What a great time to be an instructional designer! All the tools, the apps, the technology, give you enough stuff to be endlessly creative and come up with wonderfully engaging training material.
The modern adult learner is very visual because we live in a world where video streaming is an integral part of our lives – videos go viral every minute and the audience is truly enthralled with them. So, it’s only natural that videos have also become a customary medium for corporate training.
There are many options when it comes to filming a piece of educational material. One of the most effective and impactful on today’s learner is the whiteboard animation.
Whiteboard animations feel personal and engaging
This type of animation comes in handy whenever there is a need to illustrate an idea or concept so that it makes an impact and sticks with the learner. Whiteboard animations are designed to show the learner a certain concept in a series of live drawings.
There is often a hand that draws inside a screen that is the whiteboard. First, these videos play on the familiar image of the teacher’s hand writing or drawing on the whiteboard to get instant emotional connection to the learner. Second, since there is the feel of it happening live it proves very effective in keeping viewers engaged for a longer period of time.
Perks of using whiteboard animations in training
If you need more reasons for turning to whiteboarding for your e-learning, here is a list of definite pros:
- It can act as a great marketing widget. Whatever needs to be promoted – a new product, a new process or some other change within the organization, it’s easy to get the buy-in of employees by illustrating it in this informal yet efficient manner.
- Complex processes or information can be broken down into smaller units and depicted as such. It’s a time when micro learning is preferred by most users and the visual impact of whiteboard animation is just what the modern learner needs to be enthralled and engaged.
- Whiteboarding works very well when any kind of information needs to be deployed rapidly or when there is a need for some sort of refresh modules on anything from security policies to company values or operational procedures.
- With so much material available online, a key differentiator always has a positive impact. Using a whiteboard animation right before the course in order to get attention and raise expectations or placing it at the end to sum up the most important aspects will certainly make a lasting impression on the learner.
- The informal nature of whiteboard animation has the power to bring the employees closer to organizational values and objectives. They can temper down some of the seriousness of pie-charted results and quantified KPIs and really speak to the viewer in a vivid and friendly way without diminishing the importance of what is presented.
Tips for making training whiteboard animations great
So, if by now you are sold on how wonderfully engaging and effective whiteboard animations are, here are a few tips about how to make them truly fantastic:
Have a great script. Like with all videos, a solid script is the starting point of any endeavor that will be considered worthwhile. The first step is to identify the main point to be made and the second to figure out how to make it while also being refreshing and succinct.
Keep in mind that an image is worth a thousand words. Having powerful images that can make a lasting impact on the viewer is paramount to the success of your whiteboard animation. The most effective way to go is to establish a viewer persona and adapt all imagery to that so that the end result is both coherent and relevant.
As powerful as imagery can be, it suffers if not backed by equally good audio. There are two aspects to be minded here – the voice-over narration, aimed at giving a human touch to the electronic content, and the background music that is supposed to help create realistic scenarios and deliver the most powerful impact.
Last but not least, make sure the whole animation has an easy to follow, coherent flow. Like a story, the whiteboard animation needs a distinct beginning, a middle and an end and they should all make sense together. Since whiteboard animations are usually short, fragmentation of the content is pointless and can only harm the overall experience.
All in all
It’s clear that whiteboard animations are very in at the present time and make for a very nice way of presenting information in an engaging and entertaining way. For more insight into how to do it, check out this video.
Raluca Cristescu is a Faculty of Letters graduate with over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.