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Enhancing Student Engagement with Visual Learning Tools for Remote Learners

In the shift to remote learning, keeping students engaged can be an uphill battle. If we want to help students succeed in a digital world, educators need a game plan. But, too often, educators feel that this problem isn’t so serious. Before we address why including visual learning tools is essential for your engagement tool kit, we’ll address the state of online education.

The State of Online Education

The demand for online or digital education is growing fast. According to IPEDS, the need for distance-only education experienced a 92% growth during the pandemic. While it’s petered off since then, experts estimate that the online education industry will be worth 370 billion by 2026.

But with all of these students switching to online classes, there’s still so much to be done to make this option more engaging. The most up-to-date data shows that 85% of higher education students drop out before getting their diploma. Students often say that they drop out because the classes are too boring, unstructured, lonely, unofficial, and, worst of all, useless.

One way we think your school can get students in the classroom (and keep them there) is through visual learning tools. Let’s look at how these tools can enhance student engagement.

5 Ways Visual Learning Tools Enhance Student Engagement

Let’s take a look at how visuals can bring the classroom online. Explore five ways these tools enhance learner engagement, comprehension, and long-term information retention.

1. Visuals Help Students Understand Complex Information

While a person can learn in almost any style, we learn best through visuals. Visuals can communicate information faster and better than text because they make the information easier to understand and remember and generate more interest from the viewer. By using illustrations, you can break down complex topics into smaller, less challenging parts.

And if you want to create your own visuals, you don’t have to start from scratch. There are countless resources online where you can get free templates for these educational visuals.

2. Visuals Improve Information Retainment

Integrating visuals into your curriculum doesn’t just make information easier to understand. It extends beyond that into improving how students retain that information:

  • Our brains process visual data faster. In fact, studies show that we can process images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds with a good degree of recall.
  • The Picture Superiority Effect proves that humans remember pictures better than words.
  • Videos and images are often more engaging and can help students stay focused.

As you can see, it’s all about creating an environment conducive to long-term recall!

3. Visuals With Interactive Elements Will Spark Curiosity

Text-based learning can often result in information going in one ear and out the other.

But, if you incorporate interactive visuals, students will often become more curious about the topic at hand and are more likely to engage with said topics. Here are a few facts to note:

  • Interactive elements can encourage active class participation.
  • Students learn better by doing, not just by observing.
  • Visuals with interactivity trigger deeper questioning, leading to better understanding.
  • Exploring different solutions fosters ownership and activates cognitive interest.

In essence, interactive visuals transform a regular classroom setting into an interesting one.

4. Visual Learning Tools Can Promote Collaborative Learning

Harnessing the power of visual learning tools can create an environment where collaborative learning thrives, positively affecting academic performance. Suppose you introduce an online shared mind map for a group assignment. The visual interplay of ideas in real-time helps prompt insightful discussion, and it encourages students to engage with their peers’ thoughts actively.

Channels for effective communication are opened, different viewpoints are respected, and constructive debates are welcomed, creating an enriching learning environment.

5. Visual Reward Systems Can Offer Instant Feedback

Remember the feeling of accomplishment when you earned a shiny gold star sticker for your good work at school? That concept still works in a digital community of students.

Visual reward systems like digital badges or progress bars offer colorful, instant feedback about a student’s performance. This can be incredibly motivating and provides learners with a sense of achievement that drives them to push harder and learn more. It’s not just about recognizing effort. It’s also about empowering students through visual markers of their growth!

Visual Learning Tools Are the Crescent Wrench in Your Kit

Consider visual learning tools as the essential crescent wrench in your educational toolkit. They’re adjustable, versatile and can fit a range of learning needs just like this tool.

When heavy-duty content seems too hard to crack, these visual aids come in handy, allowing you to tailor complex concepts into more understandable fragments. So whether it’s presenting data in a visually appealing chart or using an engaging video to explain a theory, having this ‘adjustable ace’ up your sleeve can make teaching and learning smoother and more efficient!

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