Published: March 30, 2011

Many professors at CU are motivated to find new and creative ways to teach. Among them is Matt Koschmann, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, who has plans to use Whiteboard Animate as a creative way to orient students to his future courses.

If you are not familiar with the Whiteboard animation, this is a technique of capturing with a camera a sequence of images, drawn onto a whiteboard. You simply take pictures of every completed drawn image and convert the pictures into a sequence. Koschmann plans to make his own animated sequence available online to his students in the form of videos. He explained that animation is a great tool for conveying a framework for thinking about an important topic for an entire semester. Professor Koschmann elaborated that this tool is a wonderful way to get students to focus on the content of a message in a very visually stimulating way. To see for yourself, watch this example of a whiteboard animation video.

The two classes in which he plans to develop whiteboard animation videos are Organizational Communication and Persuasion in Society. Since these classes required him to develop online content such as PowerPoint notes, he got motivated to explore various alternatives for delivering course content to students. During this process, he realized that whiteboard animation could be an excellent alternative for exploring and learning concepts in his course. Koschmann explained, “I think that this tool helps you facilitate learning because it hits a lot of different learning styles.” The end product is visual, audio and animated, so it provides an element of novelty. He also explained how video animation is a flexible resource for students. “This tool is codified, it’s accessible, and students don’t have to be in class to see this. It is accessible in ways that other things in class may not be.”

Although whiteboard animation is a fun and creative way to teach and learn, it is too time consuming and expensive to create for daily teaching. Professor Koschmann aims to limit the use of whiteboard animation to deliver preliminary lectures for his classes that introduce the course and overview the main topic. He recommends his students watch the videos as a supplement to the lecture and the reading materials. In other words, they are not replacements for coming to class or reading the text.

Professor Koschmann has plans to work with animators at the Rocky Mountain College of Arts and Design to develop the whiteboard animations and produce the videos. Currently he is communicating with the animator at the Rocky Mountain College of Arts and Design.  Professor Koschmann recently received an ASSETT Development awards. This award will support the development of these whiteboard animation video lectures.

Written By: Manaslu Bista,CU’11  ASSETT Reporter