Visual presentation plays an important role in putting across concepts meaningfully, while aiding the ability of individuals to retain information. By providing a greater impact, visual content enhances the learners ability to understand difficult information, in both higher education and training. Research has indicated that better learning is achieved when graphics or other visual content is used and is then explained by audio. The research further highlighted that this method contributed to a greater learning experience in comparison to educational content provided via audio and text.
The infographic below, created by Sh!ft Disruptive Learning, highlights the power of visuals in e-learning and why e-learning providers should consider using using visuals when creating their courses.
The Power of Visuals in eLearning Infographic presents 4 reasons why eLearning developers should embrace visuals when creating their courses:
Visuals stick in long-term memory
One of the easiest ways to ensure that learners store information in their long-term memory is to pair concepts with meaningful images. Research has found that this tactic increases recall better than when courses deliver information through aural or textual form. Visuals help people make sense out of the content and direct attention, increasing the possibilities that the learners will remember.
Visuals transmit messages faster
eLearning developers can use this knowledge in their visual designs to their advantage by including well-timed graphics or a sequence graphics to aid instant understanding as well as to reduce explanation time and content.
- The brain can see images that last for just 13 milliseconds.
- Our eyes can register 36,000 visual messages per hour.
- We can get the sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second.
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
- Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text.
- 40 percent of nerve fibers are linked to the retina
Visuals improve comprehension
Visuals have been found to improve learning by up to 400 percent. Also, they affect learners on a cognitive level and stimulate imagination, therefore, enabling users to process the information faster.
Studies have found that visuals such as graphic organizers improve performance in areas including:
• Reading comprehension
• Student achievement
• Organizing and communicating ideas
• Finding patterns and relationships
Visual cues trigger emotions
Visuals cause a faster and stronger reaction than words. They help users engage with the content, and such emotional reactions influence information retention. This is because the visual memory is encoded in the medial temporal lobe of the brain, the same place where emotions are processed.
Visuals motivate learners
Around 40 percent of learners respond better to visual information than text alone. Simply seeing a picture allows users to recreate the experience in their mind. eLearning professionals can benefit from this by telling stories in their courses through entrancing images and compelling videos.
Incorrect Use of Visuals Can Also Deter Learners
It is important to note that graphics can also negatively impact learning if they are used inappropriately. When off-topic graphics appear on the screen, such as those used for purely decorative purposes, learners will subconsciously try to figure out the message and reason for the image.
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