How we used motion graphics to present potentially distressing content

In our online BSc Psychology, the Forensic Psychology module involves case studies covering some difficult topics including violence and mental illness. We were conscious that these could be distressing topics for some people, and coupled with the fact that online learners usually study alone we wanted to present the material in a supportive, sensitive way. We also wanted to take the opportunity to use the online environment to bring the subject to life. Here, we share our solution; an animated forensic psychology case study which uses stylised illustrations, narrated by a voice emulator.

Anna Armstrong, senior learning designer, spoke about this example and discussed the rationale behind the choices at the Research in Distance Education (RIDE) conference organised by the Centre for Online and Distance Education, University of London. RIDE 2022 took place online on 15-16 June 2022, and in Senate House, University of London on Friday 17 June 2022.

You can watch one of the case studies we developed for our learners: