How Animation is Used in eLearning

By Sandra - 61884 views

Animations make learning more effective and enjoyable, and are used for several different purposes in eLearning.   All three key learning styles are captured with animation.  It activates the cognitive adult brain with dynamic visuals, audio and by creating an emotional experience.

Attention Grabbing

We're living in the 'age of constant distraction' where the number one resource for our learners has now become attention.

There are three ways in which a person learns.  Animation has vivid visuals to activate your 'visual' mode of learning.  Soundtracks, music, voice overs and sound effects activate your 'auditory' mode of learning.  Your kinesthetic mode of learning is triggered by associating the animation with real life 'emotion-filled' examples.  Your brain generally associates animation with positive emotions, like joy, youthfulness, freedom, entertainment, fun, excitement, humour, etc.

Explaining Complex and Abstract Ideas

Sometime a concept is intangible or too complicated to explain with words or a picture alone.  Often we see information of this type displayed in charts and graphs – but this can become stale and uninteresting quickly.

Visual metaphors help in this regard and animation even more so.  An imaginative and creative instructional designer can take your training material and visualise it for the benefit of your employees in the eLearning course.

Four Stroke Combustion Engine - animated gif

Showing Processes

Animation is particularly beneficial for memorising and understanding systems, which are dynamic and changeable. It can show how things change over time, which would otherwise be difficult to understand with words or static images alone.  Processes that are biological, or natural phenomena, or mechanical device operations can be animated, thus slowing down the process or speeding it up to show the changes which occur.


Now that you're convinced about animation for eLearning, get a quote for your own eLearning animation development.


Sound Idea Digital specialises in Learning Management Systems and eLearning development |
Sandra is an eLearning Specialist & Content Editor for Sound Idea Digital |



To cite this blog article:
Slabbert, S. 2016, October 26. How Animation is Used in eLearning. <ideas> the official Sound Idea Digital blog [Web log post]. Available:


Sources used:
Berney, S. & Bétrancourt, M. 2016. Does animation enhance learning? A meta-analysis. Computers & Education. 101:150-167. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2016.06.005

Sherbill, A. 2015. The Proven Science How a Short Animated Video Instantly Grabs Your Audience's Attention. Available: [2016 , October 05].



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