Using Visual Design to Improve the Online Learning Experience: A Synthesis of Research on Aesthetics

Using Visual Design to Improve the Online Learning Experience: A Synthesis of Research on Aesthetics

Jason D. Bader (Mt. San Jacinto College, USA) and Patrick R. Lowenthal (Boise State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 35
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4206-3.ch001

Abstract

There is an abundant amount of literature on visual design principles, graphic design theory, and media theory. Yet very little is discussed, at least in a systematic way, about the process of making online courses aesthetically pleasing. A major obstacle to gaining such knowledge is the lack of understanding of applied definitions, conceptual ideas, and methods of creating online learning interfaces. In this chapter, the authors seek to clarify the process of using visual design to improve the online learning experience. The chapter concludes with strategies on how colleges and universities can help faculty and instructional designers learn visual design skills through the creation of a design studio.
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Design Problems

The two most basic components of any visual design are the functionality and the aesthetic of the product. Many designers consider the functionality the primary concern and the visual appeal a secondary concern, while others consider the two intertwined (this is discussed in more detail in the form follows function section), but all designers consider the activity of design as the development of a creative solution for heuristic experiences. In other words, all designers consider visual design as a process of solving ill-defined design problems, otherwise known as wicked problems.

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