Well-designed animations have the power to transform difficult to understand concepts into easily comprehensible ones. Educational animations are animations produced for the specific purpose of fostering learning. They use basic elements to explain a process, concept or abstract idea; and they may range from being primitively simple to a full-blown animated movie. This depends on the time, budget and of course, the skill of the animator.
A typical educational animation could be one that explains the functioning of the human heart. A complex biological process when seen in the form of an animation makes it easier for learners to visualize and hence retain the process. Though educational animations are used for learning, a poorly-designed animation can end up overloading and/or confusing the learner’s mind.
Remember the following do’s and don’ts to make engaging and more effective educational animations:
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Instead of keeping a random instrumental music or silence in the background, always use a conversational style of narration. When objects, arrows or human figures in your animation move about, a human voice that explains what’s happening allows learners to follow much better.
Do not overload
Don’t try to do all at once. Instead of making long and complex videos, make short animations for specific purposes. Animations loaded with too much information or too much simultaneous movement will lead to cognitive overload and therefore lose the interest of learners.
Maintain a comfortable speed
Achieve a speed which is neither too fast nor too slow to cater to all kinds of learners in your group. Conduct a pilot test with a group of people to find out the optimum speed.
Use highlighting wherever necessary
Zooming in on a piece of text or image, or creating an arrow that directs learners’ minds from one part of a process to another helps them to pay attention to what’s important.
Using educational animations is pretty easy and fun. Simple software like Powerpoint and iSpring can add that zing to learning that employees are going to love!