What makes learning visuals so powerful?

Learning Blueprints' (visuals) play a significant role in an engaging experience for onboarding new hires to explore an organization.

It doesn’t matter if you call them Work Mats, Discovery Maps, Learning Maps or, as we do, Blueline Blueprint™ Learning Visuals; we’re constantly in awe of the propensity of visual media to change attitudes, share knowledge, and significantly enhance learning retention. What is it that makes learning visuals so powerful? 

Humans process images faster than text

Human brains respond to and process visual data better than any other type of data—in just 13 milliseconds, according to MIT. This makes sense, considering that our brain has been seeing and interpreting the visual world for over 5,000 years, whereas text only came much later as a human invention. As a result, we are highly adapted to receive, process and make decisions based on what we see.

Learning visuals engage multiple learning styles

The versatility of learning visuals makes it possible to create a single experience that is responsive to the ongoing needs of the most diverse employee populations. 

  • Intellectually, they appeal to the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learner. 
  • Behaviorally, they create high levels of engagement and interaction. 
  • Intuitively, the metaphor selected for each learning visual provides a big picture that draws all the content together in a meaningful way. 

Learning visuals tap into the power of stories

A well-designed learning visual taps into the power of stories. Stories are one of the oldest (and certainly one of the most basic) ways that we learn. For most of human existence, storytelling was the primary way of passing on hard-earned lessons. If there is a primal way we are hard-wired to learn, it would be through the power of stories.

What makes a learning visual a compelling storytelling medium is that the learner becomes a part of the story. Of course, a storyline is often built into the visuals and experience, but the real power is that learners become both the storytellers and players in the story. Good design begets an experience in which each cohort of learners builds its own story, and each person has a role in that story. The activity taps into our natural inclination to internalize and remember stories. Retention and impact grow because the story becomes personal for each learner.

Learning visual use case: Creating an effective onboarding experience 

Finding the right employee to match the needs of an organization is a considerable investment. Businesses spend a significant amount of money on recruiting, testing, and negotiating with potential candidates to fill open positions. After all that, it’s essential to ensure that the new hire’s experience is as beneficial as it can be for both the employee and the employer. A great onboarding experience plays a critical role in rising to the challenge.

The argument has been made that new hires bring their own motivations, work ethic, and eagerness to contribute with them when they join an organization. And most do. But the impact of a powerful onboarding experience—one that welcomes a new hire into the fold and says, “This organization cares about you and the contributions that you will make, and we hope that our relationship will be long and productive,”—can be game-changing. When working with our clients on these types of robust onboarding efforts, we often hear comments from participants about how impressed they are by their company’s commitment to bring them up to speed, and how helpful the experience was as a springboard into their new role. 

Learning visuals can play a significant role in an engaging onboarding experience and provide an avenue for a fun way to transfer knowledge as new hires explore an organization. The story told by these visuals helps the new hires see ways they fit into the organization’s strategic direction and generates excitement about how they can contribute. Well-designed visuals help bridge the gap between being an outsider and belonging, and confirm that the decision to join the company was the right choice. In addition, informed new hires can be more productive in their first 30, 60, and 90 days of employment than uninformed newbies.

Learn how we used learning visuals to create an award-winning onboarding program for Booz Allen Hamilton.

Expand the reach of your training with Blueline’s Blueprint Learning Visuals

Blueprint Learning Visuals and the activities surrounding them involve a lot of thinking—and learning. Learning visuals increase retention, bring fun to the learning process, and allow stories to be told that incorporate the past, present, and future. When teams of learners explore, discuss, and trade personal experiences, challenge each other’s assumptions, and even argue about critical concepts, they engage in rich dialogue that generates deep awareness of your strategic messages.
Get in touch with the team to find out how to tell your story and provide a catalyst for in-depth discussions with a Blueline Blueprint Learning Visual.

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