We’ve talked a lot about the important connection between the brain and learning. We know vision is the most powerful sense. I’m sure you’ve heard this before:

Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.

This is because our brain processes everything, including text, as pictures therefore reading a word is going to take longer and be laborious compared with processing an icon or image.

The National Center on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) also provides additional, practical reasons for increasing the use of visuals in content development. UDL is a set of guidelines to support high quality content development that provides students equal opportunities to learn, regardless of their abilities.

According to the National Center on UDL,

Learners differ in the ways that they perceive and comprehend information that is presented to them……Others may simply grasp information quicker or more efficiently through visual or auditory means rather than printed text. Also learning, and transfer of learning, occurs when multiple representations are used, because they allow students to make connections within, as well as between, concepts. In short, there is not one means of representation that will be optimal for all learners; providing options for representation is essential.

If you combine what we know about the brain and our visual senses with recommendations from UDL, it is critical to increase the use of visual images and icons when developing online content.

CourseArc makes it easy to consistently use icons as visual cues throughout your courses.  You can use our premade icon banks and customize them with your branding, or upload your own set.

sample quiz icon and directions

sample quiz icon and directions

You can also set also up default text that will automatically populate whenever a user selects the icon (see sample below).

sample default text that has been setup for a video.

sample default text that has been setup for a video.

Learn more about instructional design and eLearning with our free, online course: Principles of Instructional Design: A Roadmap for Creating Engaging eLearning Content.