Visual information is one of the best ways for our brains to process and retain information. Think about the various social media platforms that you visit. Which ones are your favourites? Which ones are more popular? Instagram and Pinterest are quickly becoming more popular than Facebook due to its entirely visual-based web design. This is also why Facebook posts with images get shared more than ones that don’t.
If you’re thinking of making an e-course, having a visual component won’t only make your students more interested in your content, but it will also help them retain the information for a more extended period. Add these visuals to your next e-course for more engaged students.
If you have a complex topic, using illustrations to better explain the information will help your students. Infographics are one of the many ways you can do this. For example, if you want to define a part of a machine instead of listing them exactly, create a diagram that points to the parts of the machine. Highlighting those parts will also help your students sort through less essential information.
As humans, we prefer to digest information in a concise manner as opposed to a large block of text, so using lists or bullet points is highly effective to convey your most important lessons. Bullet points, lists or arrows will separate content and make it easier to consume.
What if you have a topic that’s a show, not tell? Having an instructional video would benefit your students, mainly if your topic includes hands-on computing or mechanics. Since videos are engaging, moving media, it will also help your students stay awake and engaged. How-to videos, customer testimonials or interviews are great examples of this.
Furthermore, many professional courses are moving this way, from accounting to law. The most popular LSAT prep courses for the Law School Admission Test contain hours of video content, with the argument being that it’s easier for many students to avoid information overload whilst also having a real classroom experience.
For anything that requires a lot of numbers or data, it’s easier to separate that data in a graph or a chart. Depending on what data you’re collecting, it’s better to use one or the other. In this next example, what is easier for you to understand which month had the best sales numbers?
You can clearly see that it’s either October or November, but you don’t have to weave through the other months. Using other charts like pie charts, vertical bar charts or flow charts can help as well. Make sure to pick the appropriate chart to categorize information, or else your students may be more confused than reading simple text.
Adding images to anything will make it more shareable. This is true of blog posts, Facebook posts and posts that exist on image only websites like Instagram. Visual media takes less time to get to your short term memory than text, so having an image with your text will help your students understand faster. You do need to use appropriate images, though, and overdoing it can do more harm than good.
Bryce Welker is an active speaker, blogger, and tutor on accounting and finance. As the Founder of Crush The CPA Exam, he has helped thousands of candidates pass the CPA exam on their first attempt.