Tips to Creating Compelling Imagery that
Keeps Students Engaged

Megan O'Connor

Instructional Designer

UCSF School of Medicine, Technology Enhanced Education

  megan.oconnor@ucsf.edu
 @pwr_techgirl

Technology Enhanced Education

The UCSF School of Medicine, Technology Enhanced Education
team, is an innovative group of designers, technologists, and thinkers who empower the medical education community to train the physicians and health care teams of the 21st century. Learn more about our Visual Imagery workshop series here: Harnessing the Power of Visual Imagery for Teaching and Learning. Also visit the resource page for our first workshop: Finding Images to Illustrate Your Lectures.

Objective

  • By the end of this workshop you will be able to crop, edit, resize, and label images using widely available tools.

Why use images?

There are a variety of reasons to use images, but what makes them useful in teaching and learning?

  • to sustain attention and aid memory
  • to show relationships
  • to compare and contrast
  • to show a sequence or process
  • to show physical properties - color, texture, shape, size
  • to highlight and focus on a moment

What makes images compelling?

Images are compelling when they are:

  • accessible - readable, clear, large, and highly visible
  • informative in context/lesson - provide relevant information
  • intriguing - provoke questions
  • beautiful - draw attention

When images aren't working it's often because:

  • they are distracting or irrelevant
  • they are hard to see (pixelated, too small, low contrast)
  • there are too many

PowerPoint (Mac/PC)

PowerPoint is ubiquitous but you may not be taking full advantage of all the tools it offers. In a PowerPoint presentation you can:

  • crop images
  • add labels
  • add arrows
  • recolor images
  • compress images

Practice working with PowerPoint using these test files:

Useful video tutorials:


Preview (Mac)

For Mac users newer versions of Preview offer excellent image editing options. With Preview you can:

  • crop images
  • add labels
  • add arrows
  • recolor images
  • add a signature
  • resize images

Practice working with Preview using these test files:

Google (Mac/PC)

Google Drawing and Google Slides are also useful for creating images


In both Drawing and Slides, you can:

  • crop images
  • add labels
  • add arrows
  • recolor images

Other Tools

  • PIXLR from Autodesk - an easy online tool for cropping, adding text, and image effects - no registration required
  • PicMonkey- an easy online tool for cropping, adding text, and image effects - no registration required
  • Graphic Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) - for advanced users who want an open source tool equivalent to Photoshop for free

Contribute Your Ideas

Are we missing something here that we need to add? Add your ideas to this editable Google Doc and later we might incorporate your suggestions.


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