Educational animations

Click on the image to view the demo

According to Wikipedia, educational animations are “animations produced for the specific purpose of fostering learning”, with the definition of animation being “the process of creating the illusion of motion and shape change by means of the rapid display of a sequence of static images that minimally differ from each other”.

The e-Learning Heroes Weekly Challenge #76 – “How are Course Designers Using Educational Animations” challenged participants to share one or more practical examples of educational animations.

I developed the entry for this challenge over five months ago and thanks to the amazing e-Learning Heroes community I fine-tuned the final production, which is on Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development.


I took inspiration for my design from this image which was part of the resources made available by the Government of Western Australia for the BSBWOR203A unit of study – Work effectively with others.


A number of the resources I looked at in preparation for this challenge used “sliders” so I wanted to see if I could incorporate this into my design.  The most common aspect for sliders seems to be horizontal, but for my design I settled on adding the slider to the left of the screen in a vertical aspect, leaving room for the text content and images.

Each of the stages is set out on layers in Articulate Storyline, with triggers set to show each layer as the slider is moved.

I designed the images in PowerPoint using simple shapes with a gradient fill and a reflection effect.  I then saved the groups of images out as a picture and inserted them into Articulate Storyline.  An interesting discovery during this process was the ability in PowerPoint to merge the shapes that made up each image in different formats – union, combine, fragment, intersect and subtract.  Here’s an example of the different effects you can achieve using each of these formats.

I then added fade in animations to the images and fly-in from the right animations to the text.


Final finishing touches included changing the design slightly to incorporate more animation by separating out the images and adding fade-in animations to each, staggered along the timeline to achieve the appearance of each team member joining the team at a different time.

Initially I had the text content for each stage appearing first, but I’ve now changed this to have the images appearing before the text as I think viewing the images first in anticipation of what the message attached to those images might be is more engaging.

I wanted the design to be clean and I think the use of the slider to move through the content is an effective way to present developmental process.


Feel free to download my PowerPoint working file and see how I put together the images here.  Enjoy!

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