Animation within a presentation can be a powerful way to communicate ideas and underscore important concepts within a variety of tools and software. Animation is simply the use of a series of images or graphics to create the sense of movement. When pairing that movement with the conveyance of information to tell or story or teach a lesson the result can be an enhanced understanding of the subject matter.
Such animations can be as simple as the addition of transitions within a PPT, to the creation of complex graphic 3-D representations. With any animations, the key idea is to enhance cognitive learning by associating key ideas with graphic movement.
Application to Online Courses
Consider your animated lesson as a replacement for recorded lectures with PPT, as added segments within your recorded lecture or even as external lesson tools to assign to students, asking them to explain a process, concept, or even a historical event.
Animation is a great tool that can be used for a variety of topics but it works very well when helping to illustrate complex processes such as the movement of planets and stars in astronomy, explaining a complex medical procedure, or accompanying a narrative story or simulation.
Here are a few examples of using simple animations in a video presentation from Dr. Mickey Schafer’s course ENC3246 Professional Communication for Engineers:
While animation can be an exciting way to visually enhance a presentation and communicate information in ways that recorded lectures and words on a page cannot, careful identification of key concepts and clear learning objectives should be aligned before considering which tools one should use for animation. Once you have identified those ideas, concepts, or narratives to animate, you should decide which tools will be right for the job and how you will design and implement the final product. A list of tool resources can be found at the bottom of this page.
Please contact the CITT if you would like assistance incorporating animation into your UF eLearning course site.
For more instructional tutorials on Adobe After Effects and Power Point please see the Lynda.com UF Portal
Higher Education Academy: Using animation to enhance the learning experience
Keep accessibility in mind as you develop course content and build assignments and assessments. Many online tools are not fully accessible, so it’s important to think about how you will make the assignment accessible if requested. The Disability Resource Center and the UF Accessibility page will guide you in making appropriate accommodations. You can also find out more about accessibility at our toolbox page on Accessibility in the Online Classroom.