Spice Up Your eLearning Course with Photos

The stylish business woman leading a group of project managers, the angry boss yelling at his employees, or the snapshot of two thumbs up. A good picture can make elearning experiences visually stimulating and engaging.

So how do you determine the perfect photo for your content? When choosing images for a course, you should have these three goals in mind:

1) Symbolize Your Message Your images should display an idea or action in support of your message. Before inserting a photograph into your course, make sure the picture has a symbol that supports and captures the point of your message. Unrelated pictures might just confuse learners.

2) Illustrate Emotions Great images are relatable. Learners understand content better when they can visualize an experience– even when the image is exaggerated. Consider this image, a manager disciplining her employee:

This may not be appear realistic, but learners can understand that he is receiving a shocking message from his boss.

3) Increase Retention Photos should include props that add subtle meaning to course content. Whether the photo has sticky notes, cell phones, or question-marks printed on cardboard, props reinforce your message. These sorts of visual stimuli make for more effective training because they increase memory retention and focus. A picture is not only worth a thousand words –  its a lot easier to remember than a thousand words.

If you’re a stock photo newbie, iStockphotoFlickr, and Shutter Stock, are some resources to get you started.


The stock photos above are from The Inside Coach training courses featured on OpenSesame. What messages do you think these images capture? Let us know what you think in the comments section!