What is different about developing instruction with both images and text combined? Is it more efficient? Do you think about how you instruct someone differently? Are there limitations? Benefits? If so, what are they?
The use of both images and text combined, in my opinion, provides a better instruction for the student. Here the images direct the student’s attention and adding the text confirms the intention of the images. In some of my past training experiences the instruction documents were only text based. The effort to understand the text content was difficult.
At work I read many regulation documents that have a majority of text content. These documents are difficult to understand without re-reading the content multiple times. Some of the content may not lend itself to having images, but the inclusion of flow charts that give an overview of the process can be a significant benefit.
The combination of text and images does support efficiency in the instruction design. The saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is an appropriate application towards an efficient instruction. The balance of text and images is important when attempting to convey the transfer of knowledge. This is especially significant where the subject content is difficult.
There are limitations to the use of text and images. The usage of too few images in instruction dealing with difficult content is very inefficient and will require the student to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to comprehend the course content. I would think that the opposite condition, using too many images, may cause confusion. Of course using too many images may classify the instruction as a cartoon. 🙂