3 Great Tips for Using Images in Your Online Courses

Lightbulb outlines with one yellow bulb coloured in for create awesome online courses

Images are great for adding colour to your online courses. The aesthetic appeal of images makes it easier for learners to engage with your course, and to enjoy it. Images can also be used to communicate and reinforce key learning points in a simple and appealing way. This blog post provides some tips on how to effectively use images in your online courses and how to avoid common pitfalls!

1. Relevance

Images are great for adding colour and life to your online courses, but it’s important to choose carefully. Start by thinking about your topic and your audience. You should choose images that are relevant to the topic of your online course and complement the content. It’s also important to choose images that will help your learners connect to the content by illustrating the concepts covered in a way they will easily understand. For example, you wouldn’t use an image of a person operating a crane in a safety training course for office workers. Instead, you would choose an image that helps your learners to better understand the concept you are communicating.

If you are looking for image ideas, there are a lot of great stock photo sites that offer free or low cost images you can use in your online courses such as iStockPhoto or PhotoDune. However, it’s important to check the copyright conditions on these images before you use them. Another option is to create your own images using photo editing or design software. Our personal favourite is Canva – online design software which you can use to build images using icons, photos, shapes and fonts.

2. Size and Detail

Size matters when it comes to choosing images for your online course. Making sure your images look great on smaller screens is a must given that your learners are now more likely to use the internet on their smartphone (79%) than on their desktop computer (61%).

When it comes to image size, the devil is in the detail. You’ll find that detailed photographs, complex flow charts and images that contain a lot of text are difficult to view on smaller screens. But there are some easy ways to simplify your images and make sure they’ll look great on any device:

  • Use Less Text: Reduce the number of words used and increase the font size to improve readability. A good rule of thumb is no more than 5 words of text using at least 24 point font.
  • Stylisation: Use stylised images or icons in the place of more detailed images, as these communicate concepts simply and look great in a range of sizes. The example shows the contrast between a document icon and a photograph of a document.

Document icon with document photo for create awesome online courses

3. Positioning

Changing up the position of images throughout your online course provides variety and helps your learners to stay engaged. You can also use image position to make the most effective use of your screen real estate.

  • Portrait orientation pictures tend to look best when they are left or right aligned with text wrapping
  • Landscape orientation pictures tend to look good in most positions – left or right aligned, centred under text or even full screen width.

The position you choose for your images can also impact on its size.  For example, full-width images are generally larger than left or right aligned images, which gives you more flexibility in the level of detail you use.

Laptop with image shows how to create awesome online courses

We hope you’ve found this post helpful. For some more specific tips on using images in your CourseGenius learning platform, visit our Help Portal.

CourseGenius Customer? Put these tips into practice:

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