For today's post, we want to welcome a very special guest from the UK - Liz Bark, Creative Director at Optimised Learning Ltd!Animation in eLearning
eLearning courses offer the opportunity to access and optimise learning for busy learners who have little time to commit, broadening their skill set or refreshing their knowledge of complex concepts. But beyond the ease and accessibility of eLearning, interactive courses and animation in eLearning has the capability of taking learners even further by making knowledge more interactive and accessible, even in the corporate environment. eLearning animation has been found to be effective for a number of genres and audiences in learning management systems for its ability to break down complex concepts, to introduce learning in small pieces, and to set the tone and emotion for the learning environment and thus attracting and appealing to an ideal audience.
Animation in eLearning can be an effective tone setter in a course. Animation as a visual as well as sonic medium is capable of embodying different emotions that empower and entice learners. It may be used to connect to learners’ emotions, to relax them or inspire them to work harder at their course. For example, a ridiculous, cartoon animation will appeal to a younger audience while a motion graphic or whiteboard animation will appeal to a corporate audience. Simple background music and clear, concise dialogue will engage adult learners while noisy, busy, overwhelming or poorly recorded audio will distract and annoy. Animation creates an atmosphere for an eLearning course that sets it apart, bringing personality to the course beyond simple black and white words on a screen, and ultimately tailoring toward the audience that will benefit greatly from the course itself.
Specially designed animation enhances eLearning on many levels. When you design custom courses, creating audience-relevant, customised animation optimises learning for a specialty audience by embodying the atmosphere of the learners’ environment itself. Animation also brings interactivity into eLearning, arguably one of the biggest benefits of an LMS. With animation, users are able to control the rate at which they learn, by either pausing and rewinding a video animation or altering the movement of a motion graphic to see the effects. Many animations also serve to break down learning into smaller nuggets of information, which aligns easily with the modern learner who can access her eLearning course from any number of mobile devices in any situation, from her corporate office to her subway commute. Keeping it short and sweet allows learners to get a small bit done here and there, and may even help them assimilate knowledge better overall.
Animation designed to be content and audience relevant breaks down information for learners into smaller pieces, allowing the modern corporate learner to digest her course information from wherever they are, no matter her time commitment. Animation makes static graphics more relatable and understandable, and customised animation allows learners an optimal environment. Animation can be fun and quirky, but when designed specifically with content in mind, it enhances the learning experience. For example, a whiteboard animation that walks a learner through a concept step-by-step will reduce the cognitive load and ensure that the learner can take her time to retain and understand each new concept as it is introduced. By actively showing a learner the concept, animation is capable of breaking down complex processes, visualizing change, and creating focal points for learning.
Animation enhances and even guides eLearning in many ways, and educational animation is a powerful tool in engaging and communicating with learning audiences. Perhaps in some cases, eLearning courses allow for less interactivity and personal attention than in-classroom courses. However, with animation, e-courses create interactivity and accessibility in learning beyond the capabilities of many in-classroom options. With customised animation and the creation of eLearning environments, eLearning courses optimise learning through interactivity.