Using Animation Techniques to Create Countdown Timers in E-Learning #298

Animated Timers in E-Learning #298: Challenge | Recap

Timers are a common element in game-based learning where time constraints play a role in the success or failure of a task. Timers can be used for most decision-making activities that require learners to quickly process information.

Animated timers can be used to:

  • Create a sense of urgency, tension, or pressure
  • Simulate real-world tasks that involve time constraints
  • Gamify decision-making activities
  • Create timed skill and drill exercises

Timers can be created using a variety of techniques including video clips and basic entrance animations. The best part is that timers can be visually themed to align with your course content. Let's look at a few examples:

Card Match Game

Try your memory in this card matching game from Richard Hill. First shared in the memory game challenge, this game features an animated timer that puts learners under pressure to complete the puzzle.

Card Match Game

View and download the timer in action

Wait! How’d he do that?

The effect was created using Storyline’s wheel entrance animation and a 35-second duration. Using a longer duration, the entrance animation creates the visual countdown effect. Brilliant! 

Wheel entrance animation

One Creative Timer Begets Another

Following up in the same memory game challenge, community member Ridvan Saglam used a similar technique for his airplane countdown timer.

Ridvan Saglam Animated Timer

I really like the way he visually connected the design of his timer to the theme of his game.

Ridvan shared a few more visual timers that you can download from this discussion thread.

Animated snail timers

Using Timers to Gamify Existing Slides

Here’s an example that Alexander Salas shared for a previous challenge where he took an existing template and gamified it by adding a simple countdown timer. 

You can download his source file and use that as a starting point for this week's challenge. 

Using Timers to Gamify Existing Slides

View and download the timer

Using Video Clips as Timers

Animated timers can even be created with simple tools like PowerPoint.

In this example,  Tracy Parish created an animated loading bar effect in PowerPoint. Using a screencasting tool, she recorded the animation as it played back. 

Using Video Clips as Timers

Learn more and download the source file

Because Storyline has a trigger to evaluate when a when a media clip completes, the video’s duration becomes the timer.

Articulate Storyline when media completes trigger

Challenge of the Week

This week, your challenge is to share an example that demonstrates how animated timers can be used in e-learning. 

NOTE: Your entry can be anything from a rough concept to a polished example. The challenges are open to everyone, regardless of experience or skill level. If you need technical or creative help with your project, please ask in our forums and reference the challenge number you’re working on.

Last Week’s Challenge:

Before you put the time squeeze on your learners, check out the interactive Tour de France examples your fellow community members shared in last week's challenge:

14 Interactive Tour de France Games, Quizzes, and Examples #297

Tour de France Interactive Examples RECAP #297: Challenge | Recap

New to the E-Learning Challenges?

The weekly e-learning challenges are ongoing opportunities to learn, share, and build your e-learning portfolios. You can jump into any or all of the previous challenges anytime you want. I’ll update the recap posts to include your demos.

FasterCourse Templates
Kent Darr
Dan Lidholm

Hi Kent! Sure! It's actually pretty simple. For slide 1-2 Lets start with the variable, that named i. Set a start value, like 0 to count up from 0 or 100 if you want to count down from 100. - The Base layer has one trigger in the start to show the Timer layer - The Timer layer has two triggers 1. This one add or subtract 1 to variable i (that's counter value) when the timeline reach a specific point. (add will count up, subtract will count down) 2. Restart/loops the Trigger layer and stops the loop when it reaches a specific number. This trigger also contains the stop of the loop like in Slide 1 "if o is less than 100" to stop at 100" and in Slide 2 "If i is not = 0" for the countdown to 0". For slide 3 Only difference here is that instead of the Timer layer... Expand

Carol Beach
Melissa Meyers
Carmen Bernadou
David Anderson
Aman Vohra
Allison LaMotte