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Visual Design: A Vital Element of E-learning Design Part 2

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Visual Design: A Vital Element of E-learning Design Part 2

We have discussed the importance of instructional design strategy, in online course design, in my previous blog. In this blog, we will be discussing about visual design strategy for e-learning.

Visual design is another important component that we need to decide on, as part of the “Design Approach”. The main objective of an e-learning course is to create a strong impact that facilitates learning. This objective can be achieved by using visuals effectively. In e-learning, visuals can be in the form of illustrations, diagrams, charts, graphs, drawings, photographs, graphics etc.

Paul Martin Lester, a professor of visual communication says:

“Something is happening. We are becoming a visually mediated society. For many, understanding of the world is being accomplished, not through words, but by reading images.”

This is something that, most of us are attracted towards visuals than the written word. Aren’t we?

Coming to e-learning, both under-use and over-use of visuals result in poor delivery of learning and compromise the efficacy of the course. One should always remember that not all graphics are equally effective; some visuals can actually depress the learning. The best way to overcome this problem is to combine both visual and non-visual content in a judicious way.

Let us now see how visuals facilitate a positive impact on the learner.

Visualization helps in organization and construction of concepts.

Visualization can be used to:

  • Compare two items, as the pictures speak for themselves
  • Facilitate multi-dimensional display of information. When there are many factors that need to be assimilated, a visual display helps more than text/tables
  • Visualization helps create mind maps, as learners proceed along the course

For instance, let us now see how visualizing content can impact the efficacy of the course on safe driving practices.

Option 1:

Option 1

Option 2:

Option 2

From the given example, I’m sure that many of you will choose option 2 over option 1 as it is clearer in terms of delivering the key message and creates a lasting impression in our minds.

Studies show that people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, 80% of what they see and do. Human brain interprets images faster than words. So, the use of visuals helps us recall the content better. 

So, we see that visualization plays a key role in learner engagement by conveying the key message of the course effectively.

Hope you find this blog informative. Do share your views.

View eBook on Instructional Design 101: A Handy Reference Guide to E-learning Designers


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