Using Images in eLearning

Using images in eLearning is a no-brainer. It’s relatively easy to “grab” an image from an image library, or take a photo relevant to the content, but what else is involved and how can we maximise the use of images when incorporating this content type into our learning.

The first step is to think about relevance. Is the image you are proposing to use actually relevant to the content, or is the image just filling up space on the screen for the sake of it.

Further ideas can be found here as we think about selecting the right image.

Images In eLearning: 6 Best Practices To Choose Images For Your eLearning Course

From eLearning Industry website

This is a great idea for combining text with images. Something like this can be done with PowerPoint (see video to the right).

How To Combine Text with Images

Use images with elements that direct the viewer’s gaze toward the section where you will place your text. For example, an image with a person looking in the direction of your text will conveniently draw viewers’ eyes to your message.

Here’s our friend Tim Slade again, with some tips for using Stock images. Some great ideas for screen design that can easily be done in PowerPoint as well.


From Tim Slade

File Type and Size

When working with images it’s helpful to appreciate the different types of images and how best to exploit the attributes of those images.

Understanding the different image file types, and their benefits can allow us to work with images in really creative ways. We can also achieve cool image effects with tools that we already have at our disposal

The following resource has a great summary of file types and some examples of when you would use those file types. For example, PNG images are great for making part of the image transparent so the PNG image can be overlaid on top of other objects. It’s imperative to appreciate the different image types as file size and compatibility can have an impact on how the learning content be accessed or edited.

Digital Image File Types Explained

It’s really important to understand the capabilities of image types. Some images allow transparency (see example below), other images may help in keeping files sizes low (really important for online content).

The below screenshot demonstrates a PNG file with transparency on top of another object. This could not be achieved if the image was a JPG.

A screenshot of a PNG cut out figure on top of a coloured shape in PowerPoint. The transparency can be maintained while exporting the image from PowerPoint.