Can you create an engaging and effective eLearning course by using only words? No. Words may be useful, but in a self paced learning environment multimedia elements play a critical role in maintaining the attention of learners.
In this blog, I want to discuss the use of multimedia in online courses. We will see how 4 multimedia elements – images, animations, audio and video can be used efficiently to create effective courses.
1. Images: You cannot effectively explain the key concepts of a machine or a process through words. So, you need use visuals to train your learners on processes or equipment. Pictorial representation will help the learner to digest the concepts easily.
Most authoring tools have in-built images/ characters, which can be used in online courses. It is always advisable to use images that is relevant to the content. Make sure that you use free images to avoid issues related to copyrights. Here are few websites where we can buy the images.
- Istock: www.istockphoto.com
- Thinkstock: www.thinkstockphotos.com
- 123RF: www.123rf.com
- Shutterstock: www.shutterstock.com
2. Animations: Efficient use of animations goes a long way in “injecting life” to your learning content It helps gain the learners’ attention and gets your point across very effectively. Animations are ideal to explain a complicated process.
For example, in one of our courses, we used animations to explain the human respiratory system. This helped the learner to comprehend the subject-matter better, when compared to the use of a static image of the the system.
3. Audio: There are many benefits of using audio in eLearning. It sets tone and conveys emotions of characters in scenarios. The use of audio adds authenticity to the opinions expressed in the course. It is a great way to support visual or animated content. For example, you can use audio to explain a flow chart or to explain the parts of a product. However according to the cognitive-load theory, it is not advisable to use audio read everything on the screen because this may distract the learner.
4. Video: You can use video recordings of the training programs in your eLearning courses. You can include video to deliver the message of your CEO or the head of department to your employees. Videos are widely used in eLearning, and they are ideal tools to engage learners.
By incorporating these these elements in your eLearning course, you can provide excellent learning experiences to your learners.Please do share your thoughts.