Three Principles for Determining Your Visual Objectives

Principle 1: Know Your Learner
What is the history of this content with your learners?
What are their goals?
What do you want them to be able to do, be or have?
What do you want the visuals to achieve?
What is your learning strategy?
What do you want to convey? Feelings (affective domain),
content (cognitive domain), action (conative domain)?

Principle 2: Stay On Target

Create a list of your learning objectives and then match them
to your visual objectives. Do this to guarantee that you don’t
just throw pictures and graphics in to fill up empty space.
After all, in order to be effective, visuals must align with your
learning and performance objectives and not detract from
them. Then ask yourself: What do you want your learners
to know? And what do you want your learners to be able to
do? Write a statement about what you are trying to achieve
through the use of your visuals. What messages do you
want to express: information, emotions, image positions or
analytical points? Look at this statement often, particularly
when you review the materials. Are you on track? Did you stay
focused on your objectives?

Principle 3: Develop a Visual Strategy
Because your visual strategy will help you create the look
and feel of your content as well as help you make important
decisions about style and type, you should write your strategy
down. This is especially important if you are working on a
large project involving subcontractors. Your strategy should be
determined by your content, learning objectives, learners and
budget. It will help you be realistic about what you want the
learners to be thinking about and will provide an action plan
for using visuals to help you accomplish this goal. Remember:
attention on intention.

Make sure your plan supports your content. The last thing you
want is for the learner to be thinking about distractions such
as: “I wonder why that picture is there?

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