Infographics represent complex ideas, concepts, and data in a visual or graphic form to help learners visualize and comprehend them with ease by forming mental models. They enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of instructional materials. Instructional designers must incorporate the four basic design principles of contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity (C.A.R.P), while designing infographics to help learners focus their attention, feel the relevance, gain confidence, and derive satisfaction from the instructional materials used during face-to-face training and e-Learning, along with non-training interventions such as job aids.
Instructional design and graphic design are two different skills. Some instructional designers do possess exceptional skills in graphic design, while most of them do not. Infographics come in handy to reduce the anxiety of such instructional designers who do not possess graphic design skills, as they help to close the performance gap among instructional designers related to graphic design.
Instructional designers can readily access various tools to create infographics that are aesthetically and visually appealing for the learners with ease. Thereby, they can create learning materials that engage the learners by providing effective and efficient learning experiences. This helps to enhance active participation and eliminates boredom experienced by most adult learners during training sessions at work. Infographics enable the learners comprehend various complex concepts, ideas, and analyze data points related to a specific F2F training or e-Learning session, without having to deal with a wall of text.
Thanks to Internet access and advancement in technology that help instructional designers access various tools to create infographics with a few clicks of the mouse. Some examples of the tools used to create engaging infographics are Easel.ly, Infogr.am, Visual.ly, Piktochart, Recite, and Quozio. Infographic tools are very helpful to instructional designers, as they can use them to create effective and eye-catching graphic images for not only designing instructional materials, but also brochures, flyers, online direct mail, and creating social media posts successfully. Thereby, they can transfer their instructional design skills to explore the related fields of copywriting, writing for social media, and blogging, to diversify their career. Hence, they can enhance their financial and professional success, along with deriving self-satisfaction by helping organizations achieve their strategic goals. Figure 1 depicts a simple infographic created for Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivation using Easel.ly.
Figure 1. Infographic for Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivation
Overall, infographics help instructional designers to design instructional and non-instructional materials with a focus on value-added results, and align them with the strategic business goals of the client organization, with a systemic view, by following a systematic process, along with working in partnership by collaborating with the client and employees at all levels. Thereby, assisting them to achieve the strategic goals of their organization and develop it into a sustainable organization by obtaining a ROI.
Do you have any thoughts and/or ideas on how Infographics can enhance our Instructional Design skills? If so, please reply to this post with your comments.
Cooper, B. B. (2014, September 11). 14 tools to create engaging infographics and images for social media posts [Web log post]. Retrieved March 3, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/belle-beth-cooper/14-tools-to-create-engagi_b_4804924.html