I’m an online instructor for an Instructional Design and Technology Master’s program, and I just took my latest course offering to a whole new level with GoAnimate.
I teach a Master’s elective course called Animated Scenario-Based eLearning Design in which I focus on designing and developing animated scenarios to present content, as opposed to the traditional eLearning methods of clicking the “next” button.
Animated Scenario-Based eLearning Design
When designing this course I thought to myself, what better way to present my content on animated scenario design than using animated characters and scenarios? I’d show my students first hand that it really does work.
My first step was to create a character (me) to teach the class. Here is the introduction video that I use to welcome my students to the course.
Teaching by Example
Now, if you’ve ever taken an online course—and I’ve taken and taught a lot of them—they all pretty much have the same format. There are reading assignments from a textbook, additional web links to read, and then discussion questions and papers to write. Pretty boring stuff, right?
Not in this course. I use animated characters to discuss and present the scenario-based approach to eLearning. The entire course is an example of how video animation can enhance teaching, especially online.
As my introduction video says, I cover several aspects of creating animated scenarios, from scriptwriting to avatars and whiteboarding. But I just don’t talk about them, I show them actual examples by discussing how I created a scenario and my thought process behind it—teaching by example.
I use an animated video I produced about corporate social media policies as a case study for the course. No textbook involved.
Check out this video that the student watches after viewing the animated scenario case study.
Designing the Course
So now I get down to the nuts and bolts of the class. How did I design the case study scenario? I use an animated video to walk them through my thought process to include…..you guessed it, several actual scenarios as I think about them. Sort of like real-time brainstorming that you can see acted out.
Check out this next video to see an abbreviated version of the full-length brainstorming process that is presented in the class.
I received rave reviews from my students on that video. They liked the way the brainstorming content was presented because their final project for the course is to design and develop an original animated scenario-based eLearning module using GoAnimate.
By using video to present content, they were also exposed to ideas on how to build their own videos using the characters and scenarios they saw in the brainstorming video.
Scripting the Content
Let’s move on to scriptwriting for the animated scenario that was brainstormed in the previous video. Check out this abbreviated version of the scriptwriting video to see how to put dialog to the characters and bring the scenario to life.
By the end of the course, the student has gone through an entire example of how to design and develop an animated scenario-based eLearning module. And best of all, they saw it presented in an animated scenario-based manner.
So to recap:
Old online course setup:
- Read from a textbook and additional website readings
- Post to discussion questions
- Write papers
New online course setup
- Show by example, using animated videos, how to design and build their final class project which is an animated scenario-based eLearning video.
- Have students comment on and provide helpful feedback to each other’s work throughout the process.
- Showcase each student’s video at the end of the course for all to see.
And the new animated character scenario approach was a total success!
“I loved the use of the videos to present the content!” – student
“I am now halfway through the program and found that the courses have all fallen into one of two camps. The use of the video examples helps put this course in camp where the instructor actively interacts with the class!” – student
“I am really looking forward to this project! I haven’t seen GoAnimate before but looks like something I could have been using in my technology classroom.” – student
“I really appreciate the fact that you get right to the point of the class with these videos, give students the necessary information, and do not complicate the class with busy work. Thanks!” – student
“Given the variety of scenes, characters and expressions/actions used, GoAnimate is clearly something that is easy to learn. I can easily see the value in a company or school district investing in this program as a way to create a training that is more engaging.” – student
That last comment makes the time it took for me to create all of the animated video presentations well worth it. Having a student learn something meaningful and walk away from the course with a tool that can help them in their career is what teaching is all about.
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