Transitional Movement: Value-Adding Animation Design

By Margaret Turner.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

It seems natural to use the power of animated movement to enhance online learning resources because movement between elements of conceptual content between nodes of data separated in space is a major characteristic of an electronic networked environment. But does animation, as in moving images, really assist learning, or does it distract? Of course anything can distract in a learning environment, bad breakfast, bad mood, bad connections, but there is evidence that all visual information, in this case animation, which is unconnected to the purposeful unfolding of meaning, will detract from the learner's experience. That it distracts this paper argues, is not the fault of the animation, but of the way it is employed. Harnessing movement to the purposes of the content, to assist the learner make sense of a domain of knowledge is the basis of this paper. It is informed by Edward Tufte's (1983) principles for clear communication of data and Brenda Dervin’s (1999) and Brenda Laurel’s (1989) writings on information design and is underpinned by social constructivist theories of learning and education. As a conclusion, the author provides a set of questions and provisional guidelines to assist academics make good use of movement in online resources.

Keywords: Transitional Movement, Movement Design, Online Learning

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp.183-192. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 951.543KB).

Margaret Turner

lecturer in electronic media design, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, QLD, Australia

Margaret Turner is a visual designer in online media and lectures in EMedia design at University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Her focus is design of content for electronic communication including navigation and interactivity design. Her pet hate is over-designed sites that treat the content as if it was a bunch of unimportant and boring words. Computer screens are here now but in our soon tomorrows mobile interfaces, heads up sun glasses and even sockets in our heads will replace them as communicative interfaces. Then design of the content itself, how we break it open to be seen and explored and reflected upon will replace the current obsession with interface decorativity. Her most recent published conference papers include: "Multi-path and networked: Possible futures for academic writing", ASCILITE 2005, Brisbane; "Invite, Engage & Play, Express", OLT05, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane; "Online teaching: designing lively conversation", Effective Learning and Teaching Conference, 2004, Brisbane.

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