The use of music and animation in an e-learning course
Whether a piece of music or a video clip are tasteful or appropriate is completely subjective. However, a large majority of professionals involved in the e-Learning field believe that sound and animation are tone setters, refreshing, relaxing, mood shifting, alerting, entertaining and generally a quick and effective way to connect the participants’ emotions with the course.
According to various studies, the use of high quality, short, content-relevant, age-relevant and well-produced video, graphics and music clips can stimulate audience interest, without being annoying or distracting.
According to "E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning" by Ruth Clark and Richard Mayer (Pfeiffer, 2011), the best practice is “don’t do it”, as videos and music clips rather interfere than enhance learning. According to the research of Clark and Mayer, static graphics are better than distracting animation, while other visuals and music clips are mostly decorative, thus with no apparent usefulness.
Truth is that music and animation clips require sound and open plan offices are hardly the right place to blast the speakers. Moreover, for some people it’s annoying to listen to the same introduction over and over again, while, last but not least, there is the issue of copyrights. Bottom line is that many professionals believe that a solid, relevant and motivating learning content is the only thing that matters. The rest is just noise.
There is a right way and a wrong way
Duration, volume and genre, as well as the option to “mute” or “skip” greatly affect audience impact and should determine the music and video selection framework. Consequently, the introductory sound clips, videos or animated graphics that will be used for a course, should be:
- Recorded in a low volume
- Audience and age relative
Finally, the issue of copyrights should not be overlooked. It is complicated, yet not difficult to overcome. One solution is to use library or stock music and the other is to purchase a software that can create sound clips through an internal library of themes, such as Camtasia Studio, Digital Juice, SmartSound and Cinescore. There is also royalty-free music, which can be easily found in the following 34 Websites to Download Royalty Free and Creative Commons Music for Free
An informed and substantiated decision is usually based on diverse information. Below you can find links relevant to the use of music and animation in e-learning, as well as their importance.
Founder, eLearning Industry
The eLearning Industry runs the following sites:
► The eLearning Industry (http://www.elearningindustry.com) “The Leading Source for Professionals Involved in the eLearning Industry” (November 2012)
► Viva eLearning (http://vivaelearning.com) “Free Video Tutorials for eLearning Professionals” (December 2012)
► eLearning Feeds (http://elearningfeeds.com/) “The most recent article from the BEST eLearning Blogs and eLearning sites” (March 2013)
► eLearning Jobs (http://elearningjobs.com/) “The Leading Source for eLearning Jobs” (May 2013)
► eLearning Ask (http://elearningask.com/) "An eLearning Questions and eLearning Answers discussions portal" (May 2013)
Currently, the eLearning Industry has a network of more than 75,000 professionals involved in the eLearning Industry.
He is also the Founder and Owner of the Instructional Design and eLearning Professionals’ Group (46K+) (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=110953), which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning Industry at LinkedIn.
Christopher holds an MBA, and an M.Ed. (Learning Design) from BGSU and currently works as project manager at http://www.learn-e-pedia.gr S.A. (Antenna Group of Companies), which is the largest interactive learning platform from Greek-speaking students and learners across the Globe.Website: www.elearningindustry.com