One of the major advantages of eLearning is that it can be used to deliver short snippets of easy-to-digest information to learners – leading to better and longer retention of knowledge. eLearning designers segregate information into small chunks that are presented in a variety of ways – one of these methods is via infographics.
What is an infographic?
An infographic is a visual representation of information or data.
The rules of using an infographic in eLearning:
The basic rules for the use of an infographic in an eLearning course include the following:
- The infographic must satisfy at least one of the learning objectives the course is designed to fulfil.
- The infographic must be visually rich with images and very little text.
- The information presented in an infographic must meet the learning needs of its audience.
- There must be a summary of the data presented.
Types of learners infographics benefit:
There are predominantly three types of learners – auditory learners (learn by listening), kinesthetic learners (learn by doing), and visual learners (learn by seeing).
There is a fourth type – the learner who learns by reading and writing – this learner is often clubbed with the visual learner. It is this learner infographics predominantly cater to. The visuals make it easy for learners to comprehend and grasp information.
Because infographics are visual and use images with very little text, auditory and kinesthetic learners are not overwhelmed with loads of written content, making it easy for these learners to absorb information.
When can infographics be used in eLearning:
eLearning infographics are used to represent large amounts of data in a visually appealing and easy-to-digest manner.
So, when employees must be presented large amounts of data, infographics are used to lessen the cognitive load on learners.
They are used to deliver information that is hard to remember or absorb.
When large amounts of information must be presented to the learner, but the course itself is a short learning module that cannot incorporate large chunks of written information, infographics come in handy.
Where can infographics be used in eLearning:
eLearning infographics can be used anywhere in an eLearning course. They can be displayed as they are or as a hyperlink that learners can click to view. When used as a hyperlink, they must only be used to represent “nice-to-know information” that learners have the option of viewing. However, using an infographic to represent information that is unnecessary:
- Can be a distraction
- Can lead to unnecessary wastage of time in creating them
Infographics are useful in mobile learning (mLearning) courses where information must be delivered in short snippets.
Types of information that CAN be represented by an infographic:
- Complex information
- Sets of data that together make a whole
- Information that can be represented (visually) with minimum text
- Factual information
Types of information that CANNOT be represented by an infographic:
- Soft skills
- Detailed processes and procedures that require videos for better comprehension
So yes, infographics can be used in an eLearning course. But not everywhere – and the instructional designer must use them wisely and sparingly – after all, too much of a good thing cannot be that good.