Animation In Enterprise Learning - How Animation Is Helpful In Enhancing Enterprise Learning
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Ways To Effectively Use Animation In Enterprise Learning

There are several studies that show promising results animations have on learning. T. A. Hays (1996) reported a study of using 3 different media on students: animation, static graphs, and textual material. Students were asked to use these 3 different media to learn. The results showed that animation was effective to help students who were low in spatial ability meaning animations helped the students "visualize" things thus learn.

We Learn Better With Pictures

According to Richard E. Mayer, a distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of California, we learn better with multimedia, narration together with pictures [1]. Animation lets us explain complicated matters easily and clearly. Richard K. Lowe [2], through his extensive research, suggested that animations have the potential to serve both affective function and cognitive function. Affective function refers to "our motivation to learn", telling things in a humorous, funny, or bizarre way so that learners will be attracted to pay additional attention to the learning materials and become motivated to learn. It refers to "our interest" in the matter.

Cognitive function, on the other hand, refers to the clear presentation of matters which may be difficult or abstract. Animations can give procedural information more explicitly as they show the steps in an orderly manner. Think about a new technical product that you want to introduce to your clients or a new procedure that you want your colleagues to learn instead of providing them with a guide that is full of technical details and long paragraphs, you can tell it with animation. It will require less of their time and will show them how the procedure or the product will work in great detail. Details of abstract concepts, procedures or products can be seen in ways not possible in long paragraphs.

The power of animation both communicates and captivates us in a way that simple texts and images cannot. That’s why it is not surprising that a recent Forbes Insights study shows demand for video is high in the business world. According to the survey, senior business executives at U.S. companies with annual sales exceeding $500 million characterize video as both a "critical information source" and as a medium that drives employees to take action. But how should we use animation in our business videos to enhance learning?

Here’s a quick checklist on how to use animation effectively in digital learning.

1. Avoid Split Attention

The focus needs to be at one place at one time. There shouldn’t be a lot of attention seekers within one frame. The viewers should be able to focus on what is shown and what is told.

2. The Voice And The Visuals Need To Be Synchronized In The Video

There are many studies on the effects of synchronization on proper learning. If we hear the voice talking about one thing, we should be able to see its image on the screen too.

3. Use The Right Visual For The Information

Visual metaphors activate parts in our brain which makes it easier to convey the message to the learner. Think about hard to understand statistics, procedures, or guidelines.

4. Consider The Speed

If it feels too slow, we lose our interest quickly. Animation needs to keep an optimum level of speed which should let us understand what is going on and not get bored at the same time. It is like hearing someone who talks very slowly, if that occurs we can’t concentrate on what is being told, the same goes for animation.

5. Check The Fluidity Of The Animation

High quality and fluid animation needs expertise and skill but also creates the desired effect on learners. If it is good, it looks effortless.

6. Remember: Less Is More

A minimalist yet chic design of animated material lessens our cognitive load and helps us learn better. This will also ease our understanding of the content of the video.

7. Pay Attention To The Aesthetics And The Originality Of The Design

If it is new and beautiful, we are engaged much more deeply with it. Seeing something for the first time immediately grabs our attention.

Animation videos can help with explaining long and hard procedures, newly made decisions in storytelling scenarios, explain an idea, complex operations or machinery and give learners the opportunity to watch before they take part in an activity.

I hope I have given you enough reasons to adopt animation for digital learning in your organization.

References:

  1. Principles for multimedia learning with Richard E. Mayer
  2. Animation and learning: Value for money? / Beyond the comfort zone : proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference, Perth, 5-8 December / editors, Roger Atkinson ... [et al.].
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