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Importance of Visual Communication in Elearning

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Importance of Visual Communication in eLearning

“Something is happening. We are becoming a visually mediated society. For many, an understanding of the world is being accomplished, not through reading words, but by reading images”. – Paul Martin Lester, “Syntactic Theory of Visual Communication”.

Many educational researchers proved that the retention of information is six times greater when information is presented by visual means. They also suggest that 83% of human learning occurs visually. Visually-rich training materials keep the eyes busy and therefore, the brain more alert and active to learn information. Pictures are a direct route to long term memory, each image storing its own information, as a coherent Chunk or concept.

Let us look at some of the advantages of visual communication in e-learning.

1. Makes learning effective

The optimal and intelligent use of quality visuals in e-learning ensures effective learning and satisfies all categories of learners. Immediate understanding is possible using visual aids, as they facilitate more eye contact.

For example, let’s look at the two options:

Option 1: Natural resources include:

  1. Water
  2. Wind Energy
  3. Solar Energy

Option 2: Natural resources include:

Makes learning effective

Which is easy to understand or which do you find more eye-catchy? I’m sure option 2 is more appealing to you because it makes understanding of the concept very clear and makes the information come alive.

2. Helps engage learners

A self-directed approach takes place in e-learning. Using effective visuals can play an important role in engaging learners and making them complete the course. It also enhances the learning experience.

For example, let’s look at the two options:

Option 1: There are three types of hazards viz., Physical hazards, chemical hazards, and biological hazards.

Option 2: There are three types of hazards:

Helps engage learners

Which option looks more appealing and easy to understand? I am pretty sure it’s option 2. This is how visuals make a difference and have an impact on learning. If such images are used, information can be retained for a longer period of time in a very engaging way.

3. Enhances understanding

Visually-rich e-learning reduces the difficulty in understanding a concept and helps learners get connected with each other. We developed an e-learning course on telesales for an automobile company. In this course, we used a real image of a Chief Executive of Sales who provides effective sales tips and guidelines to the sales force. This helped them connect to the subject and achieve best results.

See how to use visuals effectively to make your learning memorable and effective.

4. Helps in knowledge retention

Visually-rich e-learning can improve retention and appeal to a variety of learning styles. By including diverse media such as graphics and animations, difficult to explain skills and techniques can be illustrated clearly. For example, if the content is about the human respiratory system, we can use interactive animations to explain the process in an interesting manner. This helps gain learners’ attention and helps them retain information quickly compared to viewing content as paragraphs or bulleted lists. Look at an example animation showing the human respiratory system.

Helps in knowledge retention

Thus, adding visuals is a smart way to enhance the quality of your content and also make it more effective for learners. How do you enhance your online courses (mlearning and elearning) with visuals and offer better learning experiences to your learners? Please do share!

View E-book on E-learning 101: A Beginner's Guide to Understanding What E-learning is About

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