I've noticed some of our elearning suppliers proposing modules based on the kind of video animation techniques used by Common Craft and RSA Animate.  For example, a voiceover accompanied by very quickly created line drawings revealed so as to appear as if they're being drawn as the voice speaks.

These can be an attractive and interesting way of putting over concepts but I wonder if anyone knows of any formal research comparing retention or understanding after one of these presentations with a more traditional elearning tutorial, where the learner controls the pace?

I would anticipate cognitive overload issues as the number  of 'points made' accumulates quickly, as well as a sense of distraction as the speed of 'drawing' may actually engage the attention more than the subject matter. I would also imagine the simpler 'cutout shapes' approach of Common Craft may be less distracting than the sometimes very detailed drawings of RSA Animate. I have no evidence for this, and would be happy to be proved wrong, but that's the way it appears to me.

I also wonder whether anyone's used the two approaches in a complementary way, dropping snippets of video animation sequence into a user-controlled tutorial?

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Hi Norman,

I was involved in creating some of the more public ones of these (take a look at BusinessLink.gov.uk and look into the startup section), certainly the video treatments and RSA Animate inspired pieces.

We did do research into retention and although I'm not able to share that in any great detail, I can give broad indications of the outcomes if that would interest you? We also did a lot of public focus group research on preferences for consuming content and have a lot of analytics on use of the different types of videos.

I'm happy to talk through the creative, design, development and delivery process around this if that would be of interest?

I also have some experience blending these techniques together, and using video, animation etc to enhance.

Let me know what you'd like to see and I'll share what I'm able to.


Andy Jones

Thanks Andy, that's kind. My main interest is in what it's good for and not so good for, so retention is a key question.  Preferences would also be interesting and your experience of using the approach along with other approaches.


If this should be private, email me at norman.lamont@ufltsbops.co.uk 

Hi Norman,

I'm working out what I can share. I'll email you more detail but certainly post something more here.


Andy Jones

Looking forward to it, thanks.

Hi Norman,

Whilst researching the learning effectiveness of virtual worlds, avatars, gaming and embedded trainer / instructor led video, I came across some interesting research from Stanford (who incidentally I met with some twelve years ago in an eLearning context).

http://vhil.stanford.edu/ perhaps visit the Projects link. Best regards. Steven Goodwin.

Thanks Steve - dipped into a few of these studies. While I'm not dealing with virtual worlds here, it could come and it's good to have something more than managers' opinions to go on.



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