eLearning Design and Development

7 Tips To Choose Multimedia For Your eLearning Course

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In this article I will discuss the basics of selecting the multimedia that will draw in the learners and will provide them with the best possible eLearning experience, without taking away any from the value of the core content itself. I will share 7 eLearning tips on how to use the ideal multimedia tools, so that you can make an aesthetically pleasing, high quality eLearning course.

How To Choose Multimedia for your eLearning Course

One of the most exciting and effective aspects of instructional design in today's tech-friendly world is the fact that you have access to a wide range of media tools. From interactive presentations to visually stunning images, eLearning professionals have the power to create eLearning courses that are not only beautiful, but also highly engaging for the learner too. So, the question is: how do you choose the right multimedia for your eLearning course?

  1. Use a wide range of multimedia tools for maximum learners’ engagement.
    When choosing the perfect multimedia components for your eLearning course, be sure to opt for a variety of forms. This will allow you to cater to different learning needs. For example, learners who are auditory will benefit from audio elements, such as recorded lectures or music, while those who tend to learn more from visual components might prefer interactive games or videos. With that being said, you shouldn't go overboard when selecting your multimedia. Keep in mind that the multimedia you use should accentuate your core content and improve learners’ retention, but it shouldn't be the proverbial “star of the show”.
  2. Choose images that are copyright free and relevant to the content.
    Including images that illustrate content or are relevant to the eLearning course can help to engage the learners and make your modules more aesthetically appealing. When searching for images, be sure to opt for ones that are royalty free, as you won't want to have to deal with copyright issues. Remember that modules shouldn't be too cluttered with images, however, as you'll still want to ensure that the content and information aren't lost among graphics, photos, or clip art images. Also, if at all possible, try to use images that reflect the organization’s culture or image. For example, you can use photos of the sales floor in interactive scenarios or logos that learners may already be familiar with. This will not only help the learners to relate to the content, but enhances the overall professionalism of the eLearning course itself.If you're looking for royalty free sites that offer high quality images for your eLearning course, the ultimate list of free stock photos sites for eLearning article features a comprehensive list of free stock photo sites, which include photos, clipart, images, and illustrations.
  3. Videos are ideal for lectures, training scenarios, and company announcements.
    If you want to provide learners with an engaging training session delivered by a remote instructor or even the head of an organization, videos may be an ideal addition to your eLearning multimedia strategy. They are also great for company announcements, such as policy updates or new product introductions, as well as new employee orientation speeches. These videos can also be saved for later use, which can save on time and resources. For instance, you can create a new hire introduction video once and then utilize it for years to come. Thanks to new and easy to use technology available today, you can develop top-notch videos, even if you don't necessarily have the AV experience or know-how.If you're looking for tips to use videos in your eLearning course you may want to check the 10 Tips to effectively use videos in eLearning article. Also, I highly encourage you to check the Educational Video Production article where you will find 5 steps to make it happen!
  4. Opt for photographs if you need to delve into the technical aspects of a subject.
    If you're dealing with a topic that is more technical in nature, such as internal computer processes or mechanic diagrams, you may want to go with photographs that offer an in depth look at the subject matter. If you aren't able to use the photos you've chosen, for one reason or another, then you can at least translate these images into written content (such as descriptions) or other visual representations (like diagrams or flow charts). As in the case with clip art and other images, you'll want to be sure to use royalty free photographs to avoid legal issues later on.
  5. Slide shows can shed a whole new light on your core content.
    Slide shows have been used in eLearning for years. However, they are still relevant today in their more evolved forms. Creating slide shows within your module can allow you to integrate a variety of multimedia elements without overshadowing the content itself. It can help you to design an eLearning course that is more interactive while avoiding cognitive overload (the learner can fully acquire the knowledge on one slide before clicking to the next).
  6. Utilize audio to customize the eLearning course and offer more interactive content.
    Including audio presentations or even background music can enable you to offer a more interactive and engaging learning experience. Learners become more immersed within the eLearning course if you customize it by adding in audio elements, such as company music, background sounds that are relevant to the content itself, and audio-based scenarios. Select high quality audio and clear vocals, if you are including voice over audio elements. It's not recommended to use audio all throughout your eLearning course though, as this can become destructive for the learners. For example, you won't want to narrate your entire eLearning course word-for-word.If you're looking for free music sites that offer high quality audio for your eLearning course, the ultimate list of free music for eLearning development article features 34 sites where you can download free music!
  7. Consider technical limitations when integrating multimedia content.
    Important considerations to keep in mind regarding multimedia for eLearning courses are the learners’ technical requirements and limitations. Will they be able to listen the course, or will they be utilizing the course in on-the-job learning environments? Are you using multimedia elements that may be too advanced for some computers or that some devices are unable to run, such as those that may not have a Flash player? Also, you'll want to consider whether or not your audience is tech-savvy. Will learners be able to navigate through the eLearning course easily with the multimedia elements you've added?

Last but not least, for an in depth eLearning Course Design checklist that you can use to get your eLearning courses ready for launch check The Ultimate eLearning Course Design Checklist.

Plus, you may want to check the ultimate source for Free eLearning Resources! At the Over 1000 Free eLearning Resources you will find from 15 Free eLearning Authoring Tools, 17 Open Source LMSs, and 72 free eLearning storyboard templates, to 259 free educational technology tools that I hope will help you develop your next eLearning course!