Use graphics in eLearning
Graphics are a key part of eLearning because every story is best with a visible. Let’s take a closer look. Let’s say we are meeting in San Francisco for lunch, and I am supplying you with directions to satisfy me. Which of these two options would you prefer? The first is predicated on where you started, it’s just simply an inventory of directions, but what if you slipped down a street for a fast coffee, how would you find your way back? The second option may be a visual, a map, which allows you to ascertain where you’re in context with the destination. If you get lost, you can find your way. Graphics in eLearning play a similar role, they can guide the learner and help them visualize the concepts better. When appropriate graphics are used, they will assist in telling the story. Here’s a typical title slide for a course. This one is on emergency preparedness, no graphics, just a title. It gets the work done, but it’s plain and boring. Here I’ve reworked it so there’s more of a running theme. I’ve added a flat-design graphic, I shaded the background of the slide to a similar color to the graphic, and I made sure the red text matches the graphic. Now they work together as a cohesive piece and they tell a story. There are many types of graphics available to use in your courses, first check the style guide, if there is one, to see which type is preferred. Sometimes a character is used to guide the learner through the course, or you may want to include employee photos if it’s an internal course. Here’s an example of a graphic fitting the story. This is a men’s fashion eLearning course, so a nice pair of loafers make a perfect graphic for this slide. If you have the option of using a bit of humor in your courses, there are plenty of stock graphics available in a variety of poses. Just choose one that has a couple of different options, and you can use them throughout your course. Here’s one last tip, make sure your visuals don’t distract the learner. In this example, I’m creating a bear safety course, and my bear is facing to the right, so he’s drawing my learner’s eye off the page. I want to flip him around to make him face in so that when I add the rest of the content, it’s all contained and my learner stays on the slide. Let me show you how I will fix that. So I’m in PowerPoint, I selected my bear, and I’m going up here to the Rotate button, clicking on the dropdown menu, and I’m choosing Flip Horizontal. So notice I’m able to move my bear, flip him the other direction, so that he’s facing in, and when I add the content on the other side, it will all fit together nicely. Visuals can help tell the story and teach the lesson, but make sure your visuals enhance and don’t distract.