8 Tips To Use Stock Images In eLearning

8 Tips To Use Stock Images In eLearning
Summary: In this article, I'll share 8 unexpected and powerful uses for stock images that you'll want to consider when designing your next eLearning deliverable. Each of these can help you to create engaging, interactive, and effective eLearning courses that your learners aren't soon to forget!

How To Use Stock Images in eLearning

Written content is just one piece of the eLearning puzzle. Thanks to stock image sites, eLearning professionals can now integrate attention grabbing images into their eLearning courses, without spending a dime of their project budget. However, if you want to take full advantage of stock images, there are a variety of rather unexpected uses for them that you may want to keep in mind.

  1. Create a character that guides the learner through the eLearning course.
    Characters not only help to create a sense of immersion in your eLearning course, but they can also give your audience the guidance and support they need as they progress throughout the modules. There are myriad of stock image sites that feature model images which you can use to create a character for your eLearning course. This character can highlight important bits of the subject matter, offer invaluable tips to your learners, and even be the central character in an eLearning story. When choosing the right stock image for your character, be sure that it is relevant and relatable for the learner. For example, if you're creating an eLearning course for marketing experts, you will probably want to opt for an image that features a business professional, rather than someone with a sports outfit.
  2. Integrate interactive stock images that offer greater detail.
    Why not make complex or complicated subject matters easier to comprehend by creating a clickable image that offers greater detail? If you are exploring a subject matter that involves a series of steps or involved processes, you can feature an image that gives an overview of the entire task that the learners can interact with. For example, they can click on one part of the image in order to access the first step of the process or to learn more about a sub-topic.
  3. Develop scenarios that are immersive and engaging.
    One of the most effective ways to use stock images in eLearning is to create interactive eLearning scenarios. You can use a different stock image for each screen of the eLearning scenario and have the learner make a choice, which will take them to the next image. This will give them the chance to learn about the real world applications of the subject matter, as well as the real world consequences of their decisions, making your eLearning course both exciting and engaging.
  4. Use metaphorical stock images to illustrate a complex or boring subject matter.
    There are times in every eLearning professional's career when a complex or boring subject presents them with a unique challenge. You want to be able to convey the message concisely and clearly to avoid confusion, but you also want to make it memorable and fun in order to boost knowledge retention. Metaphorical images may be the solution to this dilemma. For example, if you are walking the learners through the steps of a challenging process, you can correlate this process with the process and the steps of baking.  Thus, you may use an image that corresponds to the baking process instead. In essence, it simplifies a topic so that learners can  absorb the information more effectively.
  5. Transform your eLearning course into an interactive story.
    You can use stock images to create an eLearning story that immerses the learners into the subject matter and makes them feel like they are part of the overall eLearning experience. While you can simply tell a story using text blocks, adding in images adds an emotional element to the eLearning course that makes the subject matter more memorable. Just be sure to choose stock images that are relevant to the eLearning story and are relatable for the learner, so that they can interact more effectively with the content and the characters.
  6. Boost emotional connectivity with visually striking stock images.
    Sometimes an image is all it takes to make a concept stick in the mind of the learner. The key is that the image must trigger emotion, be compelling, and an instant connection between the image and the subject matter to be created. Such images also offer an added benefit, as they can help learners to absorb information more effectively. As they say, “a picture's worth a thousand words”. In other words, you can use visually striking stock images and minimize your usage of text to create an emotional connection with your learners and make their eLearning experience powerful and inspirational.
  7. Integrate images that depict a path or a timeline.
    Integrate images that feature a step-by-step walkthrough of a timeline or a path that the learners must follow. For example, if you are creating the historical timeline of a particular region, you can place different images that represent important points along the timeline and provide a description for each. You can also use a map photo and draw arrows to represent a path or integrate clickable areas into the map that learners can access when they are ready.
  8. Design image-centric quizzes and exams.
    Stock images aren't just for content creation; they are also great for assessments. Have you ever thought of developing a test or exam that features images? You can design an eLearning quiz in which the questions center around an image. For example, you can choose three images that depict different types of attire, and ask the learners to choose which one correctly reflects the company's dress code, or provide them with a labeled map and ask them to label each region and provide information about its geographical profile.

These tips for using stock images in eLearning can give you the power to design eLearning courses and online training events that will benefit your audience. The simple truth is that heavy text eLearning courses aren't going to help learners achieve their goals, even if they are well written and highly informative. Including images is all-important, as it can enhance the overall value of your eLearning course.

If you'd like to learn more about how to choose images and graphics for your next eLearning course, the article 7 Tips To Choose Images And Graphics For Your eLearning Course highlights invaluable tips and advice that can help you to select the ideal visuals for your eLearning deliverable, so that you can develop eLearning content that is both informative and immersive.

Other than using images and graphs, have you ever considered of integrating avatars in your eLearning courses? In the article Top 10 Tips on How to Use Avatars in eLearning you will find 10 tips that will help you to effectively use avatars in eLearning.

Are you looking for free eLearning images, photos, cliparts or illustrations? If the answer is YES I highly encourage you to check the Ultimate list of Free Stock Photos Sites for eLearning.