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Rebecca Ogrady-Marshall of eLearn Hub shares her insights on animated video in eLearning, and discusses her experiences using GoAnimate

Rebecca is the Founder of eLearn Hub, the foremost resource for online learning. At eLearn Hub, Rebecca focuses on making online learning simple by developing programs based on the most innovative and integrative learning procedures. She describes herself as a bit of a geek who likes developing eLearning tools and enabling teams to work together in the workplace.

Q&A with eLearn Hub Founder, Rebecca Ogrady-Marshall

About Rebecca

How did you get started in eLearning?

I was working in international education in South East Asia where resources were difficult to get.  I found myself relying on a lot of classroom brainstorming activities online, using classroom blogs, and basically online facilities and collaboration tools.

It’s incredible what you do using online tools in education. I went back (again) to university and studied post grad by distance to learn more about online education practices and learning.

What made you decide to set up your own blog, eLearn Hub?

I had so many friends and connections asking about how to create their own courses. People with skills who wanted to pass them on and also earn a residual income. I realized that there was a real need to present supportive information in a way that anyone can easily understand and apply it.

What excites you the most about learning online?

Connecting with people around the world over shared progressive and positive learning experiences. People can not only learn about a topic but also different perspectives and ways of working together.

eLearning & Animated Video

What is your primary goal when creating online learning experiences?

Online learning has got to be fun, easy to understand and follow otherwise people find something else to do with their time. The fun can come from the reward of learning something.  For me, it’s all about creating a smooth, seamless and fun experience. This applies across the board including business or tertiary learning.

Why should eLearning professionals use animated video?

Animated video is a great way to incorporate storytelling scenarios, exaggerate points and bring a scene to life. It can be used to demonstrate an idea and also to take the learning into a ‘different world’. Animated video also gives the opportunity for the learner to watch before taking part in an activity.

What caused you to consider using animated videos?

There was no one ‘cause’, I’ve always used different types of video and encouraged learners to create their own videos as part of projects or assessments. Animated video can be a much more light-hearted way to express an idea.

What were you using before GoAnimate to create videos? 

Various online tools. There are tools to pull still shots into video and put music over the top, there are ways to integrate homemade short videos into learning scenarios. But I have often found these time consuming and more difficult to get a point across.

What are some of the challenges and perks of using animation for eLearning?

GoAnimate is easy to use, which is a definite perk. I’ve tried other tools that take longer to learn and don’t deliver such a seamless animation. The biggest challenge is making sure the animation fits the learning outcome. I think that’s always something to be aware of.

Using GoAnimate

Why do you prefer GoAnimate / what lead you to select GoAnimate?

Another eLearning friend introduced me to GoAnimate. I had tried a few different tools that had come out around the same time, but GoAnimate seemed to have more visual appeal and a wider array of features.

How has GoAnimate helped you achieve your learning goals?

I use GoAnimate for different goals in learning. Sometimes I use the whiteboard feature to explain a concept, or to introduce the different learning points in a unit. I use a scenario to demonstrate something that might happen in the ‘real world’ and then follow up with an activity.

At the moment I’m going through some plans for using GoAnimate on an LMS as a kind of ‘choose your own adventure’ learning experience.

What tools do you use in conjunction with GoAnimate? Why?

I use GoAnimate on different LMS’, for example, Moodle and various wordpress LMS’s. I’m doing some work on courses for Udemy and I’m looking at GoAnimate for explanations.

I download the videos and integrate them with Articulate Storyline, where I can add hotspots for interactions and use various other interactive tools. Here’s an example of GoAnimate and Storyline.

What is your favorite GoAnimate feature or use case?

My favorite features change regularly depending on what I’m working on. At the moment I’m loving the ability to explain concepts through the whiteboard feature. I’m working on a quite heavy, serious module for a business case, and I can lighten up the learning with the whiteboard feature and by having a character demonstrate as the camera pans around the whiteboard.

What is your favorite video example?

I have shared a video example that is integrated with Articulate Storyline. I like this one because it represents people’s frustrations with learning online. I thought of all the things that can distract from learning, animals, children, noise, surroundings, etc. and displayed this in a short interactive video. I’ve taken to having the character look out at the audience at the end of a video as it brings the shot back onto the learner.

eLearning Tips & Tricks

What are some things to watch out for when using animation? For example, keeping the integrity of the learning piece.

It is really easy to become distracted by all the features in GoAnimate. This is a good way to discover features, but, you have to maintain the integrity of the piece and not distract the learner. I made a video a while ago where I was able to incorporate an elephant and chickens roosting, but, it was really just a fun piece. It’s good to make things a bit quirky!

What is the most concerning thing for eLearning professionals? Biggest trends?

The most concerning thing is keeping up with technology.  Technology has GOT to be EASY. A learning professional should keep their mind on how the learner is going to best take the information in and apply in the real world.

Technology supports this and shouldn’t be the driver, education should be the driver. The easier the technology, the easier it is to integrate into the learning.

What is the first step an eLearning professional should take when considering animated video?

Look at the objective for the piece of learning and plan out a video scenario that meets the objective. If it doesn’t meet the criteria it is just surplus.

What tips can you share with fellow video makers?

The biggest tip is that it’s ok to make mistakes, that’s how you learn. Also, if you’re time sensitive (and who isn’t) plan out what you want to achieve. A plan can be simple or complicated, remember that plans often change.

GoAnimate is a cloud-based animated video creation platform.  With GoAnimate you can create animated videos for your business using hundreds of props, assets, and characters, representing hundreds of industries. Create professional videos with simple drag-and-drop tools for a low monthly cost. Try the 14-day free trial today!