The Benefits of Animation in eLearning

Whether the old cliché of younger generations’ inability to focus on text or for long periods of time because their attention spans are so short is true or not, one thing is for certain: Absorbing and retaining information in an eLearning environment demands new methods for presenting traditional subject matter. Staring at a screen for hours on end can cause even the most hyper-focused of us to turn away and lose interest. What this means is that the way to connect with and involve the modern learner – be it for academic, professional, or vocational purposes – is to present material in a visually rousing way. There is no denying that we live in a time of audio-visual stimulation in every area of our lives – not just in entertainment, but information retrieval as well.

Whether you’re an instructor wanting to teach a critical subject like engineering, an HR director looking to train employees on discrimination policy, or a mechanic on the intricacies of rebuilding a transmission, one of the best ways to convey information that will be understood and retained is through visual methods. Experienced eLearning course builders will tell you that using visual elements is the most powerful tool in their arsenal of techniques and components to engage learners while educating and training them. 

Of the myriad of visual techniques in eLearning, animation provides the most flexibility because of its ability to deliver engaging eLearning content whether the subject matter consists of complex academic or professional concepts and instructions or learning and retaining straightforward organizational rules and procedures. There is not just one type of animation that can be used when designing an eLearning environment, but some may be better than others depending on the purpose of the course environment and the nature of the learning audience.

Depending on your content, animation serves the purpose of making topics and concepts more accessible to the learner as well as engaging them all while keeping their attention focused. Using animation will allow you to convey conceptual information, hypothetical scenarios, real-world examples, theoretical instruction, and vocational training.  Any subject matter presented in animated form affects people on a more expressive level; this ensures greater memory retention and recall.

In a sense what we are talking about here is infotainment: the integration of information and entertainment. Creating engaging animated eLearning content is one of the most important elements that should be included in an overall instruction of the subject matter of a course. Aside from traditional text or direct talking-head video, animation, if done right, will increase learner comprehension and retention.

Example of eLearning animation content offered by S4Carlisle

S4Carlisle is in the business of content creation in all eLearning formats – including animation. It is our well-regarded technical expertise combined with years of experience that allows us to create visually appealing and compelling content to each client’s specific requirements. Of course, skill and visual appeal are not enough, S4Carlisle’s unparalleled customer service means that we work closely with each client, putting their vision into real-time subject matter eLearning content.  Using animation all but guarantees to make an impact and allow for seamless integration with other eLearning content as well as evaluation methods. Contact us today!

Navigating the eLearning Environment

There is a compelling reason to change the traditional publishing paradigm when it comes to content delivery.  Because of the contemporary learning and training environment, there needs to be a reevaluation of the way content will be presented and delivered to potential students, employees, and trainees. The status of lockdowns, institutional and organizational closings, and an increased reliance on an at-home academic and occupational atmosphere, continues to remain uncertain with no definite plan in place for a return to any semblance of normalcy. That means there is an imminent need for solutions that will allow all types of content delivery in an easily accessible and low-cost manner. Organizations with an ability to offer such services to educational, vocational, professional, and non-profit entities are in high demand. 

Utilizing the growing eLearning environment for interactive subject matter production and distribution is now essential. Thus, there are a number of aspects of this process that need to be understood and evaluated when creating and delivering content in an eLearning environment. The most important elements include: How your content will be arranged and presented; How your content will be constructed; How user-friendly will your content be, and lastly; How will the audience connect and interact with the content. Let us go through some of the essential components regarding 3W1H, or Who, What, Why, and How.


Who Is Your Audience? The most important thing to consider with regard to content production, development, and delivery is the audience that will be on the receiving end. No longer can we rely on the same paradigm that was the printed book, manual, curriculum, and exam. Employees, students, and trainees are now changing not just due to the needs of newer generations, but also because of the new challenges brought on by COVID-19.

When thinking about your those who will be engaging content in an eLearning environment, there are a number of considerations. For example, it’s important to know how the people learn. Some are visual learners (video and animation), others prefer traditional modes of learning (reading text), while some like the challenge of interacting with the material.

Another concern must be centered on what it is you want your “learner” to know: Whether lessons on an academic subject, learning for a vocation, instruction, and preparation for a profession, or mandatory employee training in an organization, the nature of the content and the context of the learning environment must be taken into account.

How Will Content Be Arranged and Presented? Because the instructor or trainer is no longer in the same location as the learner, trainee, or employee, it is important to understand how information will be arranged and presented. One of the main concerns of all those who teach is how the learners will receive and comprehend the information presented. The most effective educators and trainers all know that making material easy to access and understand, as well as making it relatable, are hallmarks of comprehension and retention.

An online experience that is user friendly is essential when designing an eLearning environment. Introducing content in an organized and logical manner will keep people engaged and reduce frustration. As mentioned earlier, because people learn differently it is imperative that there is a focus on how content is presented. Thus, the arrangement of material should encompass audio-visual, traditional text, and interactivity all in a well-organized and intuitive presentation.

How Will Content be Constructed? Understanding what elements to incorporate in a well-constructed content design is key to creating an effective eLearning environment. This means utilizing all the tools that make learning and training online a unique and rewarding experience. Just like an in-person learning environment, keeping students interested and participating is essential. Types of content as well as the evaluation process are two crucial areas that should be considered when constructing content for online consumption.

The first area of content construction are audio-visual elements and text that must be used together to engage learners with the content being presented. Use a wide range of multimedia tools for maximum learners’ engagement. Videos are one way of conveying information that will help in subject matter comprehension. Videos are ideal for lectures, training scenarios, and company announcements. These videos can be simple spoken lessons or “how-to: instructions, or they can contain musical elements as well as special effects to deliver important information.

Besides videos, animations are an excellent way to introduce and communicate content. Utilize animation to customize the eLearning course and offer more interactive content. Animations are versatile in that they can contain many types of information including infographics, pictures, text, diagrams, and relevant scenarios. Graphics and photographs can also be incorporated into the online learning experience to further involve the learner. 

In addition to the audio-visual content itself, making any number of these elements interactive – allowing the learner to engage the content – make the learning experience more immersive and easily comprehended.

The second area of content construction is evaluation which includes things like exams, quizzes, essays, and exercises to complete. Because some content will be required for credentials, degrees, or training certificates, it is important to develop ways of assessing whether the learner comprehends the content and to see if they are able to use it in the context for which it was intended.

eLearning content offered by S4Carlisle


Conclusion

There is much to consider when migrating from an in-person or paper environment to one that is either a hybrid of traditional and eLearning or one that is completely online. It is important to have a company with the experience, cost-effectiveness, and customer service elements that will make this process as painless as possible. S4Carlisle will work closely with educational institutions, vocational schools, and both private and public organizations to make sure your content is designed and presented in an engaging and effective manner.

Our next blog post will focus on using animation for eLearning content and all of the possibilities it offers to convey subjects in a unique and engaging manner.

Changing Times Require Changing The Ways We Learn

The majority of educational, vocational, and organizational learning has been done using physical textbooks, paperwork, and in-person instruction. With the rise of the internet, the World Wide Web, and devices of all types to access information, instructional learning has made the slow migration to online learning. This has not been at a uniform pace. In terms of educational instruction, the decentralization of education curricula in the United States has all but guaranteed there will be a large variation of online instruction by region, district, and institution. The same goes for institutions that are in the business of teaching individuals a career vocation.  Government and private organizations have been quicker to increase the ability to train and present informational instruction online because of the changing nature of rules and regulations.

Beginning in February of this year, the Covid-19 virus spread around the world and caused a shut down of most public life including businesses, educational institutions, and government and non-profit organizations. Millions became jobless and those that were lucky enough to maintain their employment did so by working from home over their computers. Students, individuals training and learning vocations, and current employees needing certification or training in policies were thrown into a state of confusion. Slowly, these organizations and institutions are meeting the needs of these groups through online instruction.

For decades studies have shown that learning information, be it in terms of academic education, vocational knowledge, or organizational training, is not only benefitted through, but is significantly enhanced by multimedia features within a learning program.  Reading text alone can only provide so much when it comes to comprehending, internalizing, and retaining knowledge necessary for one’s educational, vocational, or professional career. Thus, the more easily and quickly existing content can be integrated with multimedia elements like video, animation, and audio, the sooner institutions and organizations can meet the growing needs of students and employees.

The purpose of multimedia instruction is to present information containing both text and images, where the text is presented in both audio and/or printed layouts with images that can be in a fixed format like illustrations, charts, graphs or photographs, or an active format like animations and video. There are several ways that this multimedia information can be offered as well; for example, there is in on-screen text, slideshow presentations, or through e-learning on computers via the World Wide Web (Mayer 2019). Last year, Richard Mayer wrote in the Journal of the Chartered College of Teaching, that when it comes to multimedia learning, it’s not that video, animations, and graphics are used to replace text, but rather work in tandem with that text to form an instructional lesson that results in greater comprehension.

There is now a growing sense of urgency to increase instruction online especially in the educational institutions at the primary, secondary, and higher educational levels. Government and private organizations are also seeing the increasing need to move online. What is needed is a company that can provide multimedia services quickly, efficiently, at a low cost, with unparalleled customization and customer service. S4Carlisle utilizes top multimedia developers who are able to create interactive programs using a variety of interactive techniques. Multimedia elements are designed using software or hardware programs for various purposes. We combine both computer and artistic skills, as well as have the ability to collaborate with other media and marketing specialists. 

Our next blog post will focus on the different components of online multimedia learning and how different organizations can use them to their advantage.

The Great Online Migration

Since the beginning of 2020, even before the COVID-19 Pandemic started, there have been major changes in the publishing industry in terms of production and distribution of content. Depending on the audience of that content, innovative ways must be developed to deliver what is needed to as large an audience as possible. One area where that has been most affected is education. While online courses and learning have been a part of K-12 and higher education, and professional training for over 20 years — in one form or another — there has been an increased urgency for content and material that can be delivered to students and employees at a low cost and in an efficient manner. 

Covid-19 has changed the educational and training landscape as more educational institutions and companies move their teaching and training needs online. Suddenly many teachers and trainers are being thrust into unfamiliar territory because they have little experience delivering and teaching materials online. Many companies and institutions are ill-equipped in terms of infrastructure, content, and delivery systems to meet the sudden and large demand that has arisen because of the pandemic. Even now, six months after the virus’ appearance and the subsequent shutdowns because of it, delivery systems are still slowly being implemented, and creating and transferring content to these systems is proving difficult.

As online solutions have become a more attractive avenue to learning, there is a real possibility of creating a low-cost way of integrating user content into a current Learning Management System (LMS). While there may be educational publishers that are well established in terms of proprietary content, online applications, supplements, etc., we here at S4Carlisle can provide services that they may not. Many institutions, organizations, and trainers, and instructors may already have their own content and are in need of services that will present this content in an online format. Through learning management systems of the client’s choice, S4Carlisle can create content by offering multimedia components like video, animation, audio, ancillaries, real-time accessibility services, as well as translation services.

Aside from covering K-12 and higher education, S4Carlisle can be a benefit to vocational colleges as well as aid those training in human resources departments in private companies as well as non-profits and governmental agencies. The amount of hardcopy and electronic training and occupational manuals is enormous with demand rising every year as new rules and regulations are implemented. Professional and educational associations have various training requirements for their members every year as well as exams that must be taken for certification.

The world is changing, moving services that have been traditionally done in person to an online environment is becoming of utmost importance, and it must be done quickly. The United States was slow to react to current events and thus may continue to hold classes and training online well into 2021. Many employees and students, as well as their instructors, may feel more comfortable learning at home for the foreseeable future. We can make it easier for them to get the information out they need quickly and easily.

S4Carlisle provides the same services mentioned above (multimedia components, ancillaries,  accessibility, and translation) to any area where an organization needs to get content delivered to their specifications. Because of our years of experience doing this, we have the ability to do it faster, cheaper, all while offering customizability and quality customer service. 

In our next blog post, we will be looking at multimedia learning in higher education, vocational learning, and government and organizational training. S4Carlisle is able to meet the needs of the increased demand to move content online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

S4Carlisle Blogspace

Welcome to the S4Carlisle Perspective where we feel it is vital that both current and prospective clients are able to keep update with what s not only going on at our company but what is happening within and outside the industry.

202o has shaken not only the publishing industry, but also the field of education, vocational and corporate training, as well as private companies, non-profits, and government agencies. The demands of a contactless society as we weather COVID-19 have created new challenges in both instructor-student and employee and employer interaction.

S4Carlisle is meeting these challenges head-on with our always excellent outsourcing services as well as electronic and online services to meet the needs of educational, governmental, and private institutions.

Please join us as we keep you all up-to-date on the exciting innovations and cutting edge services that we offer at S4Carlisle!