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.