Importance of Visuals in eLearning

I have always, strongly felt that eLearning (mLearning) is more about the content and the way it is displayed to the user rather than the insane number of features that each enterprise craves for in there learning management system universe.

Isn’t the world wide web all about learning, where we spend hours and hours? Each one of us is learning on Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn – about what’s happening around the world, how to dress appropriately for a particular situation, how to edit a photo, how to make your resume better etc. – from smallest to the biggest of things. We are not being prompted to do these things, there are no rewards, no leaderboards, no deadlines, no pressure! It is simply useful and engaging content, and it comes with a simple understanding that this is needed.

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According to Laura Overton of Towards Maturity in her talk ‘Engaging the disengaged’, 44 per cent of L&D leaders say their staff is reluctant to engage with online learning and yet 75 per cent of learners are happy to engage with online learning without prompting. This suggests that it isn’t the delivery method that’s the problem but the content that companies are trying to deliver.

Overton also says that there is an interest and hunger in learning and technology which isn’t being served effectively and research suggests that one major point stopping staff from learning online is uninspiring content. This is perhaps not surprising when 45 per cent of L&D content follows the text approach, or at best a black and white presentation / pdf document with a ‘click next’ model.


What is interesting?

Out of the many mediums of learning, one being used widely is presentations! Maybe it will take some time to eradicate them completely (I hope we move towards much more interactive and engaging things), but till we do, even they can be made interesting by using better visuals or by converting them into a video!

Unless you’re doing a sleep study with a group of insomniacs, most likely a white screen full of bullet points won’t attract their attention. People are attracted to things that look interesting. Compare the two images below. Which one gets your attention?

visuals in elearning

The answer is obvious! YouTube receives 250,000 visits per second with 4 billion hours of content viewed per month. With more than a trillion views of video in 2012 (140 views each for everyone on the planet) YouTube is doing something right.

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If you want to engage learners, start by crafting a visual theme that is visually interesting, relevant to the content, and immerses the learner into the course. There are various tools to help you do so. Believe me it is not as difficult as it sounds!


Tools to your aid

There are multiple apps that make it quick to build a presentation, offer clean design templates, have unique features and graphs that bring in the swag.

1. Giving that extra glam to your existing presentations – Visuals in eLearning

  • Slides for a modern take on presentations
  • Prezi or animated, non-linear presentations
  • Canva for creative presentations
  • Swipe for audience engagement features
  • Slidebean for automatic slide creation
  • Keynote for iCloud for beautiful templates

visuals in elearning - 2


2. Convert them into a video for the wow factor – Visuals in eLearning

  • Goanimate for scenario based learning
  • Powtoon for converting existing presentations into animated videos

visuals for elearning - 3

If two eLearning (or mLearning) courses offer similar functionality, but one of them lacks visual beauty, users would prefer to take the beautiful one. It is much easier to study in an attractive environment than in an unattractive one. Average quality images and design in the eyes of common users will make the whole course look average as well, but content presented in a visually more engaging way, makes the course exceptional.

Creating a presentation in PowerPoint is the easiest part. Enriching your presentation with video, narration and a functional player is clearly more important, do get in touch with us and we could help you out on how to give that extra swag to your existing content.

Are you using visuals in eLearning content optimally?

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