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Vyond customers Sarah Diggs, senior instructional designer at Cognitably, a technical training consultancy, and Angie Kanak, training specialist at the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, joined our recent webinar to discuss high-stakes content and regulatory requirements. 

They talked through some of the training and communications challenges their industries are facing today (strict standards, skills shortages, employee turnover — to name a few) and showed us how and why animated videos are helping their audiences retain mission-critical information better.

We got a mountain of audience questions and we couldn’t cover them all live. So we got Sarah and Angie to answer a few bonus questions afterward. Watch them each respond below.

Sarah’s top insights

  • On overcoming any skepticism about animated videos: “Before I even start to build the course I’ll pitch my ideas: why I want to use animation, how I want to use it, why I believe it gives the best opportunity for learners to learn the content. And then I’ll bring in a few people to test the prototype to get feedback from a learner point of view. So we’re all in agreement from the beginning. There’s very little pushback at the end.”
  • On getting knowledge from your subject-matter experts (SMEs): “Make sure that the experts all agree on what the learner needs to know. When that’s well defined, they’ll be able to send you the right images or video or previous training materials and identify information that’s relevant to the course objectives. And then: build small things, send it to your SMEs, and see if you’re on track. Busy SMEs can handle 5-10 minutes a review. As a bonus, we’ve found SMEs are much more engaged when we’re using Vyond.”
  • On keeping learners’ attention in asynchronous training: “I always explain the purpose of training and spell out what learners should pay particular attention to. And then I might tell them a story or use real-world examples that include challenges or situations that they’ll encounter while at work, so it makes it personal to them. I love to give learners stuff to do. So I try to make it as interactive as I can without it being weird or too clunky. And then a follow up with prompts that challenge the learners to reflect on what they’re learning. And the true test is, can they actually go out and apply that to what they’re working on?”

Angie’s top insights

  • On overcoming any skepticism about animated videos: “Share research about the effectiveness of animated videos. (Note: Sarah referenced this study about instructional animation during the webinar.) Suggest doing a pilot with a small-group training to gauge response from your learners. Then evaluate your feedback: ours was excellent. I’m fairly positive if you try it out, yours will be too.”
  • On how to get started when there’s not much direction: “The best thing you can do to get through a murky, complicated procedure or policy that you are being tasked with breaking down is to figure out, what does your learner absolutely need to know to perform their job? Talk to your experts, get those learning objectives in writing, and then focus on teaching those.”
  • On bringing humor to dry topics: “I like to have one character that doesn’t know anything about the topic. They’re coming in and they’re like, what’s going on here? Why are you wearing that? What is this building? They add some comic relief because their natural ignorance lightens the mood — they can say funny things and make silly mistakes.” 

For more of Sarah and Angie’s insights and clever Vyond examples, watch the webinar replay.

Watch the Replay