Improving Student Engagement and Success

Business Need: Improve Assignment’s Low Completion Rate

An instructor at an online college was having an issue with students not completing an assignment to create a sample resume and job application. She wanted a supplemental way to explain the assignment and needed it right away.

Instructional Approach: Deliver Via Media Students Were Using Frequently

Previous attempts to explain the assignment were written how-to instructions posted on the online assignment page, without examples of how skills from one job can be transferred to another job.

After talking to students, I learned that many were struggling because 1) they’d never had a “real” job working for a business, and 2) they didn’t understand how to identify the skills they had from jobs like babysitting and correlate those skills to job ads. They were also pressed for time and needed something that could be quickly accessed and viewed. Everyone I talked to had a phone, said they preferred videos to written instructions, and watched videos on their phones or computers at least once a day.




  1. No school budget for voiceover or interactive media.
  2. Online college students often complete assignments at odd times when the instructor isn’t available to answer questions, so they needed something that was accessible at any time.


I used a free animation tool, PowToon, to develop a short, animated video that used real-world examples. Posting it on YouTube ensured that students could view it any time they liked. They could also pause and replay it as often as they needed.


Class reviews at the end of the term were positive. Students said they liked the video and that it helped them complete the assignment. The instructor said that the completion rate for the assignment increased, and she continued to use it during following terms.


My Role:

My role was to design and develop a solution that the instructor could use as part of the assignment.

Instructional design: I designed the framework for the video and script for onscreen text.

Developer: I developed the animated video using PowToon.


View the Published Course:

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