• Ed Lozano

Animations + Storytelling for a Diverse and Enhanced Assessment Experience

Storytelling and animation create a powerful combination for producing true-to-life scenarios that can improve the assessment and evaluation process.


The examination method, e.g., yes-and-no, multiple-guess, or text-only assessment questions, has been around for over 50 years. And, the business environment has not only evolved but continues to transform. The way that we do business has shifted; i.e., digital nomads, telecommuting, remote teams, and virtual meetings, to name a few, have revolutionized the workplace culture.


But, multi-rater assessment and certification evaluation remain in the technological stone age. Nobody wants to participate in the text-only evaluations where the only technological advancement is clicking a box using a mouse instead of a pencil and matching column A items with column B descriptions by dragging and dropping instead of drawing arrows.


The UI may be more attractive, but the experience is still painful.



Enter the Animated Simulation


An animated simulation is a short scenario that depicts:

  • Complex situations in the workplace: A workplace disagreement provides many layers of competencies for evaluation. A single animation can present behavioral, emotional, and technical disputes that a text-only item cannot do.

  • Conflicts arising from misunderstanding: Animations can demonstrate non-verbal cues and inflections in dialogue that lead to mistakes.

  • Informational misinterpretation: In a medical situation, misinterpreting a diagnosis or mistaking the administering of medications can lead to devastating outcomes. An animation can depict these consequences affordably and safely.

  • Behavioral recognition: An essential skill for leadership is the ability to read and understand people. Text-only items evaluate the subjects' ability to read and understand the question, not the person.

  • And other ambiguous areas, to name a few.


We are a visual culture, and animation technology is providing us with new and improved options for assessment and evaluation.


Animations expedite the assessment process by demonstrating more complex situations and adding context to day-to-day workplace encounters that would require paragraphs of text to explain.



3 Major Mistakes When Designing Animations


1. Animating for the Sake of Animating

Creating an animation from an existing assessment text-only item will lead to problems. The original test item has been successfully used for a different medium but will not translate directly to animation.


2. Knowing Your Audience

The inner audience is the people that don't need too much backstory to understand the plot. They live in this environment, so they know the inner workings and the cultural language of the industry. The dialogue must reflect this.


3. Not Enough Attention to Preproduction

The old carpenter's adage comes into play here, "Measure twice, cut once." It's human nature to want to see a finished animation. But, cutting corners can be costly and timeconsuming.


If you've never produced animated examination items, then you don't know what you don't know.


The Real Problem with Producing Animations


Animation technology is attainable by most companies and individuals. Browser-based apps provide this technology with premade characters and background templates that have some customizability.


But, most animation companies ignore the storyline and the narrative form. The absence of a proper story structure leaves the client with an attractive animation that is not diverse nor engaging. And, more importantly, a poor representation of an assessment item.


Also, you need to read the fine print if you plan on using these animations in a commercial setting.


Here's a tip: Bespoke animations are much more affordable than you might think, and you own 100% of the copyright.


The Solution Is Storytelling


An effective animation wraps the competencies in question around a storyline that emotionally engages the subject. Real-life conflicts provide the context for the assessment items, and the story is delivered utilizing a narrative form designed explicitly for examination questions.

But, most businesses are too busy to find the stories needed for the animation process. Or, they may not know how to go about using storytelling techniques and narrative structure in the world of competency assessment.



We can help


At LMS-Global UK Ltd., we offer workshops and seminars that can improve your approach to creating assessment items, producing animations, and using storytelling techniques to enhance the evaluation experience.


Photo by Josefa nDiaz on Unsplash