eLearning Visual Content

eLearning Visual Content
One way to make your online course more interesting for your students is to use creative visual content. This can be a challenge when your topic is technical, such as how to use a software. Usually these topics are covered via screencasts of the software in use with a few annotations and cursor effects. However, in some of my favorite courses the instructors use presentation slides to break the monotony.

In these courses, there are times when the instructor needs to go beyond the step-by-step screencast, to discuss the why behind the process, the history/background or something else. It's easy to just stop the screencast, discuss the information and then move on to the next part of the step-by-step screencast.

There's nothing wrong with this technique. It has worked for years. But, I have noticed that eLearning courses are continually evolving. The instructors are increasingly using creative, colorful visual content between those screencasts.

Presentation Screen
Slide presentation software, such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote, has been around for some time. Creating this type of visual content is a great way to add come color and style to your course. Even if you are just using bullet points to support your narration, why not add a little color and fun text fonts? As long as it's still readable, use your imagination when creating your own teaching slides. Ira Marcks at Skillshare has a great intro course about creating great visuals for your course (see link below).

Add Interest to Screencasts
Another way to keep your students attention is to add interest to your screencasts, by adding a little movement. Most of the time, the action in a screencast is only within a section of the entire software workspace. So why not take advantage of that by zooming in to that area and then zoom out or pan to the next area to support your narration. This movement guides the students attention to the action on the screen. Also with this technique, the screencast area is smaller, freeing some of the video real estate. You can fill this free space with other visual content. Meryl Ayres at Wistia.com has a great blog post, with a free After Effects template, about this technique (see link below).

Course Cover Image
When it comes to visual content, your course thumbnail image is very important. It not only needs to reflect the content in your course but also grab the attention of potential students. Going back to Skillshare, Faye Brown has a short course on creating the cover image for your online course (see link below).

Ira Marcks
Teacher Tips: Create Compelling Visuals for Your Skillshare Class

Meryl Ayres
Improve Your Screencast Videos with This After Effects Template

Faye Brown
Teacher Tips: Create a Cover Image

Disclosure: As a participant in the Skillshare affiliate program, some of the links in this article are affiliate links. However, my opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.