Using Whiteboard Animation in eLearning Courses
Whiteboard animations are short videos where ideas and words are drawn on a whiteboard to illustrate key points. They make a great addition to your eLearning, as another way to ensure learning engagement and to deliver content.
Given the speed at which technology is progressing, eLearning developers are in a constant struggle to keep producing relevant, engaging eLearning content for the tech-savvy learners of today. Learners can now access eLearning through a variety of mobile devices – laptops, tablets and smartphones. They also have easy and constant internet connectivity – which gives developers more options to deliver media-rich content that has a strong impact. Whiteboard animations take advantage of the short attention span of the average viewer. By constantly changing, evolving and adding to the imagery on the screen, it’s possible to keep people paying attention. The animation can be combined with a voiceover to make the presentation even more informative and interesting.
Live action and traditionally animated videos are great for getting your learners’ attention, but both require a lot of resources to make them engaging enough to keep the learner focused and help them retain the information afterward. Whiteboard animation is a distinctive and affordable alternative to producing the other two types of videos. They have a clean but also informal look that helps your content stand out from the rest of the eLearning out there!
Whiteboard animations can be produced either by actually filming a person drawing on a whiteboard, or by digital means. Either one you choose, the process to create a great animation will be very similar for both.
That’s where you begin. Your script must identify the core learning that you wish to share – and key concepts must be presented in simple terms. Your whiteboard animation script must have a distinct beginning, middle and end – like in a story. If your script flows well, it will work wonders in helping the learners understand the concepts being taught. At the same time, this step will also work out what will be said in the voiceover, if there is one.
In this step, you start roughing out ideas on how to illustrate the points in your script. You also start thinking about how many scenes you need to get your message across. Keep in mind that the animation should ideally have minimal text, so use words sparingly. The storyboard will also determine how long your video will be, and it should set the pace of image-transitions on the video. Typically, whiteboard animations are short (anywhere from 60 seconds to 5 minutes) and the flow needs to be smooth.
In terms of creating whiteboard animations digitally, this is the point where you finalize and create the images that will go into the video. With a hand-drawn whiteboard video, this will likely be very similar to the storyboarding stage, except the process of drawing the images will also be filmed!
Audio is an important accompaniment to the illustrations in a whiteboard animation. In the absence of on-screen text, the voiceover describes the ideas and concept in detail. This is also the part where you start syncing up the illustrations with the voiceover text, and adding music and sound effects to really bring the animation to life.
Check out our whiteboard video Change Management for an idea of what your next e-course could look like!