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7 tips to use animations in e-learning

Animation is a powerful tool for getting a point across to learners in e-learning courses. Here are seven tips for getting the best results from animation in your learning management system e-learning content.

1. Use animation where appropriate and where it communicates a specific point effectively. Learners will get bored with endless animations that do not serve any other purpose than to look flashy.

2. Make animations short. Learners don’t want to sit through long title sequences and will look around to check their messages or eat something while waiting for the main message of the animation. Then you’ll have to work to get their attention back.

3. Stick to one clear message per animation. Learners can see the value of an animation when they learn something new. If there’s too much general information on a variety of topices, they will forget some of it or not know which points they need to remember.

4. Make animations interactive. Passive animations can lose learners’ attention if they are not engaged, so ask a question, set a quiz or take an action to engage them.

5. Give the learner control over the animation. Sometimes we like to watch or hear something again when we can’t understand it. Give the learner the opportunity to pause or replay the animation to clarify information or reinforce the message.

6. Use graphics and audio. Spoken commentary or suitable music can help to reinforce the message and provide additional information. Subtitles are also an aid for learners with hearing impairments or whose first language is different to that spoken in the animation.

7. Use a tone of voice and visual style that matches the topic. For example, health and safety animations can’t be frivolous, although humour can lighten a dry subject when applied with thought. Use your judgement to create a style that balances the weight of subject matter with the need to create interest in learners.

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