By Manisha Tandale
As Instructional Designers our key focus is to develop courses that will gain the attention of the learners, keep them engaged, and communicate the key concepts. We ensure this by using the appropriate instructional strategies and a suitable visual design approach, which is one of the key elements while developing an eLearning course. The visual design acts as a powerful tool for setting the tone of your course. It can communicate the key learnings in an effective way and keep the learners engaged. Visuals, such as images, photos, pictures, charts, and graphics can communicate the data effectively. An infographic scores even more because it present a large amount of information and data in a visually efficient and aesthetically pleasing manner while using very little text.
These days you see an extensive use of infographics in advertisements in print and online media as they represent data and information in a concise and effective way. The need to share a lot of information with the learners typically makes the content heavy. Further, when we tend to inform too many things, we lose focus on critical information. This is where infographics works best!
Let’s understand why infographics work best?
An infographic is a visual representation of data that is used to present complex information quickly, clearly, and concisely. In an infographic, large amount of information is presented aesthetically using sound instructional design principles to create an immediate impact and aid better retention of information.
To understand this better, take a look the paragraph given below.
“The three critical factors contributing to the success of an individual are hard work, dedication, and strategy. Success is only the tip of an iceberg. Often people tend to see only the success and not the efforts put by the individual to achieve his goals.”
This paragraph can be illustrated as an infographic without losing the meaning of the content. See the infographic given below.
“A picture is worth thousand words” is very apt as we tend to absorb visual information faster than reading large amount of plain text. Also, infographics are more engaging and appealing than just plain text. Since most users have short attention span, infographic serves as the best attention grabber. It can communicate complex data in an attractive visual format that has the potential to go viral on social networking sites.
So, what role will infographics play in an eLearning course?
Infographics will help to quickly convey the knowledge and engage the learners by presenting information in a compact and creative manner. All that is essential is the correct use of infographics in a course. Using infographics just for the aesthetic aspect will not make the eLearning course effective. However, when we integrate it with correct instructional strategy, we can focus on the critical information that we need to convey to the learners. This will help in better knowledge retention.
Let’s see where all can we make the use of Infographics in eLearning courses.
- 1. To represent complex data: Infographics can present huge complex data just in the form of a story that is easy to understand and remember. It helps to avoid/reduce the cognitive overload and makes complicated ideas easier to learn and memorize.
- 2. To represent statistical data: Reading statistical information at times can be really overwhelming. But when the same information is presented in the form of a graphics it looks simple, systematic, and eye-catchy. This type of infographics presents both complex data and statistical data in a way that is not only easy to read but is pleasant and easy to understand and remember.
- 3. To represent a process or procedure: Information related to a process or procedure is technical in nature. Missing even a single step can make the entire process to fail. Therefore, one has to ensure that each and every instruction is followed. With the help of infographic we can present instructions to perform a task in a step-by-step manner that is easy to follow while performing that process or procedure.
- 4. To represent timelines: Timeline infographics presents information representing set of events that took place over a period of time. These can be best used to represent historical events or evolution or growth of an organization or changing market trends in a chronological order. Remembering dates and events is quite difficult at times. Timeline infographics presents this type of data in a visual format that makes it easy for the learner to remember and recall information. We can also show estimated predictions with the help of an infographic.
- 5. To represent Dos and Don’ts or versus data: Infographics helps to present comparative or contrasting information in a very effective and elegant manner. This type of data can be represented with an infographic that communicates the message in a very clear and crisp way.
- 6. To represent summary: Many a times summary comes as a long list filled with too many key points to remember. You can make it easier for the learners by presenting these key points in the summary with the help of an infographic.
- 7. To represent a marketing strategy: Infographics can serve as a great tool to present you future marketing campaigns and strategies. It can definitely serve your purpose to influence your stakeholders since infographics are more appealing than just textual information.
To conclude, Infographics is the latest trend these days. It is an excellent way of presenting information in the eLearning courses that will grab your learner’s attention. It is a powerful medium to communicate complex data helping the learners gain the required knowledge effectively. Infographics presents information in a very crisp manner making it easy to handle through multi devices when reading the information takes time.
A remarkable learning experience can come through infographics!