What Is eLearning Animation?
How can video scripting examples optimize your online training strategy? eLearning Animations are short videos, usually less than 7 minutes in length, that explain or educate the viewer. They can be produced in a variety of styles and cover any number of topics but the thing they all have in common are the instructional design principles at their core. These videos work because a mix of auditory and visual information is best when trying to create long-term memories, and animation is a perfect marriage of the two. Animation is also versatile and can adapt to any subject matter–whether it’s safety, sales, orientation, or just a simple skills review.
There are four basic types of eLearning Animations: whiteboard, 2D, 3D, and mixed media. Regardless of the training video type you’re pursuing, a sound eLearning animation project can’t begin without a well-written script.
How All Scripts Start
Because instructional design unites all types of eLearning animation, a training video script has to have learning objectives as its foundation. Good learning objectives are specific, reflect behavior, and are measurable. Without well-crafted learning objectives, planning your content, writing your script, and making your videos effective isn’t possible. Once you have a clear direction for your video, it’s time to script. The type of script you’ll write will depend on the style of video you want to create. Here are 6 video scripting examples that highlight real world use cases.
1. Scripting For Lecture Videos
A lecture video is common in academic distance learning and in corporate training when identifying with a speaker is important. This video type can be live-action or use an animated character as the lecturer. The format of this video type is simple, a person, animated or otherwise, is on-screen speaking to the viewer as animated bullet points or other motion graphics appear in time with the content being discussed. A good script for lecture videos should contain three parts: the introduction, the content, and the action.
Introduction & Content
The introduction is an introduction to the speaker, not the content. When using lecture-style videos, the learner needs to know why they should put their trust in the “talking head” on the screen. If the video is for employee orientation, will the speaker be the head of HR or the company’s CEO? When a viewer understands the speaker’s purpose, it allows them to assign the appropriate weight to the narrator’s words. Next is the content. Your content should be structured a lot like the essays you used to write in school. Start by introducing the main idea or key concept, support it with examples or facts, briefly, then move on to the next concept. Even though it’s a video lecture, lengthy explanations can confuse a viewer or cause them to disengage.
The last section of this video scripting example is action. This is where you’ll answer the question “what’s next?” The video has to be explicit about what the viewer should do after viewing. Is there an assignment to complete? Should they report to their supervisor for coaching? Or will you simply inform them of where to find other resources on the topic if they need them? The point is, never leave your learner hanging at the end of a lecture, show them how to apply it and it will stick.
2. Scripting For Explainer Videos
Whiteboard animations tell a story with pictures drawn on a whiteboard. They aren’t literally drawn on a whiteboard, but instead simulated with animation. This animation type is perfect for short explainer videos one to three minutes in length. Whiteboard explainer videos are the simplest of the animation styles and the simplest to script for. These scripts tend to be more like robust outlines than formal scripts. This includes the narration or dialogue to be spoken and any notes that might be helpful for the animator.
The narration should include an introduction, a question to be answered, and the answer to that question. Because explainer videos are succinct, you should limit your script to one, well-explained question and a brief conclusion that directs viewers to more information if they need it.
3. Scripting For Microlearning
Microlearning involves breaking down large amounts of information into easily-digestible material to increase comprehension. Objectives for microlearning are a bit different because the video will be so short. Think of the objective as your thesis statement –– every piece of information is in support of one main idea, similar to a whiteboard video. After your objectives are in place, you’ll create an outline from your source material or through conversations with your subject matter experts. You want to make sure you’re capturing your key takeaways and have complete explanations. The next step is scripting.
With Microlearning video scripting examples, you have to keep learners laser-focused on the content if you want to change their behavior. Focus on the must-have information and eliminate anything extraneous that doesn’t relate to your learning objectives. The last element of a good microlearning script is the markup. Markups say where narration is necessary, when to rely on visuals or animations, and which shots you’d like to include. These markups will not only help your business get more mileage out of your production team but streamline your eLearning messaging early on.
4. Scripting For Scenarios & Situations
Scenarios and situations can be 2D animation, 3D animation, live-action, or a mix of any of the aforementioned. These video scripting examples should be written with the following characteristics in mind: message, story, character development, action, and dialogue/narration. During the writing process, you must keep in mind the story you want to tell and how. The first draft of the animated video script is more trial and error as you combine your research, pre-writing, and learning objectives to create the script.
Give equal attention to dialogue and actions. Actions will do most of the heavy lifting for learners so they should be logical and attention-grabbing. The narration or spoken lines from a character must be believable to drive home the point of the video. You want content that consists of sentences that are short, easy to understand, and smooth to read aloud. Keep revising until your script flows seamlessly.
5. Scripting For Tutorials
Tutorial videos, sometimes called how-tos, contain step-by-step instructions on how to complete a task. These video scripts follow the same formula as a lecture: introduction, content, and action, but each step serves a different purpose. The introduction to a tutorial video introduces the content rather than a speaker or narrator. It’s a brief summary of what the video will cover that gets a learner ready for the specifics, or, allows them to select another video if the one they are currently viewing isn’t the one they need.
The comes content. Much like a cookbook, the steps in a tutorial video are covered sequentially. In other video types, concepts might be explained easy-to-hard, but with tutorials, the steps must be discussed in the order they should be performed. If there are any conditions that must be met before starting the steps, like putting on safety gear, that should be reviewed prior to demonstrating the desired actions. Finally, it’s time for action. A review of the points covered and any preparation relevant to completing the task should be the final points before the video’s end. You also have the option to include directions to additional resources, especially if your video is one in a series or blended learning program.
6. Scripting For Screencast Tutorials
A screencast tutorial is sometimes referred to as a video demo. In these types of training videos, a narrator introduces the topic then the focus of the video shifts to a demonstration of what’s happening on screen. This training type is perfect for teaching technology and computer applications because it shows the practicality of what a user should do but contains a personal element–the narrator.
Scripting for screencasts follows the same formula as other tutorial types, but finding your own repeatable rhythm for this video type is important. The introduction should always last the same amount of time so users can predictably jump to the meat of the content if they’re pinched for time. Additionally having a brief summary of tips, like keyboard shortcuts, can help jog a viewer’s memory without re-watching the full video.
A finalized script is a big milestone but it’s not the end of your eLearning journey. The next stage is storyboarding but before you storyboard, you’ll want to check your script’s length. There’s a sweet spot for eLearning animation and you want to make sure your video isn’t too long or too short to be effective. The easiest way to verify you have a training video that’s just right is through a Voiceover length estimate tool. A voice over estimate tool will analyze the text you paste in and give you an approximate run time for your video. If it’s shorter than you expect, revisit the script for areas to expand on. If it’s longer, you’ll have a decision to make: whether to edit the video or split it into two.
Download the eBook How To Implement Video Learning And Animation: A Guide For Training Managers On A Tight Budget to explore video production best practices and deep dive into the animation process.