There are so many ways to learn today, but the primary aim of teachers, educators and edupreneurs remains to engage the audience. As technology advances and more and more people capitalize on the availability and accessibility of online learning materials, visual content plays an increasingly influential role. If you’re designing digital learning programs, or you’re interested in diversifying the content you use to engage and interact with learners, here are 6 types of visuals to try.
Visual content types: How to increase learner engagement
Did you know that the human brain processes visual data around 60,000 times faster than text? In days gone by, we learned by reading books and copying chunks and passages of text, but times have changed. Based on visual design principles, eLearning presents an incredible opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of visual content. Pictures, video clips and illustrations draw the eye, capture the imagination and facilitate improved information retention. They can also help to offer digestible explanations, to break up pages of complex content and to make learning more enjoyable. With this in mind, here are 6 types of visual content you can use to increase learner engagement:
Photographs and images
They say a picture paints a thousand words. Photographs are useful for several reasons. Firstly, they can provoke an emotional and sensory response, which compels the individual to pay attention to the image. Secondly, photographs can simplify concepts or explanations that may be challenging to process. Our brains are also programmed to retain images better than written text. According to the Visual Teaching Alliance, our brains can see images that they are exposed to for just 13 milliseconds.
Illustrations are brilliant if you want to add or incorporate an abstract influence, or if you cannot find an image or a stock photo, which supports the topic or a specific point you’re eager to make. Being creative can also help you connect with a learner on a different level and it’s an excellent way of tackling issues that are difficult to comprehend.
Infographics are increasingly popular, and they are a fantastic addition to factual pieces and insightful guides. Infographics enable you to focus on key points, to digest facts and figures and to ensure the learner goes away with an image in their head that enables them to support arguments with hard data and factual evidence. Research carried out by the Wharton School of Business suggests that infographics are 30-times more likely to be read than text-only content.
The way you present data and information is key when designing eLearning content. The font, colors, contrast and synchronization play a critical role in grabbing an individual’s attention and helping them to learn. Researchers at Princeton and Indiana University found that using less familiar fonts that are harder to read improved learning outcomes.
Characters and avatars
Human beings are naturally sociable creatures, and we tend to gravitate towards others. Using characters and avatars in eLearning modules and courses can help to aid learning by providing a more sociable experience and making the individual feel like they are working with a tutor, a teacher or a mentor. This technique can also make learning more fun and memorable.
Most of us grow up loving comics, but this is not a hobby you have to give up as you get older. Comics resonate with adults and children and they provide an informal, fun way to connect with learners, have fun and simplify concepts, ideas or theories. Comic strips and cartoons are also attractive and they jump off the page.
Human beings respond positively to visual content and data. As eLearning becomes more popular, educators have an opportunity to utilize different types of content and capitalize on the impact of pictures, infographics and illustrations to make learning fun, to improve engagement and to optimize results.