Animation plays an important role within a traditional learning journey, blending visuals, text, and narrative to create a compelling and powerful learning experience. As L&D teams around the world face up to the challenge of transitioning from face-to-face to digital learning, we’re focusing on how to do this while maintaining an innovative, engaging and effective learning experience.
In this blog post, LEO Learning’s Lead Animator, Brigitte Sutherland, explores five benefits animation can bring to a virtual learning journey.
1. Animation Adds Pace and Variety to a Virtual Learning Journey
Animation can play an important role within a sustained learner journey as it provides variety in the way that you deliver messages. It helps break up the journey, and because of this is a favored technique with our learning designers.
As it is a highly engaging, visual format that can really capture attention, animation is a great way to both introduce and summarize a course. The visual impact can capture a learner's attention at the start, and animation’s ability to break down complex topics into simple messages helps with the summary. This approach neatly reflects the principles we use when designing blended learning journeys.
Recommended reading: 'Virtual Learning: The Definitive Guide'
2. Animation Helps Reinforce ‘Golden Thread’ Key Messages
As well as bookending a course in this manner, animation can be used throughout the learner journey, building a cohesive narrative throughout the journey. This repeated use presents opportunities to reinforce both brand identity and ‘golden threads’. These are the core messages that reinforce learning objectives throughout a journey.
This can be taken to a more granular level by using different styles of animation for each sub-set and theme within the learning content.
As animations are typically short, they're ideal for interspersing throughout the learner journey.
3. Animation is Effective at Engaging Learners
Half the battle with a virtual learning journey is creating and maintaining a pace that keeps your learners engaged. This means adding a variety of learning modes, and animation is a perfect way to mix it up.
One of the great benefits of animation is that it's naturally concise. Animation normally sits alongside a voiceover (in around 90% of the animation we produce at LEO), and to make this work you have to have a simplified, concise script. It’s worth noting that the script and the visuals don't have to perfectly mirror each other to complement each other. Each can tell a different part of the narrative, as long as they contextually fit together.
Boiling the script down to the core concepts helps to distill the message and reinforce the learning objectives. A clear message, told through a cohesive blend of strong audio and visual elements, makes for brief and engaging content. This makes animation a perfect tool for supporting microlearning principles. They’re designed to be engaging and fun to watch.
Also read: ‘The 6 Big Benefits of Microlearning‘
4. Animation Can Be Tailored to Your Learner’s Needs
At LEO all of the animation we produce is customized, nothing is templated. This means it can be tailored to speak directly to your learners. This means a custom story and artwork based on a client’s branding, identity, and tone of voice.
Choosing the right style of animation for digital learning is an art in itself – the style you choose can have a big impact on the tone and message that gets delivered to your learner.
More from the blog: ‘6 Styles of Animation for Digital Learning—And How to Choose Them’
5. ‘Self-Build’ Animation Software Offers Flexible, Quick Wins
While most of the work we do at LEO is fully bespoke, we do occasionally receive client requests to work using software which they already have a license for.
Across the industry we’ve seen a massive growth in user-generated content being uploaded, using Learning Experience Platforms such as Instilled by PeopleFluent. This increased use of user-generated content comes with a desire to easily add small-scale animation techniques - such as instructional text overlays. Tools such as Powtoon and Vyond allow you to do this, as well as using pre-animated characters to create some basic scenarios.
In a time when virtual learning is likely to increase, this is a viable option that is budget-friendly and does not require specialist skillsets.