Using Video Animations in eLearning
As I worked on a recent eLearning project, using animated video (I use Vyond as my primary video creation tool), I realized how invaluable the use of this medium (video animations) is to instructional designers. With that realization, and seeing how the use of specialized animated video creation software made all the difference to the outcome, I thought I’d share some of my experiences on using animated video with readers of this post.
So, here goes!
Why animated video is important in eLearning?
Because of the time constraints, they are under, eLearners today want things compressed, simplified, and presented to them in an easy-to-digest format. Animated videos do just that. They empower learning content developers with the ability to push the limits of expression in ways that traditional video production won’t allow.
Instructional designers can take complex concepts, wrap them into an array of animated environments, build a host of primary and supporting characters (serious, funny, real-life, fictional) and define different roles (Boss, Supervisor, HR Manager, Customer, Irate User, Frustrated Foreman) to play out and explain those concepts quickly and succinctly.
More importantly, animation in video learning content helps create learner engagement and interest. By embellishing a story – which you can’t appropriately do using traditional video approaches – so trainers can tell it differently, and based on each audience’s learning needs, animated content ensures the stickiness of eLearning courses.
When should instructional developers use animated videos?
Animated videos are great, as an eLearning tool when trainers need to create the right context to deliver knowledge. I used Vyond to create characters, to fit my storyline, on the fly. Animated videos are especially useful when building lessons in mixed-mode media. I’ve successfully used them to integrate MP4s and animated GIFs in my courses.
Because of their small footprint (less intense and more compact than traditional video), I’ve found video animation very mobile friendly. They’re quick to download and consume on any mobile device. They’re even email-friendly and are a great asset for trainers using social platforms as part of their training strategy – easy to post and share.
Animated videos are also great when there’s a need to integrate video into corporate learning content management systems. For instance, I was able to quickly import my Vyond animated videos using platforms like Adobe’s Storyline or Captivate, and then create the rest of my course content around those videos.
How animated video can help create engaging and informative eLearning courses
I’ve found the ability to dynamically create characters in Vyond on the fly, and to change their characteristics and features to fit multiple use cases, a real game-changer for my courses. But there are so many ways that animation can help create high-quality eLearning videos. So, let’s explore some real-life use cases for leveraging animated video in some eLearning scenarios:
- Sales and Marketing training:
Marketing is a fast-paced business. If you can’t get your message out quickly, your competitor will likely fill the void (first-mover advantage!). Before organizations roll out new products or launch additional services to clients, it’s important to train the workforce to support those initiatives – from sales reps and product specialists, to account executives and help desk teams.
Time is of the essence, but a great set of animated video-creation software can help! In one of my eLearning projects, I used Vyond to create my storyboard and produce a product intro animation in a matter of hours – complete with video captions and interactivity.
- Support for compressed training timelines:
In many instances, eLearning course developers might not have the option to use traditional videos: The time (and cost!) to hire talent, set-up (location, studio, props, lighting), shoot multiple takes, and take-down the set is prohibitive.
With a tool like Vyond, instructional design teams can produce high-quality animated video in a fraction of the time it may take to shoot conventional video learning content. When frequent product releases and tight competition is at stake, animated videos are the better choice.
- Personnel and HR training:
From new Policy & Procedure rollouts to Onboarding training and Compliance readiness courses, animated videos can be a great supporting tool to further employee productivity. The ability to create animated characters to fit a broad spectrum of roles, from casual environments to specific workplace situations, makes animated videos more relatable to learning audiences.
- Game-based learning:
Traditional video content, even if it is 360-video views, can’t always mimic hypothetical learning situations. So, when the need is to simulate a learning scenario, for instance using game-based learning, learning content developers will find animated videos a great ally.
- Creating story-based learning
When trainers want to deliver story-based learning content, animated videos are a great way to produce such content using rich graphics and intricate story-lines. Bring real-life SMEs (from your company or sister organizations) to life through animation, and deliver their experience and expertise to learners viewing these videos.
Animated videos are great to support micro-learning. In my latest project, I used Vyond to create short, 90-second training content for disbursement to a diversified workforce across several locations. The tool also allows embedding animated characters into live videos – a great way to deliver short and quick intros to lengthier video-based lessons.
Making the case for an animated video
Successful eLearning happens only through successful knowledge transfer. For that to happen, learners must engage with the content and enjoy their learning experience through to the end of the course. Like getting kids hooked on cartoons, the animated video makes light of the boring subject matter. And, when done right, that creates learner engagement.
Quick to produce, easy to update and maintain, and cost-effective to implement, the animated video makes sense for both learners and organizations alike.
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