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Individual Course

Essentials of Graphics for Learning

Design visuals that both inform and engage learners.

What does the latest evidence tell us about how and when to use visuals to represent content and to show content relationships? This workshop offers the latest evidence and guidelines for how to design and develop visuals for e-learning.

Live Online
Live Online
Credits: CEU 0.45 MORE
Level: Informed
Role(s): Learning Technologist More
Language(s): English
Capability Area(s): Instructional Design More


Course Info

Based on Ruth Clark and Chopeta Lyons’ book, Graphics for Learning... Read More

Based on Ruth Clark and Chopeta Lyons’ book, Graphics for Learning, this course presents the latest evidence on the use of visuals in e-learning programs. Learn how to differentiate between graphics that promote learning and those that impede it. Analyze the different communication and cognitive functions that graphics serve and how best to support these functions in your instructional materials. You’ll also review how audience, environment, and delivery medium can impact the effectiveness of graphics.

Whether you are an experienced graphic designer or a beginner, you will benefit from the updates on the latest evidence and methods for visuals in e-learning design. Read Less

What You Will Learn
  • Distinguish among decorative, representational, and explanatory visuals.
  • Identify the relationship between facets of graphics.
  • Apply evidence to determine how to use audio, text, and graphics to support content.
  • Review how audience, environment and delivery medium impact a graphic’s effectiveness.
  • Employ graphic design to reduce cognitive load and focus attention.
  • Employ graphic design principles of alignment, proximity, repetition, and contrast to support cognitive processing of content.
Topic 1 - Evidence for Graphics That Work
In this session, you’ll look at the research and evidence on whether graphics help, whom they help the most, and what types of communication functions they serve.
  • Do visuals help?
  • For whom do visuals work best?
  • What are the three facets of graphics?
  • How do I manage load and support coherence?
  • What are the types of communication functions that graphics fulfill?
Topic 2 - Identifying Types of Functions Graphics Fulfill
In this session, you’ll practice applying four graphic design principles and designing graphics to support an instructional objective.
  • Case study
  • How to explain visuals
  • What are the key phases in a graphic design process
  • Four principles of graphic design
Session 3 - Putting Psychological Principles to Practice
In this session, you’ll apply cognitive principles to your design work, using graphics to:
  • Direct attention
  • Awaken prior knowledge
  • Minimize mental load
  • Build mental models
  • Transfer learning
  • Motivate learners
Who Should Attend

This program is for both new and experienced instructional and graphic design professionals who want to more effectively use graphic elements in the development of print and e-learning instruction.

ATD Education programs are designed primarily for learning professionals—trainers, instructional designers, and organization development practitioners—but also greatly benefit anyone within an organization who is responsible for developing others, from managers to human resources specialists.

Level: Informed
Roles: Learning Technologist, Instructional Designer, Trainer/Facilitator
Language: English
Dates & Locations
Face-to-Face and Live Online
  • Dec 02-16, 2021
    Live Online
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What Our Participants Are Saying
Dustin Staiger

"My involvement in ATD has given me guidance in a dynamically changing market, while making me more valuable to my organization. Joining ATD has literally been a career-defining decision for me."

Jane Loda

"I can rely on ATD to present material that is very well constructed, timely, content-rich, and relevant to the challenges workplace learning professionals face every day."

Cindy Lam

"ATD is an organization dedicated to talent development - with their research and expertise, I trust that their programs can give me what I am looking for to implement within my organization."

Chopeta Lyons

Things To Know


Essentials Workshops
Participation in all online sessions at their currently scheduled day and time is mandatory to receive completion for the program and any applicable credits. Please note that viewing a recording will not fulfill the attendance requirement. Participants who fulfill all program requirements will see their completion status reflected on their transcript in the ATD Learning Portal and will receive an email verifying their completion of the program.

ATD requires active participation through the program to receive credit for the class. Active participation includes, but is not limited to, participating in virtual classroom activities, discussions, breakout sessions, and intersession work. Please note that using a tablet or mobile device severely limits your ability to fully and actively participate.

All sessions will be recorded and available in the Learning Portal for participants to review throughout the program for your review.


4.5 Learning Hours

0.45 CEUs awarded

This program is eligible for 4.5 professional development hours or recertification points from the ATD Certification Institute (ATD CI) for the APTD or CPTD credential.


A laptop computer with Wi-Fi capability is required for both face-to-face and online programs. Please do not bring mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.) in lieu of a laptop. There will be no computers available on-site for participants. Note: You might not have an optimal experience if you are using Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge to access your courses. Chrome is the recommended browser.


Enrolled in a program? Sign in to the ATD Learning Portal with your ATD account credentials two weeks before the first day of class to:

  • Engage with your facilitator and peers.
  • Access pre-work assignments.
  • View any technical requirements.
  • Review logistical information.


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