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How to use video animation in elearning

Video animation is becoming extremely popular in elearning. Animation grabs the learners attention and visually stimulates teaching. Video animation can also easily be integrated with other rapid development software to create a much more comprehensive learning experience. Read these tips to find out more.


goanimate felixWhy is video animation becoming popular?

Animation used to have to be outsourced. An external specialist company charged significant money to produce an animation. That is not the case any more, educators can now use in browser software to develop their own branded scenes. Using tools like Goanimate, which is used for the examples in this article, provides a super easy to learn, drag and drop, in browser software for educators to create their own animations.
The big question is, what is the best way to USE animations in elearning?

Here’s a few strong, well utilised tips:

Exaggerated scenarios

Scenario based learning brings ideas to life. Instead of explaining something to a learner, creating an exaggerated ‘real life’ scenario help to visualise the concept.

The exaggerated ‘real life’ scenario can:

  • amplify the point so the meaning is super clear
  • show things an animated video that could not otherwise capture on camera
  • illustrate and explain concepts while also entertaining
  • make learning something dry into a fun more fulfilling experience

Assessment scenarios

Yes, we can all type up an assessment but to really make it engaging use animation to bring the scene to life.
Have a look at this assessment scenario below. Notice that it exaggerates the point, the meaning is clear, and it’s kind of fun!

* this was made by my colleague at BCA National, Louise Bennett, using Goanimate. Thanks for sharing, Louise!

Understanding abstract concepts

Abstract concepts, such as emotions, can be illustrated and understood easier using video animations. Using character development learners can visualise an abstract idea.

Think about emphasising a point using different character viewpoints to understand why people do and think about things differently.



Whiteboard animations can show the learner an idea through live drawings that appear as the idea develops. The ‘live’ drawing can have a hand drawing an explanation of the topic. The topic unfolds and the drawing hand explains as a narrator talks. Using the zoom tool in Goanimate the scene can zoom in on the image the hand is drawing and then zoom out on the whole scene. Creating the effect of a large whiteboard.


Showing large things and small things and body things

Video animations lend themselves to helping learners understand things that are difficult to visualise. A good example of this is understanding planet sizes, planets rotating the sun, distances, speeds etc, all in one short video.


Integrating animated video with Articulate Storyline

Below is an example where an animated video plays, then the scene stops and learners can click on areas for prompts, then a finishing animation plays to summarize.
This is a very straightforward example. The still scene is a screen shot of the video and click-able areas have been placed over objects. When the learner clicks a new layer shows a written explanation. The animation tells the opening and closing story.
Other uses are quiz features, putting objects over the top to cover, hide, expose, wobble, show layers, move to other slides etc.
Choices and Responses

Video animation can be used as positive or negative results for making different choices. A developer could go as far as creating an unfolding storybook where choices take you different places and the story unfolds through animated scenarios. Think along the lines of the children’s books where if you choose an action you move ahead to a different page. Think, 1920s detective, or, 80s comic book hero.


Top tips:

Make sure that your project is well planned
If audio sounds terrible then leave it out – nobody likes static or mass produced monotonous voices
Don’t use too much information, keep it simple and straightforward but developed with the learning objective in mind
Music can date, think about music that illustrates a point or sets an atmosphere rather than popular music
Have a start and a finish to your video
If it’s not relevant leave it out!

Smile, it will coming across in the animation!


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