How eLearning uses Graphics and Infographics help store information in Long Term Memory

Creating an elearning course is the amalgamation of science and art in a manner where we can easily store and retrieve information. Storage of information in our brains is a passive process in the sensory memory as short term memory or the more permanent form as a long term memory.

Memories are not stored in our brain as books on a library shelf but must be actively reconstructed from various elements scattered around the various areas of the brain through an encoding process. These different stages of memory function as a kind of filter to protect us from an overload of information on a daily basis. They discard the short term memory after a period of time or turn them into long term memory with the right connections to be retrieved later and presented to the brain.

eLearning content development utilises this science of brain cognition and data retrieval in a manner to enhance the overall knowledge of any human being. The short term memory gets turned into long term memory with repeated use of the same information presented in different manners which is the basis of using various elements like text, images or learning infographics in a course. This long term memory through a yet not well known process in the brain gets consolidated in the memory as a habit after being stabilised in the memory with repeated use.

Any good elearning content development thus focuses on turning the short term memory of a process, a principle, a technique, etc. into long term memory which can then be used by the learner in a meaningful manner at a later date. This storage of memory is thus an ongoing process which reclassifies the neural pathways continuously along with the normal processing of the brain.

The use of learning infographics in the form of actual photographs, icons, graphs, charts, vectors and other graphical items is not just a means used by elearning content development to catch the eye, but also to provide relevant information through which the brain may encode it properly to be used at a later date. A few techniques utilized by many elearning content development services thus focus on:

  1. Grabbing learner’s attention: Use visual cues in the form of arrows to present the most relevant piece of information on the screen. A good practice is to use the image of a human who is looking at the same place as we tend to follow the gaze of others.
  2. Group similar items: Objects in a chart or table are grouped as per their similarity which helps make a connection and learn a concept easily.
  3. Ban stock photos: Use of cliched images like a bundle of money tend to make our brain skip over. Instead, use photos only where they provide a visual clue or are relevant to the subject at hand. Use human faces with expressions instead, which we as social animals tend to follow more than inanimate objects or animals.
  4. Crop the image: Our eyes tend to move from the bottom to the left and then right of any screen. The most lucrative part of your screen to elicit interest is the upper left part.

The power of visual is undeniable and using them properly can make the difference between your learner gaining any knowledge or not from your particular course. Choose wisely.

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Sonika Rao

Experienced Creative Designer with a demonstrated history of working in the broadcast and education industries. Skilled in Advertising, Graphic Design, Videography, Voice Recording, Editing, and Survey Methodology. Strong multimedia professional with a Bachelor's degree focused in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Bangalore.