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In a world of online videos, infographics and funny pictures, the digital age has taught us one thing: The more media, the better. But while multimedia can enhance your microlearning efforts, the same content can take away from your main message. By knowing how to use media judiciously in your curriculum, you can make sure it enhances your message and learner engagement – rather than learner distraction.
Graphics Vs. Content
Graphics and videos are great: That is, unless they overwhelm or cloud the actual content. Remember that multimedia should be a complementary part of eLearning, while the message should be loud and clear. If your graphics are competing with the message and resulting in poor retention, they could be more of a hindrance than a help. A learner’s eyes will naturally be attracted to video and graphics. If your video is the main event, then less written content may be required.
eLearning Course Redesign
While too much multimedia can distract a learner, not utilizing it at all can leave you with lackluster design. When making the shift from a classroom-based curriculum to eLearning or microlearning, for example, course materials designed for in-class discussion may no longer fit the bill. Students learning online usually look for faster-paced, more eye-grabbing design, accomplished with the addition of video, sound and graphics.
In the end, the best way to decide how much multimedia to incorporate boils down to whether or not the media actually adds meaning to the message. While a comic might be funny, unless learners are gaining information from the laughs, it may just be a distraction. Instead, choose media carefully to ensure that it acts as a complementary draw to keep users engaged but never distracted by too much of a good thing.