Why use animation in eLearning? Many people may think of animation in terms of entertainment value alone. Animation is far more valuable for its ability to engage learners, explain or illustrate ideas, and improve recall of complex relationships, such as cause and effect.
Look up these specific animation types for use in your projects:
- Whiteboard animation: Not necessary to be able to draw the characters. Multiple brands.
- Stop-motion animation
- Animation programs for beginners
- Free animation software
What could you animate?
Use animation to make a presentation dynamic and to emphasize key points, but use it sparingly. Animation can make a presentation more dynamic and can help to emphasize key points. At the same time, too much animation can be distracting. Unnecessary animation that takes the focus away from your message or your story is simply bad execution. Consider these use cases:
- Software training
- Safety training
- Product training
- Medical emergencies
- Explainer videos
- Sales enablement
- Equipment operation
Avoid cognitive overload
In their essential book on design, e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning, Ruth Colvin Clark and Richard E. Mayer present fundamental guides to evidence-based instruction. Three of the chapters present ways to avoid cognitive dissonance that can be created by narration. These are the contiguity principle (align words to corresponding graphics), the modality principle (present words as audio narration rather than on-screen text), and the redundancy principle (explain visual with words in audio or text but not both). I highly recommend their book for all eLearning designers.
Animation audio perfection tips
Audio is even more important to effective animations than the visuals. I know the following three bullets are redundant, but that’s because the script must support the visuals. Otherwise the learner will struggle to know what to do.
- When writing a script, stay in touch with what will be on the screen while the script is playing. The script must support the visuals.
- Stay in touch with the elements that are on the screen—where they are, how they are labelled, and what the learner is supposed to do with them. The script must support the visuals.
- The script must match the screen, so write the script to explain any interaction taking place on the screen. The script must support the visuals.
Plan first! Sketch storyboards—use sticky notes so you can change the order of the sketches, adding and subtracting sketches where needed. Write the script after the storyboards. Make the script no longer than necessary.
Did you know that you can use ChatGBT or other AI to write your script? Someday soon you will be able to create an entire animation using AI, from script to finish. Watch for it!
Tutorials: How to make an animated video
It is possible for you to do this! Use these search terms to find step-by-step help.
- Software demo tutorials
- YouTube tutorials
- PowerPoint animations – low cost
- Animated explainer videos – easy to make, easy to follow
- Animated GIFs (PowerPoint)
Use software review sites to locate animation applications