Use images that support your content and information!
If you write a post or an article, take one or more pictures to support your message. With that visual addition, your information gets more interesting for the reader and the content will stay longer with the learners!
Here’s a very nice article from Karla Gutierrez that shows the importance of visuals for the long term memory in a digital information room.
Shortly summarized, Gutierrez shows, that visuals can support the long time learning memory up to 400 percent, that they improve our comprehension of contents and they trigger emotions, so the learning content stays longer with us. Visuals motivate the learners as well: Gutierrez quotes a study that shows, that:
40 percent of learners respond better to visuals and text, compared to text alone!
Do’s & Don’ts
Visuals are not an educational superweapon!
Visuals can help to summarize the textual content and provide an additional bridge of communication from the facilitator to the learner. They can also help to take away insecurity from the learner, because visuals can be easier to understand, compared to textual contents.
Do not use pictures with a bad quality.
Pictures shouldn’t look too fake – authenticity is also in an online learning form important! But be aware that there are very different perceptions of authenticity
If images do not fit your content, learners can be confused as well and be distracted, because they try to find the connection between the visual and textual content. On the other hand images that do not fit the content can be useful as well, as they strengthen motivation, produce as smile.
Don’t be too confused about which images to choose, even Jutta and Thomas don’t always agree about this issue.
The copyright issue…
Be aware which pictures you are allowed to use! Most online images belong to an author and have a copyright attribution which regulates the usage: commercial, private, allowed to modify or not, etc.
The copyright labels of the Creative Commons are often used in online settings: each symbol controls the allowed usage of the picture. Click here to check out the description of the Creative Commons labels!
Get creative or get a free picture!
The best solution for the right image usage, is to take a camera and make some pictures yourself! Or browse your own picture archive from a holiday or a seminar that may fit your post or video.
Note: There is no good or bad picture – there are only pictures that fit your intention well or not.
Often we depend on online pictures, because we don’t have the right ones ourselves. So a good idea, to walk around the online copyright issue is to take pictures from stock sites that provide professional, theme oriented copyright free pictures. This means, you can take the pictures from those sites, without considering attribution or re-use issues.
Here are some sites that provide such copyright free pictures. Most of them have very professional stock images and with a great quality:
Free programs to modify your pictures
There are a lot of freeware programs with basic or more elaborated functions.
The first program is called “GIMP”. It’s a free image editing software, which can be used by mac and windows users as well.
A nice little image editing tool is also “piant.net”, which is a free extension to the standard windows program “paint” – that’s why the program is only available for windows users. But with this program you can make all changes you may need in a basic editing process.
For very basic image editing taks, you can also use “IfranView“.
Links to the contents of week 3
- Week 3: Videorize your MOOC
- Week 3: Assignment 6: Upload your picture
- Week 3: Assignment 7: Upload your video
- Week 3: Assignment 8: Reflection