Animating a Student Success Support Timeline

Animating a Student Success Support Timeline
Photo by Thought Catalog / Unsplash

While I have had some experience in digital media, I have predominantly been a print designer for the past decade. This foray into digital space has been both exciting and more than a little daunting. I am no longer restrained to letter-sized paper with static typography and photographs but can include video, sound, and animation.  

The traditional content I have selected to make digital is a one-page handout that outlines the student success model used by the University System of Georgia (USG) eCampus to support its eCore and eMajor students. The marketing team created the sheet to explain this process to stakeholders and interested parties. It breaks down the different contact points that eCampus uses to re-engage students and offer resources. I transformed The Big Picture handout into a multimedia presentation.

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The Big Picture presentation was created from a one-page handout used by USG eCampus.

Choosing the Digital Medium for the Target Audience 

The original target audience for the handout was eCampus’s institutional stakeholders and academic advisors; however, now that I have updated it to a digital format, potential faculty and students—or any other interested party—can be included as target audiences. With a larger audience, the digital document must be versatile, accessible, and easy to use. 

Due to the large audience, I decided on a multimedia presentation. Information and data are often presented in this form to stakeholders and partners in meetings. A slide show would be familiar and could be simplified further to be integrated into another presentation if needed. Designing a multimedia presentation in Canva allows the designer to share it in several ways. It can be sent by links, embedded into websites, or recorded, allowing the multimedia presentation to be more accessible.  

The added black line is animated to pan forward on every slide.

Adding Movement for Engagement 

While the handout's content is not complex or difficult to understand, there is a sense of movement that a static printed page can not translate. In his book Digital Writing: A Guide to Writing for Social Media and the Web, Dan Lawrence writes about how movement engages users. He reminds readers that motion is prevalent in the user’s environment, and as such, users have received animation and video well in digital spheres.  

The content presented follows a timeline. I wanted to take advantage of the animation capabilities in Canva to not only engage users but also emphasize the forward movement of the student success process. I used a black line in the same position across the entire presentation that is animated to move forward on each slide to represent this movement. 

Icons that are used in other marketing materials were included.

Including Multimedia 

I added videos and icons to the presentation to add explanation and engagement. Included is a video of finding the Introduction Quiz and clicking through the beginning sections of the quiz. The video will help users better visualize what the Introduction Quiz entails and its location. The icons included in the presentation are used in other marketing communications, unifying those communications with this presentation.  

Buttons were used to link to more information on eCampus's website.

I did not want the journey to end with the presentation. While there was not an opportunity to link to eCampus’s website during the presentation, I added buttons on the last slide that connected to different sections of its website. I offered several choices according to who the user may be—stakeholders can move to eCampus’s main page, faculty can find more information on teaching, and students can further explore classes and degrees.  

Kimberly Myers

Kimberly Myers

A graphic designer in higher education specializing in print design working towards a master’s degree in technical and professional writing to produce user-friendly content and designs.
Carrollton, Georgia