Ensure Your Educational Animation is Functional
|May 15, 2014||Posted by Maite under Animation Talk|
Technological advancements have facilitated and made cheaper the use of powerful graphics and techniques to educate with animation; but this is not always executed well.
Animated videos can be produced specifically to foster learning; but a few things should be kept in mind to ensure these are effective.
In this blog, we will explore the ways to produce an educational animation that is truly efficient and facilitates learning.
Educational Use of Animation
Animated videos can cultivate learning in two key ways.
- They have an affective function by which they engage and motivate learners.
- A cognitive function also helps viewers to understand and remember the content in the educational video.
Both of these functions can be achieved by creating an appealing concept or story for the animation. This should be tailored specifically to the topic being taught and the characteristics of the target learners.
Characters and concepts that resonate with the viewer can have a huge impact on attention levels and retention of information. Certain images and imaginative concepts can be associated with facts learned, facilitating information processing and memory.
Emotional triggers can help to retain attention, while maintaining stimulating and well-paced content can preserve interest.
The multi-sensory appeal of animation can also keep learners engaged. Colourful and creative images, imaginative sounds, pleasing voiceovers and inspiring music can all have an impact on the learning experience.
Due to these multiple appeals, animation can be an effective tool for teaching a variety of information processing types.
Barriers to Learning
Animations might sometimes lack educational effectiveness, however.
An animated video can be inefficient if it doesn’t take into consideration target learners’ previous understanding of the topic.
If the images or content in an educational animated video are too complex, or fast-paced for those watching, this can have a detrimental effect.
Students may become overwhelmed, which can affect visual perception and cognition in human information processing.
We have a limited capacity for processing information, so when creating an animated video, you should pay attention to the complexity of what is presented. Otherwise, learning can be compromised.
This will depend on various elements, including the learner’s previous knowledge, ability and even their information processing preference.
In order for animation to have a beneficial effect in teaching certain topics, some background knowledge may be necessary. This is why supporting animated video with other learning tools is recommended.
Problems in learning from animations can also arise from perceptual effects stemming from the way material is presented.
Animation is utilised to engage learners by using a variety of stimulants, but this can mean that students don’t most readily pick up information that is of greatest importance. The most important facts can conversely be missed.
Ways to Teach with Animation
One area that animation has become a popular tool to teaching is where something is not easily presented in real life. This includes intangible phenomena such as cloud computing and biological cell interactions.
Animation is extremely flexible and versatile, with little restriction to imaginative possibilities.
A rain cloud may symbolise a virtual cloud, while surrounding images and accompanying narrative can clarify what could otherwise be a complex explanation. This is the type of approach that can also be memorable if it does not overwhelm.
Another huge advantage of animation is that it can depict changes over time, which makes it ideal for teaching processes and procedures.
In medicine and science subjects, there are often complex processes and procedures to teach, coupled with phenomena that is not visible to the naked eye, and where changes in time need to be conveyed. This makes animated video a highly popular tool in such areas.
For example, the changes in someone’s lung capacity can be shown over their lifetime, with a detailed focus on cells within the lungs.
3D animation can be particularly useful where a processes needs to be seen from multiple dimensions. Split screens where different pieces of information are presented at once can also be useful. These methods can aid learning, but could also be detrimental in some cases if there is too much information to process.
At times where a topic is complex, animation can actually make it easier to understand by simplifying images and only showing detail where needed.
The use of any animation technique should be considered according to individual circumstances and objectives.
In this way, you can avoid the animated video being too overwhelming or complicated, thus facilitating information processing and learning.
Well designed and thoughtfully implemented animations can both motivate learners and enhance their retention of the information.
Animation is hugely popular and is being used to inform in ways that were not previously possible. As technology and knowledge in the psychology of animation improve these will continually develop.
If you have found an educational animated video so inspiring that it has stuck in your mind long after watching it, please let us know in the below comments box.
If you would like to embrace this innovative tool and create your own educational animated video, give us a call on 0208 891 2077.
We will discuss the specific requirements of your video and what animated techniques are most suitable, so that you can ensure learning and achieve the best results.
This post has been written by Maite.