Nobody likes staring at a mess.

When you’re learning online, all you have is what’s on the screen. So if the screen looks boring, or cluttered, you’re unlikely to want to spend much time looking at it.

When you prepare an online teaching session, take time to think about what you put on the screen. The key things to think about are:

  • use a coloured background: staring at a white screen is tiring for the eyes. It’s also not great for anyone with specific learning needs such as dyslexia or autism. Using a pale-coloured background will help your learners take in more information.
  • use images: a picture really does toes a thousand words. Use relevant images on your slides to give your learners another way to connect to the content you are showing them. Images can really help learners to contextualise the information the are receiving. Also, make sure you include images of people from a diverse range of backgrounds and nationalities. Research shows that if you can’t see yourself in the content, you’ll find it harder to engage.
  • keep it simple: how many times have you seen slides with loads of text on them? Aargh. Make sure you keep the amount of text on each slide to a minimum – if you have lots of relevant text, think about spreading it across multiple slides. Or better still, put the majority of text into the ‘notes’ field in your Powerpoint and email it to your learners.

But whatever you do, make it look nice. It will only help to help to keep your learners engaged.


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