Teaching and visualizing concepts in eLearning courses has always been something to think about. Every profession has some concepts associated with it, whether concrete concepts or abstract. Concrete concepts are easier to teach and visualize, while abstract concepts are difficult to visualize as they are non-physical objects.
To visualize concepts, you should:
- Place the definition/ explanation of the concept and its related illustration side-by-side. This follows the “Contiguity Principle.” By doing this, you can help the learner develop a proper understanding of the concept.
- If it is a complex concept, use more than one example along with their visuals placed side-by-side. By doing this, you can help learners develop an in-depth understanding of the concept.
- Show examples and non-examples of the concept together. This will help the learner to understand the concept with its good and bad examples. With this, the learner can have a better understanding of the concept and avoid coming to any wrong conclusions.
- Explain abstract concepts with the help of visual analogies. An analogy shows similarity in some respect. Thus, by using visual analogies for abstract concepts, you can create a mental model in the learner’s mind and help in making an abstract concept more concrete to understand.
- Explain related or similar concepts together. You can do this by displaying concepts in tabular format rather than in sentences. This places the information in the visual center of the memory and aids in long-term retention.
In conclusion, I would like to add that visualizing concepts is a challenging task and requires a proper understanding of the concept by eLearning experts – both instructional and graphic designers. It should be done so that it makes learners understand the concept, distinguish between its examples and non-examples and apply that knowledge to one’s job.
I could jot down these few things to consider when visualizing concepts. Do you have anything to add here?