To understand why we utilise animation in eLearning, we first need to ask a broader question: “What is Animation?”.
There is a clinical answer:
Animation is the illusion of simulating movement using successive images.
Alternately, there is a preferred answer:
Animation is breathing life, intent, and emotion, into real or unreal objects, people, creatures, and more.
Something as simple as a leaf blowing in the wind can evoke emotion in viewers. We know the leaf is not real, however, we can use the leaf as a symbol for a deeper meaning or a concept that people can all relate to. Animation is an art that is not limited to language and cultural barriers.
How movement is framed and focused on, how light is utilised to stage and direct the audience, and how colour influences the mood – these all contribute to the experience and interpretation of animation.
Animation in eLearning
eLearning courses provide busy learners with the chance to access and optimise learning, while expanding their skill set, or brushing up on knowledge of challenging ideas. However, interactive courses and animation have the potential to go beyond the simplicity and accessibility of eLearning – this is done by making content more engaging and accessible – especially in the corporate context.
Due to its capacity to simplify complex ideas, introduce learning in manageable chunks, set the mood and emotion for the learning environment, and attract and appeal to a target audience – animation has been found to be effective for a variety of genres and audiences in learning management systems.
Setting the tone
An eLearning course’s animation can effectively set the mood. Animation is a visual and auditory medium that may evoke a variety of emotions, that inspire and captivate viewers. It can be used to appeal to students’ emotions, to calm them down, or to motivate them to put more effort into their coursework.
A simple cartoon animation, for instance, will be appealing to a younger audience – whereas a motion graphic or whiteboard animation will be appealing to a corporate audience. Adult learners will be more interested in simple background music and a clear, brief discourse as opposed to a noisy, overwhelming, or poorly produced audio and animation piece.
An eLearning course can stand out from the crowd by adding individuality through animation.
Creating user accessibility
On many levels, animation elevates eLearning. This can be done by capturing the mood of the learning environment, especially one that is audience-relevant. Customised animation has the potential to enhance learning for even the most niche audience.
Animation adds interactivity to eLearning, which is unquestionably one of the advantages of an LMS. By pausing and rewinding a video animation, or changing the velocity of a motion graphic to see the results, users can utilise animation to change the rate at which they learn.
Since the modern student can access their eLearning course from a variety of mobile devices in any setting, from a corporate office, to a taxi commute, many animations serve to break learning down into tiny nuggets of useful knowledge.
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.
Educational animation is a potent tool for involving and interacting with learning audiences, it complements and even guides eLearning in many ways. eLearning courses may, in some circumstances, offer less interaction and individualized attention than traditional classroom-based courses, however, e-courses with animation increase accessibility and participation in learning beyond what is possible with many in-classroom options.