Multimedia in eLearning
We’ve all been there before… staring at a screen full of text. It’s abstract in nature, dry in language, and seems never ending. Perhaps you read it twice wondering if you even read it the first time to begin with.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, we prefer it not to be. There are a variety of creative ways to integrate multimedia into eLearning courses to boost engagement and increase knowledge retention. In this guide, we’ll look at some creative ways to leverage multimedia – specifically graphics, videos, audio, and animation – to transform your eLearning courses.
Graphics include everything from images to charts to graphs. They help learners understand information easier and can help improve long-term knowledge retention.
But the truth is…graphics are only limited by our imagination. There are a ton of fun and innovative ways to incorporate graphics into eLearning and boost knowledge retention. Here are some of our favorite ways to infuse graphics into eLearning to help boost learner engagement:
Visualize Key Concepts: The use of images, charts, or graphs is not “new” per se… but it is effective! Capturing information in a clean, modern visual helps improve comprehension.
Infographics: Again, not a “new” graphic method necessarily but highly effective in conveying complex information concisely for learners. But visual appeal isn’t everything; the infographic should guide the learner’s eye through the information. We personally like some of this year’s trends that Vennage put together in their 2023 Infographic Design Report.
Interactive Graphics: Layering hotspots over a graphic deserves all the hype. Not only is it an extremely useful way to chunk out content (so learners aren’t overwhelmed with text), but it creates an opportunity for learners to interact with their learning. Better yet – use hotspots within assessments to help learners apply their knowledge and identify key learnings.
Memes: In this case, we suggest SFW (or “safe-for-work”) memes. This simple – but modern – approach is a great way to introduce new topics or reinforce critical concepts. And who doesn’t love a good meme? (Caution: like anything, though, we recommend using memes in moderation. Too many memes might get old or distracting to the learner.)
The power of videos should not be underrated. They can help bring complex topics to life while creating a more immersive learning experience. And, when desired, videos are a great method to solicit emotional connections with learners.
Here are some ways to harness videos:
Practical Tasks: Videos are ideal for showcasing practical skills or processes that may be challenging to demonstrate in text alone.
Expert Insights: Interview subject matter experts and insert their insights into a video. Not only does this build credibility, but it helps bring valuable perspectives to the learner from industry professionals.
Complex Concepts: The more you can attach visual elements to complex concepts, the better. Using video to animate conceptual, philosophical, or difficult topics helps the learner's understanding.
Interactive Elements: Create interactive videos that require the learner to engage with specific elements – such as clickable objects or decision-making scenarios. Doing so helps make the learning active(rather than passive) and helps foster engagement.
Audio has a definite seat at the eLearning table because of its vast potential in its application. Whether it’s providing new content, reinforcing key concepts, or adding elements of “fun” throughout – audio creates a more immersive experience.
When it comes to eLearning, here are some popular ways to leverage audio:
Immersive learning: Add sounds that simulate a particular environment to immerse the learner. For example, an eLearning driver safety course could embed traffic noise in the background or the sound of cars honking if a learner takes too long to answer a knowledge check question. And if simulated noise doesn’t apply to the topic, simply add background music!
Narration: No, we don’t mean ‘read the slide’ to learners. In fact, creating cognitive dissonance is not effective eLearning. However, we know that some learners prefer auditory learning — so why not include it? Using audio to provide additional explanations, insight from industry experts, or reinforce key concepts are all great ways to integrate narration.
Gamification techniques: Learning does not need to be a full-fledged game to successfully embed game-like mechanics. Incorporate “game-like” sounds to promote interactivity or competitiveness. For example, countdown timers can create a sense of urgency for the learner to make a decision, and a “ding” sound effect can help reinforce learning when learners choose a correct answer.
(Special Note: Don’t forget about accessibility! Closed captions or transcripts should always be made available for audio content to ensure that all learners have equal access to the material.)
Finally, animations are an effective (and fun!) way to engage learners. They’re best used to break down complex topics into bite-sized nuggets or provide hands-on practice within a safe and controlled environment.
Some cool ways to leverage animation:
Simulations: These immersive experiences encourage learners to (safely) apply knowledge in a real-world scenario. Additionally, it enables immediate feedback to reinforce learning outcomes.
Complex Ideas: Simplify abstract concepts or complex processes with captivating animation to help boost learner engagement.
If it isn’t apparent by now, the use of multimedia in eLearning is a no-brainer. When used creatively, multimedia helps learners stay motivated, retain information, and apply their learning to real-world scenarios.
Ready to boost your eLearning courses with the power of multimedia? Look no further! Our team of experts is here to lend a helping hand. Whether you need assistance with graphics, videos, audio, animation, or the whole shebang, we've got you covered.
Get in touch with us now and let's make some eLearning magic happen!