February 17th, 2015 Instructional Design

Graphics can often make or break an online course.

Rarely today do you see a course that doesn’t contain any relevant images – although I have unfortunately come across some. Luckily most elearning will make use of graphics, but sometimes they are not implemented properly.

For example, you may come across pictures or graphics that don’t necessarily relate to the content directly, or don’t provide any real value and are distractions.

Even worse, there are times when graphics don’t contain enough detail (such as legends and labels), which leads to more confusion.

In general, you should make sure that the images, charts, and graphs that supplement your learning are coherent with the subject at hand, and they are similarly styled across the entire course.

Why use graphics in the first place?

The most obvious answer is that sometimes it is easier to convey information in a graphic. This is likely one major reason why infographics have gained in popularity in recent years.

People enjoy viewing infographics because they present relevant information in a concise manner that is easy to read and remember.

By way of example, consider the infographic below that provides details on why infographics are so popular 🙂 .

After reviewing some of the reasons why graphics work, perhaps you will be inspired to use more pleasing infogrpahics in your own elearning. This doesn’t mean you need to create a long graphic such as this one. Instead, focus on finding places in your training where the information would be digested easier in graphic form.

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


5 responses

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Infographics may be good for many people, but for people that are dyslexic or have other learning disabilities or for those that are blind – try adding alt-text to an infographic – or for those that must use disability software, I think content should be geared for everyone – just a thought

Ok i would like to create infographics in my course

Any recommandation of software that a “normal” teacher on could use to do these cool infographics.

Avatar Mario

It could bee starting from your cellular all the way to any worprocessor, presentation program or simple drawing programs.

Avatar Gabriella

Learning Solutions 2014 had a great presentation from Bianca Woods with a lot of resources: http://biancawoods.weebly.com/infographics.html

I am actually presenting at LS 2015 and taking the idea a bit further. Infographics are great- but why stop there? How about making your learners engage with the information and making them interactive?

I truly think this is a great opportunity for L&D. I’ve done a few experiments with my org and the results have been great.

The issue with infographics and users with disabilities is that you then need to make 508-compliant elements to your website or elearning (these generally aren’t offered in the tools themselves) Alt Tags for e-readers can help this- and I know Storyline has features for which elements you want read vs not, and you can configure items. For example, a complex table that tries to “read” from screen by going Col1 Row1 Value X, Col2 Row 1 Value, etc… can often be better summarized by skipping that type of read and providing a better off screen table summary to be read by assistive tech.

Please stop using #13. Dales Cone of Experience was debunked in 2006

At least you did not trot out the oft cited but never documented “People process visual information 60,000 times faster than text”

This to me is I do appreciate that this is a rare thing in infographics where the actual sources are directly cited. Thanks for thAT.

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