Why You Should Embrace Visual Learning

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Everyone learns differently, but did you know 65 percent of people are considered visual learners? This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given how dominant images and videos are in our culture. These days, it seems like just about every experience, moment or even meal is documented with an image. 

There’s a reason we’re so drawn to image-based learning: Our brains are poised to process images quicker and easier than text content. And eLearning courses offer the perfect forum for capitalizing on visual learning. Including visual content in your eLearning courses helps capture the attention of your audience and makes them more likely to retain more information. 

Let’s take a look at some of the science behind visual learning to see why it can be beneficial to your eLearning courses. 

5 Reasons to Embrace Visual Learning

  1. Images are more easily stored in long-term memory. Difficult concepts are more easily understood when paired with a visual as an example. Once a concept is learned, having an image tied to it makes the information easier to recall. According to one study, 65 percent of visual information was able to be retained after a three day period of time—a significant difference over the 10 percent of text-only information. 
  2. Images are a more efficient way to learn. The large majority of information transmitted to the brain is visual. (90 percent, to be exact.) This is probably because our brains are able to process visual information at a much quicker rate than text information. While reading takes time and context to comprehend, visual context can be understood almost immediately. 
  3. Images improve learning comprehension. Since seeing an image stimulates our imagination, which allows us to process information more clearly. This study found including an image improved learning comprehension by up to 400 percent. When learners are able to, quite literally, “get a visual” of a concept, they’re able to understand and process the information more easily. 
  4. Visuals can leave a lasting impression. We’re more likely to react to a visual on an emotional level than we are to text. That’s why so many more people find themselves crying at movies instead of books. Images have the ability to cause an emotional response that helps commit information to memory. 
  5. People like images. It might seem like a silly final reason, but images capture attention and interest, leading to more engaged learners. At the most basic level, including visual content in your eLearning courses might simply make your audience enjoy the process more.

You want your eLearning courses to be as effective as possible, which means you need to teach your audience in the way they want to be taught. Including visual content can take your eLearning course from something your employees simply get through to something they commit to memory. 

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