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Instructor Toolkit: Create a Digital Assignment

What are animated videos?

PowToon is a web-based video creation tool that has animated characters and objects to use to create videos. Students develop an idea, research, write a script, gather media, record/edit audio, and create a video using animations, stock images, or uploading their own media in PowToon.

Skill level: beginner to intermediate

Suggested length: 3-5 minutes

Weighting: 20%-30%

Best for

  • Personal Reflection 
  • Concept Overview 
  • Essay 
  • How To/Instructional 
  • Pitch 


  • Cannot edit video footage or sound once uploaded  
  • Small upload capacity  
  • For group work: Students should share a single account so all students can edit the project. While there is a collaborate feature, it sends the project back and forth and does not support simultaneous editing like Google Docs.

Sample learning outcomes

  • Reflects on personal learning experiences and growth after participating in a Community-Engaged Scholarship project.
  • Communicate complex ideas to a general audience by creating a scripted video.  

Key creative steps

  • Topic and brainstorm 
  • Storyboard/outline your ideas 
  • Pitch and feedback 
  • Finding appropriate images/videos/sound effects/music 
  • Draft script 
  • Peer feedback/story circle 
  • Revise script 
  • Record and edit audio using Audacity
  • Compile media using PowToon 
  • Publishing & Accessibility (AODA) 
  • Final submission/classroom film fest 
  • Reflection on the experience 

Support for creating an animated video


The Media Studio has an educational subscription to PowToon. This subscription provides a few more perks than the free version of PowToon, including decreased branding, more animations, and ability to download as an mp4. 

These accounts are available for a semester at a time. 

Please contact the library for more information. 

Audio recording and editing

The Media Studio recommends that students use whatever tool they are familiar with or have access to to record and edit their audio. If students do not have experience with a specific tool, here are some suggestions and tools that the media studio supports: 

  • Audacity: This tool is open source, and is available for both PC and Mac. The library has a number of resources available, including a help guide and tutorial. Because it is open source, there are also many help videos available on YouTube. 
  • GarageBand: This tool is freely available on all Mac computers. The media studio has a help guide available for students to use.  
  • Sound Booth: This space and equipment is available to University of Guelph students, faculty and staff to record their audio. Media Studio staff are available to answer questions and assist with any issues that may arise.

Resources to plan your digital project

Link to Guide: Create a scriptLink to Guide: Create a StoryboardLink to Guide: Apply Graphic Design Principles in Your Digital Creations

Resources to help with creating an animated video

Link to Guide: Make an Animated VideoLink to Guide: Record Audio with AudacityLink to Guide: Find audio and images for remixing

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.