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Course creators are always looking for new ways and online tools to become more productive in the process of communicating content. The amount of information students are called to study is growing faster than their ability to find, digest, and use it.
One of the most effective ways to help students find and absorb information is through visual aids. Visuals are often more straightforward to illustrate information.
The need to explain important concepts, and the connections between them makes their presence essential. For example, when was the last time you read a long-form article online from beginning to end?
People rarely read long texts and rely on video, graphics and bulleted texts. One of the most prominent tools to make our content thrive is educational infographics.
An infographic is a representation of information in a graphic format, designed to make the data easily understandable at a glance. With an infographic, it is easy to scan, absorb and retain the information.
In this article, I will be explaining why infographics are important for learning and how you can design an educational infographic for your class.
Learners need to find and understand information quickly. As everyone is a visual learner, a large number of studies emphasize the importance of visuals in learning.
After all, we process most information through our eyes. The cognitive theory of multimedia learning provides a theoretical explanation for this.
Infographics support learning in an online learning environment in several ways, according to this study on visuals.
This is why infographics are a set of compelling visual learning tools used in most universities, high school, social media, news articles, and workplaces all over the world to help organize ideas.
Instructional design is a field that also touches upon companies. Businesses adopt visual learning when educating customers or employees, as data visualization is important to present complex information and relationships between data points.
This is why infographics are great when creating online courses or training programs. It is a great way to help learners understand your information.
But, how can you actually use them?
Here are three main uses of educational infographics in any lesson.
As I explained before, infographics are great to represent important concepts effectively. Here are some examples where infographics are essential:
Your visuals must be engaging and useful for learning. Here’s a great example of an infographic that represents concepts visually to help encourage comprehension.
Present an infographic with controversial meanings or with wrong information and have your students critique about them. Urge them to make this a discussion theme.
To get your students feeling comfortable critiquing infographics, have them start by just thinking about what they like and dislike about them.
Have your students make infographics with the access you provide them in a digital tool. Designing effective infographics is a strong indication that they understand your information.
Why not make your students infographics experts? This will prove beneficial to their personal lives, businesses and more!
Now that we have seen several ways to use infographics in a course, let’s explore what types of them are available out there.
There are several types of graphic organizers, each one for a specific purpose and thought process. Each is used for its own purpose and can be a powerful visual tool when appropriately applied.
Let’s explore some of them.
Use them to show statistical data that otherwise would sound boring for your learners.
Use them as an alternative way to teach specific concepts. It is much more engaging from a simple text.
Use them to show the timeline of critical chronological instances in subject matter’s history.
Use them to explain processes. This way, you summarize essential steps that students must remember.
Use these to show how trends differentiate over countries.
Use them to effectively compare two products or concepts.
Use them to show the hierarchy and the connections between certain concepts.
Use them to list important information or steps thoroughly and engagingly.
While there are many different presentations of infographics, there are three general categories that infographics can fall into: static, animated or interactive.
While content might draw eyes to the page, it can’t keep them there by itself. The right design is what will hold students’ attention. Besides, people are simply more likely to trust content in a well-designed presentation.
Here are five surefire ways to create effective infographics.
What are the most important points that you want your audience to remember? You can summarize your entire piece of content, or focus on one key concept.
Hook the reader with an exciting title and subtitles. Your title and subheaders should be short and descriptive.
Each section of your infographic should only be a few points or a couple of sentences.
Infographics typically don’t have too much text. They are easier to read with little text. Keep your points concise and look for opportunities to use icons and charts to communicate information.
Make sure your message is delivered concisely and in a logical way. This makes the infographic much more interesting, and learners are more likely to engage with it.
Including a conclusion to your infographic is important. It conveys the most important message of your summary and is what stays the last impression to learners.
There is much more information out there on how to create an infographic, and all you need is to find a topic that can be better explained visually to start creating your own! Just be sure to have your target audience in mind.
After you've gone through the first steps of planning your infographic, it’s time to start designing it. There are several tools online you can choose from.
Visme offers numerous integrated tools and templates fully customizable, to create infographics, that will give you a great head start.
There are ten types of templates you can find in this tool (timeline, flowcharts, informational, hierarchical, how-tos, anatomical, process, comparison, report, and location.
Each of them includes hundreds of templates:
When you sign in to your desired tool and choose the right infographics template, all you need to do is add your copy and visuals to the already formatted composition.
Even if the design of the template doesn’t fit your content exactly, it’s pretty easy to customize and adjust it accordingly.
Infographics are not always necessary for our educational content.
When is this true?
Don’t produce content just to create it. This is a big mistake made by many educators. As a result, a lot of low-quality content is produced that doesn’t bring any results.
Not every subject is suitable to turn it into an infographic.
Not every subject is black and white.
While an infographic can help break down complex information, some important things can get lost while designing the infographic.
Infographics are not always suitable if you want to convey a certain feeling.
When you are looking to move people to act through emotion, animations, a video or motion graphic can be a more effective tool.
When you have a lot to explain (e.g., a procedure with many steps), an infographic may not be necessary.
People will scroll, scroll and scroll, trying to wade through the paragraphs of text, and never be able to absorb your information successfully.
The only thing worse than a pure fluff infographic is the overly dense, never-ending infographic.
Infographics are one of the essential content types for our online courses. They’re fun to look at and can make even the most complicated and technical information look interesting.
Learners’ visual nature is craving for such visuals.
Now that you know what an infographic is, when to use it and how to create one, it’s time to get started with your own.