The main objective of an eLearning course is to make a strong impact on the learner. It should communicate the key concepts and engage him effectively. This can be done easily by focusing on visual elements. Visuals can be in the form of diagrams, charts, graphs, graphics, illustrations, drawings, or photographs.
According to Fred R. Barnard, “People often say ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ I believe the original quote was actually ‘A picture is worth ten thousand words’.”
Good visuals contribute greatly to enhance the learner’s understanding than text. Let’s have a look at the 4 core visual elements that need attention.
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
The purpose of having a Graphical User Interface (GUI) in an eLearning course is to help learners to navigate through the course, tell them how much of the course they had completed and so on. It is designed to interact with learners using elements such as icons, menus, controls etc. Generally, it is designed to suit the corporate branding. But, it is a good idea to customize it based on the content type.
In a new employee orientation course, which we developed for a company operating off-shore rigs, we used a theme of water and sea.
Colors impact the learners’ mood and reinforce learning. The colors we use will definitely impact the presentation aspects of our courses and facilitate better retention. It is advisable NOT to use too many colors in one course (it’s better to follow a theme and stay consistent throughout the course).
If you are dealing with an ‘Agriculture Course’ or environment-related courses, you can use the color of nature i.e. Green.
Choosing the right font does matter a lot in any kind of eLearning course. Fonts like ‘Verdana, ‘Times New Roman’ etc. are the most preferable fonts.
It is advisable to use three precise fonts – each for the heading, one for the sub-headings and the other for the text body and stick to them throughout the course.
However, we can also use various styles such as italics, bold, underlines etc. to emphasize on a particular text/content.
Use graphics to enrich the course, and make sure that they are relevant to the content. Graphics, including photographs or images can be used to make the learning very effective and interesting.
These are some of the visual elements that help create an effective and engaged eLearning course. Please share your thoughts!