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Graphics, Slides, and Posters

Graphics and related learning media are popular choices in education to illustrate narratives or scenarios, to aid comprehension of abstract concepts, to illustrate components, to indicate motion or path, to represent statistical data or geography, and to aid explanatory metaphors among other things.

Some questions to ask yourself when using graphic elements in your course (Valli, 2017): 

  • Is it accessible? Graphic elements must be clear to all learners on all devices. Review our digital content accessibility checklist for more tips.
  • Is it simple? Complex visuals requiring intense explanation may not aid your efforts. 
  • Is it consistent? Use color, shape, & style carefully (e.g., don't use clip art by photos or use a lot of color to represent varying things). Style variations may detract attention from your content. 
  • Is it helpful? Consider your instructional objectives when preparing graphics. Do they aid your learning outcomes? If not, (e.g., they're just pretty) cut them to reduce cognitive load. 
  • Is it legal? Most graphics hold copyright protection. Though fair use allows some exceptions, we need to respect intellectual property rights. 

Ready to create graphic and learning media? Please reference the following resources:

Valli, H. (2017). Educational graphics: Five considerations. Duke Learning Innovation Blog. Retrieved from