GoAnimate: A Perfect Online Learning Tool

Online Learning
Online Learning image by Shutterstock

As an experienced online learner, K-20 educator, and instructional designer, I have had the opportunity to observe best practices of what makes a great online course. I shy away from 100% static (text/photos) course development and encourage instructors to utilize embeddable media for their online learners’ enjoyment.

I first learned about the GoAnimate app on YouTube Create and GoAnimate while I was Googling for effective and fun ways to encourage learning in my online courses in 2009. I later discovered GoAnimate for Schools when it launched. While utilizing GoAnimate within my own courses over the last 3 years, I found that animation can be easily be embedded in online courses to enhance learning on every major Learning Management System (Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, Angel, etc.).

Animation allow us to capture and maintain student interest, especially for the younger generations that grew up watching animation on television and in movies. Students are fascinated by animated learning content and are excited when given the opportunity to create their own videos on GoAnimate. In every class I teach, I allow my students to create “Creative Assignments” to demonstrate mastery of our weekly objectives (instructions & rubrics: https://sites.google.com/site/ulbertassignment/home/jcs).

Studies have shown that students learn best when they enjoy what they are doing. Students semester after semester provide me with the most encouraging feedback of how awesome it was to learn how to animate and to be given the opportunity and skills to carry these powerful tools on with them in the future. They have expressed how demonstrating their knowledge gained each week has helped them in retaining the information and applying it in their own lives. I encourage all of my students to list GoAnimate on their resume as a skill to stand out from the rest of the flooded applicant market. Toss out the generic quizzes and allow your students to apply their knowledge with tools they can use in the future.

GoAnimate can be utilized for Announcements/Reminders, Syllabus Overview, Commonly Asked Questions & Answers, Assignments, Discussions, and Mini-Lectures. Providing rich content that is clear to understand allows learners to get excited about what they are learning.

The San Diego Community College District has, on average, about 12,000 student enrollments each semester online. Our Online Faculty Showcase this October 2012 is an opportunity for online faculty members to exhibit their best online teaching practices with each other and to learn about new tools that they can start utilizing in their own online courses. Inviting the knowledge and power of GoAnimate and GoAnimate for Schools to our online faculty members at the Online Faculty Showcase will serve to excite and stimulate further growth of our online courses, which will help enhance our online students’ learning experience, satisfaction, and retention efforts.


-Tera Ulbert, M.Ed.,Project Assistant, SDCCD Online Learning Pathways San Diego, CA

Check out the entire Online Teaching Conference from 2010 here.

View the instructional videos Tera and Sean distributed for their presentation in 2010 here.

Browse some of the assignment options Tera give to her students (including animation) here.

To learn more about GoAnimate for Schools visit http://goanimate4schools.com.

Are you using GoAnimate for Schools or GoAnimate in an interesting and engaging way in your class, or know someone who is? Are you interested in guest posting for us? We want to hear about it! Email EdEx@GoAnimate4Schools.com, tweet at us (@GoAnimate) or send us a message on Facebook.