How Visual Learning Improves Comprehension and Retention

Beslan Bakriev
July 12, 2023
6 min read

Visual learning is a learning style whereby information is conveyed in a visual format. It involves the use of visual aids, such as diagrams, charts, graphs, images and videos, to enhance understanding and retention of information. There are several ways in which visual learning can improve comprehension and retention:

1. Visualization

Visual learning allows learners to create mental images of the information they are learning, which can help improve comprehension and retention. By seeing the information presented in a visual format, learners can more easily understand and remember the material. 

Visualization helps learners process and understand complex concepts, through visual aids can break down complex information into smaller, more manageable pieces, making it easier for learners to comprehend and retain. 

For example, a flowchart can help learners to see how different pieces of information fit together and how they relate to each other.

Visual learning can also be particularly helpful for learners who are more visually oriented or have a learning style that favors visual stimuli. These learners may struggle with traditional text-based learning, but visual aids can help them to better understand and remember the material.

The use of visual aids in learning can also be helpful in collaborative settings. Visual aids can serve as a shared reference point for learners, allowing them to discuss and build upon the material together. This can help to foster deeper understanding and collaboration among learners.

In situations where language barriers are present, visual aids can serve as a means of conveying information that surpasses language barriers, enabling individuals from various backgrounds to grasp and memorize the material. On the whole, visual learning can be a potent technique for enhancing comprehension and retention, especially for individuals who find traditional text-based learning challenging or prefer learning through visual stimuli.

2. Memory Recall

To enhance memory recall, visuals can be useful in several ways. One way is by creating robust mental associations that link new information to prior knowledge and experiences, making it easier to remember. 

For instance, using visual aids like diagrams or maps can help learners to connect unfamiliar information with familiar images, which can then create a mental association that is easier to recall later on. 

In addition, visuals can trigger emotions that can aid in memory recall. Emotionally charged visuals, such as images of significant historical events, can be particularly effective in creating strong mental associations that help learners to better remember and retain information. 

Visuals can stimulate various parts of the brain, including those responsible for processing visual information and those involved in memory and recall. This multisensory stimulation can reinforce learning and enhance retention. 

3. Engagement 

Visual learning helps engage learners by providing a more interesting and stimulating learning experience. Visuals can capture learners' attention and maintain their interest, which can improve their motivation to learn.

By providing a more stimulating learning experience than traditional text-based methods, visuals can capture learners’ attention and maintain their interest, motivation to learn and overall engagement with the material.

For example, the above 360° scene of a hotel room allows the learner to interact with content by opening the hotspots of items that need to be checked during housekeeping. This way, the housekeeper is engaged with the learning material in a self-directed setting and is thus more motivated to learn. 

It makes the learner more invested in the process and results in better comprehension and retention of information that the learner will then use in practice.

And as opposed to the PDFs or other text-based material, the learner gets an immersive learning experience where the picture is a pivotal part of the learning experience and not a support element inserted into a course.

4. Organizing Information 

Visual aids can help to organize complex information in a way that is easy to understand. Charts, graphs, and diagrams can help learners to see the relationships between different pieces of information, making it easier to understand and remember.

Visual aids are particularly helpful in organizing complex information in a way that is easy to understand. When information is presented in a visual format such as charts, graphs, and diagrams, learners can more easily see the relationships between different pieces of information. This can help them to better understand and remember the material.

For example, a complex process or system can be challenging to understand when presented in a linear, text-based format. However, when presented in a diagram or flowchart, the same information can be much easier to understand and remember. This is because the visual format allows learners to see the connections between different parts of the process or system, making it easier to understand how it works as a whole.

Similarly, charts and graphs can be particularly helpful in organizing and presenting data in a way that is easy to understand. When presented with a large amount of numerical data, learners can become overwhelmed and find it difficult to make sense of the information. However, when presented in a visual format such as a bar chart or pie chart, the same information can be much easier to understand and remember.

5. Accessibility

Visual aids can make information more accessible to learners who may have difficulty with traditional text-based learning. For example, learners with dyslexia may find it easier to understand information when it is presented visually.

Visual learning can offer significant advantages to individuals who encounter difficulties with conventional text-based learning. Visual aids serve as an alternative method to present information that is easier to comprehend and more accessible for these learners. 

For instance, individuals with dyslexia, a learning disability that impairs reading and writing skills, may face difficulties with traditional text-based learning. Nevertheless, visual aids such as images, diagrams, and charts can provide a more natural and visual representation of information, facilitating better comprehension and retention for learners with dyslexia.

Similarly, learners who are visual or spatial learners may find it difficult to understand information presented in a linear, text-based format. Visual aids can help to make information more accessible and relatable for these learners by providing a more visual and interactive representation of the material.


Visual learning is a powerful tool that can enhance comprehension and retention of information. It achieves this by presenting learners with captivating and interesting visuals, simplifying information for easier understanding, and fostering robust mental connections. With an increasing shift in digital learning towards a more self-directed approach, the benefits of visual learning and the need for digital tools that reflect and amplify these benefits will only be more apparent.

Through visual learning, learners can grasp and retain knowledge more efficiently. Visual learning has benefits for individuals of all ages, learning styles, and backgrounds. It stimulates and engages them with captivating visuals, organizes information to improve its understandability, encourages active learning, and critical thinking. Teachers can create a more immersive and effective learning experience for all learners by incorporating visual aids into their teaching.

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Beslan Bakriev
June 12, 2023
6 min read

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