How to use icons in eLearning content?

I’ve a scandalous confession to make about icons. I believe they’re sensible. I really like the way in which icons distill an object or idea to its essence. In the event, you’re on the lookout for new methods to get your message throughout, think about the numerous methods you can use icons in eLearning to make clear and add meaning.



Icon Outlined


Icons talk by environment-friendly use of form, line, and coloration. They’re decreased or abstracted variations of an object, like the straightforward picture of a bus you see on a bus cease signal. Icons also can talk ideas, like a lightweight bulb that represents a “new thought.” Idea icons are sometimes symbols that we study as we grow to be visually literate.

Context and nuance. Context strongly impacts the which means of an icon. For instance, whenever you use concentric curved strains with clouds, this icon is interpreted as a characterize a rainbow. If you use an identical form with a transmitter, the concentric curved strains grow to be a logo for wi-fi communication. Nuance additionally provides to the which means. A circle beneath two concentric strains is the image for an RSS feed. See the numerous meanings of concentric strains within the examples beneath.


Advantages of Utilizing Icons in Studying


You could not understand all the advantages of utilizing icons in eLearning and different forms of studying experiences. Listed here are among the causes they’re distinctive.

  • Quick to recognize and process. Icons embody a top quality that cognitive theorists name computational effectivity, which means they reduce the processing required for a correct interpretation. Thus, iconic types are shortly acknowledged and processed, and their meanings are memorable (Malamed, 2011).
  • Builds context. The effectivity of the icon kind offers learners a head begin. Earlier than they even learn the textual content, they have a way of what it will likely be about. It places the data in context, which can save time and enhance comprehension.
  • Improves memory. Photos can enhance the reminiscence of truth or idea when used as a mnemonic system. The precept of the Image Superiority Impact states that individuals have a greater reminiscence for footage than for phrases, notably when referring to concrete objects. When pictures and phrases are used collectively, learners are more likely to bear in mind the picture and affiliate it with the important thing level.
  • Enhances aesthetics. When designed with intention, including related graphics to tutorial supplies can enhance a learner’s aesthetic expertise. Aesthetically pleasing supplies are most well-liked by customers and may improve their motivation. Properly-designed supplies additionally enhance the credibility of the content material.


Icon Styles


As with all visible communication, it helps to concentrate on the visible language of every type. The entire kinds proven beneath are applicable to make use of in eLearning, although every one conveys a novel character. Some in style icon kinds embody flat, flat with a protracted shadow, line, crammed, detailed, hand-drawn, detailed and folded nook. See the examples beneath.

  • Flat icons are a contemporary development that grew out of a necessity for fast downloads on cell units. The flat type can be the antithesis of the older skeuomorphic design type, which mimics bodily objects. Flat icons are versatile and applicable for a wide range of makes use of, from help with navigation and performance to enhancing explanations in data graphics.
  • Flat icons with a protracted shadow present extra element to the flat look. They’re a part of the Flat development, including somewhat character and curiosity to this minimalist design strategy.
  • Line icons are extraordinarily minimalist and thus fast to obtain. Objects and symbols drawn as line icons are simple to establish because the thoughts of the viewer fill within the lacking data. These light-weight icons are perfect for navigation and buttons and anyplace that you must match an icon in a small house. As well as, they’re delicate pictures that gained’t detract from the principle message if that’s your purpose.
  • filled icons are primarily silhouettes of identified and recognizable objects. Much like line icons, the thoughts of the viewer fill within the lacking particulars. Not like like icons, crammed icons are extra conspicuous.
  • Hand-drawn icons could also be created on the pc. however, they purposely seem as if they had been illustrated by hand. The dearth of straight strains and 90º angles offers an off-the-cuff look that conveys an off-the-cuff or playful vibe.
  • Detailed icons are probably the most reasonable of this visible format. They’re small illustrations that present extra element than the icon kinds with extra coloration, gradients, shading, strains or shadows. They are often hand-drawn or created with illustration software program.
  • Folded corner icons have a small fold in a higher or decrease nook that provides a 3rd dimension to their look. They look like a barely peeling sticker. Maybe the fold provides a contact of character or novelty to the icon.


Some Methods to Use Icons in eLearning


1. Icons within the Consumer Interface

A typical place to make use of icons is to reinforce the which means of your menus, navigation, and buttons. That is widespread in purposes as a result of a picture plus textual content that makes it simple for customers to navigate and/or make decisions. Properly-made line icons are applicable right here as a result of they are often shrunk and nonetheless be acknowledged.


 2. Icons as Bullets

Icons are an exquisite alternative for plain vanilla bullets. Merely place a related picture in a form as an alternative choice to the everyday bullet you discover in authoring instruments and PowerPoint. This strategy lets learners know what the important thing truth or idea will probably be about earlier than studying it. It could additionally assist with remembering the data.


3. Icons to Improve Explanations

On this eLearning instance, I used icons to reinforce three info associated to affected person security. This strategy improves the aesthetics of the presentation and chunks the message into three distinct entities. The aim of this strategy is to improve the effect of the data.


4. Icons in Video games

Icons are perfect for recreation environments. Simplified illustrations match effectively in small areas and should function recreation parts. In the instance recreation board proven beneath, individuals icons characterize sufferers and the clock icon represents a time-out break. With the numerous icon kinds that exist, it ought to be simple to discover a type that displays the character of the sport.


5. Icons in Data Graphics

The place would data graphics be without icons? They add relevance and enchantment to diagrams, graphs, and charts. All it takes is a fast look for the viewer to get a way of what the data is about versus utilizing packing containers and phrases alone. Within the instance diagram beneath, the icons help within the visualization of the content material curation course.


6. Icons for Categorizing Data

Chunking data into classes is a normal manner to assist individuals study. Classes present a framework for storing data. Icons can improve the framework as a result of the picture is related to a class.

Arif Sharif
Arif Sharif

Arif Sharif is a Digital marketer who works at IMPEL Learning Solutions. A writer by day and a reader by night, he is loathe to discuss himself in the third person, but can be persuaded to do so from time to time.