It is almost impossible today to imagine an e-learning course without any media file. Images, graphics, videos, animations, diagrams, etc., they’re all an essential part of the content, they complement the text; and support the learning experience.
Researchers have found that users closely attend to images that are relevant to their tasks, but they rarely pay attention to pictures which serve no purpose other than fill screen space within the interface. For that reason, we should be aware of the type of graphics contained in our course design.
Reading the book “e-Learning and the Science of Instruction” I found the Multimedia Principle extremely useful to relate the type of media with the learning purpose, the chart below sums up the concepts explained by the authors.
It is extremely important we choose the appropriate media files for the courses we design, we should make sure the images, graphics, animations, or videos; contain information to help the learner to perform the task. Otherwise, they could be distracting and slow down the learning experience.
Clark and Mayer (2011) “e-Learning and the Science of Instruction”
Mayer, R. Principles for Multimedia Learning
Shift e-Learning “Graphics for e-Learning: Which one should I use?”