a preference and not a general learning style.

As a result, you should offer learners a wide variety of learning experiences using the best of your abilities and tools.

Animation is a great way to convey meaning, being interactive, inclusive, and versatile.

In this article, you'll find out why you should include animation in your course and how to do that.

Why you should consider animation for your online course

Learning happens when people are exposed to content that triggers an emotional response. Animation is a way to make an impact, with the ultimate goal to enhance the learning experience. That's the science behind cartoons, animated YouTube videos, and other animations.

With this in mind, let's explore how animation benefits learning:

It simplifies complex concepts

Depending on the field of knowledge, you may have to share information that is hard to understand through text only. Animation helps you show different processes or experiments and make complex information memorable by facilitating retention.

It engages learners

Learning can be a tedious process of going through pages and pages of text. With animation, learners are part of the learning process, which boosts their motivation and engagement.

It provides an interactive learning environment

Online learning can feel impersonal at times. However, through animation, you can provide a more personal delivery when you double it with voiceovers. Moreover, your learners can revisit the videos anytime they want.

Read more: 4 Things to consider when you need a voiceover artist for your online course

It is inclusive

Animation may be universally accepted as a learning medium, but it is also a tool for inclusive teaching. People with learning difficulties can benefit from animated content, too. Besides offering variety in information delivery, you also create equal learning opportunities. For instance, doubling animated videos with subtitles will benefit learners with hearing impediments.

Read more: How knowledge entrepreneurs design accessible e-learning content

It is affordable

While animation implies costs, creating it can become profitable. Balancing your investment and the benefits, you'll easily see that it's affordable. Animation is worth it because it helps increase completion rates, can be reused across different mediums or repurposed. Plus, it can become your signature to stand out from other course creators.

Now that you've learned what the benefits of animation are, let's see how you can use it in your online course:

How to use animation in e-learning design

The process of delivering information through animation follows some steps. You can collaborate with animation studios for professional videos or create animated graphics for the best results.

This is an investment worth making if you take into consideration that it's less expensive and time-consuming than filming yourself.

Each animation goes through an entire process from concept to production. Here are the stages of creating animations:

  1. Know your audience. First, you need to know exactly who your learners are and their approximate ages. This way, you can use the appropriate characters, colors, and typology to suit them. Younger learners engage better with colorful, fun, and cheerful animations, while adults relate to simpler characters and neutral colors. Also, you need to balance the amount of text you use for your animation for the same reasons.
  2. Write the script. You should write down everything you want to include in your animation. This way, you can follow the scenario and make sure none of your ideas are left out.
  3. Decide on additional effects. Keeping your learners in mind, tailor the animation to resonate with them. Add background, visuals and sound to complete the message you want to send.
  4. Illustrate the elements. This is the moment when you put the characters and other elements on paper. You don't have to create all of them. There are a lot of online resources you can use instead.
  5. Animate the elements. In this stage, your elements come to life in an animated format, ready to reach your learners.
  6. Deliver the animation. Animation should be a part of a larger story that completes your course. Try to use relevant and coherent animations to deliver essential information.This way, your learners know what to expect, and the learning process is straightforward.

To conclude

Animation is the go-to format of information delivery that will complete your course. It is simple, engaging and interactive, and, most importantly, inclusive. Consequently, it contributes to the learning process by boosting retention and ensuring high completion rates.

As an e-learning tool, animation is also worth the investment. Because it is reusable, editable, time-efficient, cost-efficient, and versatile, you have everything to gain from using animation.

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