Visual Content for effective eLearning courses

Visual content for Elearning

eLearning is revolutionizing how the world learns. Designing engaging eLearning is essential and involves incorporating visual content effectively. Some types of visual content that can be effective in eLearning courses are videos, photographs, illustrations, characters, and various types of animations. It is important to consider these and other types of visual content for eLearning courses to address the needs of our 21st century workforce, which demands training content be effective and not boring.

Advantages of Visual eLearning

In addition to curbing boredom, visual eLearning is a chance to present to learners content that evokes feelings and emotions, which can aid in their overall comprehension of the subject matter. We’ve all heard the expression, “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” What this quote really means is that visuals are powerful, and that is why it is so important to learn how to add visuals to your eLearning courses. However, we should not add visuals to eLearning courses for the sake of it. It should be done with purpose and following established best practices.

Advantages of elearning

Best Practices for Visual eLearning

To design visual content for the technologically savvy workforce, we first must understand the eLearning best practices that should be considered..

Know your audience

1. Know Your Audience:

The first best practice when creating a visually engaging course is to consider the learner. Although some eLearning courses rely on text-heavy content, we should be doing the opposite. Visuals are so beneficial to your learners. A visual narrative or storytelling helps learners:

  • Retain more information.
  • Speed up comprehension.
  • Feel more motivated.
  • Maintain attention on course material.

2. Know Your Content:

You can’t use a visual just because you think it’s pretty. It has to go hand in hand with your course’s learning objectives. Every image should be relevant to the subject at hand. Skip the useless stock images and pair the course content with visual aids like infographics, models, blueprints, or charts to help learners process information. When you prioritize the learning objective, this ensures you create hyper-relevant images that help learners retain information. This also saves you time and money since you only provide the most relevant visuals for the course content.

Know your content
Know your design

3. Know Your Design:

You can’t use a visual just because you think it’s pretty. It has to go hand in hand with your course’s learning objectives. Every image should be relevant to the subject at hand. Skip the useless stock images and pair the course content with visual aids like infographics, models, blueprints, or charts to help learners process information. When you prioritize the learning objective, this ensures you create hyper-relevant images that help learners retain information. This also saves you time and money since you only provide the most relevant visuals for the course content.

How to use Visual Content to Make your eLearning Courses Effective

We know visuals are important, so why don’t all designers include them in their eLearning? A big reason is that designers don’t know how to integrate them effectively. The good news is that you can become a visual communication pro in no time. Here are our three favorite ways to enhance eLearning with visual content.

1. Characterize it:

You could have users go through modules in a bland, text-laden course that offers zero guidance. But who wants that? Offer a sense of comfort and emotional attachment by creating a mascot character for the course. If you remember the old school Microsoft Word, you might remember the helpful character, Clippy, that guided users through the program. Even though it was a little cheesy, Clippy helped users become more comfortable using the software. It even helped them forge an emotional connection to Word through a lovable character.

Make your own mascot
Use metaphors

2. Make it metaphorical:

Humans have been using metaphors for thousands of years. They help us convey complex ideas through simple comparisons. If you’re guiding learners through subject matter that’s complex, simplify it through the power of imagery.

3. Tell a Story:

The human brain is hardwired to retain information through stories rather than facts alone. Integrate stories into your course to boost both retention and engagement. Create storylines and scenarios that help learners apply and test themselves on information from the course. It’s tempting to create a complex storyline, but try to keep it simple.

Story telling

Practical Tips for Incorporating Visuals Into Your eLearning Course

It can be hard to know exactly how to integrate photo and video into your course. After all, you don’t want to overload learners! Here are some of our favorite tips to overhaul your eLearning course with amazing visuals.

Tip 1: Visuals can’t stand up by themselves. You need text to give visuals labels, names, descriptions, and other information that gives learners context for the visuals. While the course’s audio can help, remember to integrate text with your eLearning images. This will help learners process information more quickly. If you have a complex image, for example, some text can help learners find information more quickly.

Tip 2: Incorporate video. Animations and explainer videos help maintain more learner attention and increase retention. You don’t have to be a pro to create video, either. Don’t invest the time and funds required to shoot your own video. Opt for affordable, high-quality stock visuals for better eLearning experiences.

Tip 3: You don’t need high end illustrations to create a character. Use quality stock photos to create a character that will guide learners through your course.

Tip 4: Create a metaphor through photos or video that help users learn more quickly and retain the knowledge. For example, if you’re teaching users how a manufacturing process works, you could create a metaphorical infographic of apples growing in an orchard.

Tip 5: Realism is important when creating a storyline, so don’t create a story set in a magical fairy world if your course is about human anatomy.

The Bottom Line

Balance is everything in eLearning. Use the power of visuals to help users learn more quickly and feel more engaged in your course. Include visuals, text, and even video to increase learner engagement. Learners will get more out of your course and come back to you for more.