Animations in Learning

“Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive”- Walt Disney
Well, i would like to modify this quote such- “Well-designed animations can help explain some things better. There is tremendous literature out there which talks about use of multi-media in learning. Industries have come up due to this understanding. The concern though is, that not all mult-media tools, not all animations developed aid learning.
A few tips to keep in mind when using animations:
1.Usage of animations should be directed by the complexity of the concept/content to be taught. Animation can well explain procedures,cycles or workflow, but may not be as effective in explaining discriptive text (Large et al, 1994). Thus effectivness of animations is largely dependent on the attributes of the learning material.
2. Use of animation would also depend on the visuo-spatial ability of the target audience. Typically, every individual has a reasonable amount of spatial ability, but for differently gifted people, that may not be the case. For such audiences, animations may actually increase cognitive activity, thereby hindering basic learning processes.
3. Concepts explained through animation need as much assessment as do concepts explained without animations.

These are just some of the many factors that should influence the use of animation in the learning material.

ChanLin, L. Journal of Instructional Psychology.

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