Elevating Your Microlearning with Animation

Posted by Sean Nabors - March 08, 2016


How engaging are your training, onboarding and customer service videos?

The shift away from half-hour modules in favor of microlearning definitely represented an improvement for sharing something new about a brand, service or product. People just don’t have time for 30 minute modules, and they want to get to the heart of the matter quickly.

But brevity isn’t enough. With the rise of 60- to 90-second modules, it’s vital that you grab and keep your viewers’ attention. One of the easiest ways to do so is to use animation.

Here’s how to do it effectively.

Write a Script

It can be tempting to simply jump into the graphics without a plan. But writing a script in about 150 words will help you determine the most important points and main takeaways. Keeping it short will force you to pare away unimportant details that may distract viewers. Whether the microlearning module is for training staff or educating customers, starting with a script will help you make it stronger and more effective.

Tell a Story

As part of the writing step, determine what your narrative arc is. What is the overall feeling people should get from this module? Is there a character or persona that can help tell the story? We recently did a project for a client that talked about change management and what it would mean for employees; the module included an animated character moving to a new house to emphasize the idea of change. Look for visual metaphors you can use to underline the key messages of your story.

Use the Right Tone

Just because you’re using animation doesn’t mean you have to make it a cartoon. Animation simply means that images move without prompting by the viewer, not that you have to have a cartoon character or simplistic tone. Many microlearning animations are quite sophisticated; all of them should communicate information without being insulting. While there may be times when humor or a light touch makes sense for your audience, make sure any project you develop, whether internal or external, fits your organization’s brand.

Use Different Media

Advances in technology have made it easy to use different kinds of media in your microlearning projects. Music, sound effects, infographics with custom photos and character animation are all popular media to use in modules. A rich variety of media will help you keep your audience’s attention and emphasize the most important parts of the modules.

Seek Different Perspectives

Test your storyboard and ideas out on a small team made up of people from different departments to see if your plan sounds interesting to them. Getting some outside perspective on your work can help you fine-tune your microlearning project to make it even more effective when you release it to its target audience.

Reflection Software provides cutting-edge eLearning and Learning Management solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can assist your organization.

Topics: microlearning, employee development, employee training, training and development, animation learning

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