How do you think learners can understand the training content better? In general, most of the training material contains loads of text presented using bulleted points. Bulleted lists are not only boring, but also do very little to help learners remember information.
In order to help learners retain the information and apply it on their jobs, visuals are extremely effective.
Visualization is the formation of mental visual images. Visualization is all about using graphics, diagrams, images and animations to communicate a message. The Multimedia Principle states that “people learn betterfrom words and pictures than from words alone”. Visuals are the iconic mental representations of what is being perceived. They often combine text, illustration, and color.
Studies show that people remember:
- 10% of what they hear
- 20% of what they read
- 80% of what they see and do
Not just visuals, but even their functionality is important for learning. Visuals can be divided into six categories and have different functionalities to represent the various types of training content adapted from Ruth Colvin Clark’s and Chopeta Lyons’ work.
Let’s look into the communication functionality of each one of them.
1. Representational Visuals
- To depict the actual appearance of the content
- To present concrete concepts and factual information
2. Mnemonic Visuals
- Learners have to recall the factual information when a job-aid is not provided
- Visual mnemonics aid in memory
3. Organizational Visuals
- To provide an overview
- To show the structure and sequence
4. Relational Visuals
- To communicate quantitative relationships (Examples include bar graphs and pie charts.)
5. Transformational Visuals
- To communicate movement through space or changes over time
- Used in combination with representational visuals
6. Interpretive Visuals
- Build understanding of concepts or principles that are abstract
Always try to visualize the data and design the visuals accordingly. Effective visuals are those which enhance learning and improve the retaining capability of the learner. Choose the right category to achieve effective communication.