The Modern Learner is busy, tech-savvy, and curious to learn. They continually seek timely, relevant content on-demand. Therefore, it’s vital we choose a mode of learning that engages, enriches, and empowers all at once!
Ranika: Hi everyone, Ranika, marketing manager at MRCC. I hope all of you are staying safe. Can you all believe that we have almost spent the entire year in a lockdown? And can I just say that I have never been more ecstatic to enter a new year? Well, these have been crazy times, right? But yeah, the important thing
Ranika: Hi everyone, Ranika, marketing manager at MRCC. I hope all of you are staying safe. Can you all believe that we have almost spent the entire year in a lockdown? And can I just say that I have never been more ecstatic to enter a new year? Well, these have been crazy times, right? But yeah, the important thing is to stay positive, stay healthy mentally as well as physically and not lose focus. To be honest, that’s what keeps me motivated throughout the week. So I know it has been a while since we dropped our last podcast where we discussed the benefits of creative services in elearning, but nevertheless, we are back with yet another interesting topic to discuss.
Today I was planning to draw your attention to the role of animations in education. It’s no secret everyone, be it, academic institutions, parents, learners, themselves, all of us are looking for ways and means to make learning a habit we choose willingly rather than something that is force fed. Researchers worldwide from credible institutions have led us to believe that when you enjoy doing something, you tend to focus on it 100%. And from what I have observed in the last couple of years, animations can be quite the game changer when it comes to incorporating the element of fun into learning. And it’s not only just fun, there is so much more that learners can benefit from it. But I think instead of hearing it from me, it would be so much better to hear itfrom an expert who has had years of experience in churning out engaging learning solutions for learners globally. And it gives me great pleasure to introduce Michael Wegerbauer to our podcast today. Hi Mike, how have you been?
Mike: Hi Ranika, I’m doing great, thanks. I have an exciting day ahead. Looking forward to getting outside to check the mail. Really exciting. I hope I’m not the only one who gets the mail and still checks it two to three more times a day as if more might be delivered.
Ranika: Okay, so for all you listeners out there, quick introduction, Mike is the Vice President of educational publishing solutions here at MRCC with over 25 impressive years of experience in technology and education. Right, so now that our listeners know a little about you, Mike, let me ask you our very first question on animation for today. So with this new wave of transition to online learning, we have seen educational institutions and educational publishers make an accelerated switch to elearning. Do you think this is just going to be a phase during this crisis or we will be able to see them considering it in the long term? Like even after we are done and dusted with COVID-19?
Mike: Absolutely not. Online learning has been growing for years and this type of current necessity will only accelerate the growth in the K-12, higher ed and corporate training fronts. On the peer education side, I really like the idea of the flip classroom that relies on canned but creative delivery of the content all younger students and college students need and reserves the live time, virtual or in person, for helping students work through practicing what they learned in a supportive environment. No question, this style definitely requires discipline that can be challenging.
Ranika: That’s very true though. I mean, discipline is needed for anything you want to excel at. But I totally agree with you when you say that the need isn’t going to just vanish into thin air. I think we can safely say that this pandemic has opened several alternatives in terms of delivering learning, and from what I gauge, it’s going to further take a more advanced approach in the days to come. Right, so moving on to the next question, Mike, what kind of impact do we see animation having in terms of learner engagement? Like, will it have the intended effect? What do you think?
Mike: Following up on the flipped classroom idea and the irrefutable evidence that online learning is growing, I believe that explainer videos, and concept videos in particular, will play a key role going ahead in education. Animations not only foster learner engagement much better than any other digital medium, but they also allow the learning designer to carefully create a moving visual representation that can really hit home for standard text and images.
Ranika: Yes, absolutely. And this is ultimately what we want, right? To have the learner relate to what he or she learns. And talking about explainer videos, I think that’s an amazing way to convey hard concepts to learners. A lot of them have an aversion to certain subjects, for instance maths or chemistry. So if they have access to a step by step explainer video, it would be so much easier for them to grasp the concepts. So heading over to our next question, which I myself really integrate to know the answer to, mike, you know, many of the times when we talk about learners in general, we tend to overlook learners with special needs. So here how can animations in education overcome the accessibility challenge for learners with special needs? How does it make learning convenient and available to all?
Mike: Although for learners with special needs, this medium may be a challenge, nothing gets across a point as well as a story does. And at their root, good animations tell a short concise story, even if it may need to be seen via a screen reader or heard through closed captioning.
Ranika: Right, that’s a fair point. Now, there are some of our listeners who are curious to know about the process, so could you give us a little insight into how you cost-effectively and quickly plug animation into online products?
Mike: Sure, first, let’s take some creativity from a good instructional designer, often working together closely with a subject matter expert and ideally directly with the animation team. If you can identify certain titles or courses that would benefit from animation. And I’m not sure there are many that wouldn’t. Figure out where animations can best support students, at a minimum addressing the most difficult to understand elements.
Ranika: That’s interesting. So before we conclude, we have a lot of publishing folks listening to this. So what is the one last parting thought from your end for educational publishers? I mean, in terms of succeeding in times to come, how do you think animations are going to change the concept of learning as a whole? And why do publishers need to consider it now more than ever, Mike?
Mike: Animations and videos are the tools that help connect today’s students learners who are accustomed to learning and exploring via video to the critical core concepts they need to grasp early in order to excel in their academic careers. Educational publishers are in the best position to leverage their existing content in a way that connects and engages students and helps them discover how to enjoy learning.
Ranika: Wonderful, I think this has been quite a stimulating podcast, and I’m sure our listeners now have a better understanding of what makes animation such a great tool to deliver engaging learning. Thank you so much, Mike, for taking out time to be a part of the discussion and for your valuable insights. I look forward to chatting up with you soon.
Mike: Oh, you’re most welcome, Ranika. Thank you very much for having me over. And have a great rest of your day.
Ranika: All right, everyone. I hope we have been able to at least scratch the surface of your curiosity about the role of animations in bringing content alive. For those integrated minds who still have a few unanswered questions, you can drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and our experts will more than happy to help you. Or you can visit our website, www.mrccedtech.com. Until the next podcast, folks, this is Ranika signing off. Stay safe and stay tuned for more such informative podcasts in the days to come. See ya.