15 Design Tools for Online Instructors

As a successful online instructor, you need to have all the tools and resources in place to create amazing learning experiences for your learners.

Apart from using an Learning Management System (LMS), or an online platform that allows you to offer online classes and lessons, you also need to invest in an effective design tool to build attractive visuals.

According to research, 65 percent of the population are visual learners. So, adding visual content like graphics, illustrations, screenshots, images, or even GIFs and memes inside your courses, is the best strategy to follow.

Visual learners learn best through visual communication which means they would enjoy making sense out of the information presented on a visual map rather than a 15,000-word essay paper.

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Why use visual content?

These are the key benefits of using visual content:

  • Improves comprehension
  • Increases information retention
  • Transmits messages faster
  • Triggers emotional reactions
  • Boosts student motivation

Overall, visuals can offer a greater impact on the learning experience and help students make sense of complex ideas and topics.

This becomes even more important when the class is conducted online.

However, visual content should also always be used with caution. Using poor quality images – pixelated or with low-resolution, stock photography or generic pictures that provide little to no imagination, can often bring the opposite results and even result in learners losing their interest.

15 tools to create engaging visuals

To make sure you are creating professional imagery that is complementary to your instructional material, you need to consider exploring some of the design tools available in the market.

Go through the following list of the best visual content creation tools and choose which one(s) are best for you.

1. Canva


Canva is another great tool if you want to have a variety of design options to choose from. With it, you can design your own book or magazine covers, mind maps, posters, flyers, cards, social media posts, and lesson plans. Insert text to your designs, choose the best fonts and dimensions for it, or add any other design element from its category list.

2. Nimbus Capture

nimbus capture

Nimbus Capture is a very useful tool and comes in handy especially you want to take screenshots of your computer’s screen. Use it to communicate easier with your learners, produce screencasts and explain complex ideas that can only be captured in visuals. With its special annotation features, you can highlight key information and add elements like text, pointing arrows, and many more.

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3. Visme


Visme is your go-to design tool if you need a dedicated platform to create different types of visual content including engaging presentations, infographics, professionally branded documents, social posts, and even short videos, GIFs, and animations. It comes with an easy-to-use interface and lots of templates to choose from tailored to your industry.

4. Adobe Spark

adobe spark

Last but not least comes Adobe Spark. With Adobe Spark, you have everything you need to create attractive and professionally-looking graphics, image collages, flyers, animations, and videos. To help you get started, the tool comes with some pre-design templates that you can use and customize even further to match your needs.

5. Paint 3D

paint 3d

Paint 3D is the upgraded version of Paint from Microsoft. This version has a lot more capabilities as it comes with more brushes and tools you can use to create cool graphics. With Paint 3D you can explore your creativity and create 2D masterpieces of 3D models, add your own text, stickers, or even upload and edit your pictures.

6. Infogram


Infogram can help you create engaging infographics, reports, interactive charts, maps, and animations. It comes with an intuitive dashboard that allows you to create beautiful content in a matter of minutes.

If you are working with a team with more instructors or want to share your designs with your learners you can collaborate with them in real-time, or even download, share or publish them online.

7. Giphy


Giphy is a popular gif-creation tool that allows you to create or upload your own GIFs, or MP4, and MOV files. Apart from that, it also provides the possibility to create your own stickers and customized virtual backgrounds for your video calls – backdrops. Once you make your pick, you can then add captions, filters, stickers, and more elements to it

8. Figma


Figma is an excellent choice if you need a design tool that allows you to work closely with learners. It comes with FigJam – an online whiteboard you can use to brainstorm with your team.

What’s great about this tool is that it brings all the design and creative processes in one place – a design system, that provides consistency and helps you focus on the tasks at hand.

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9. Fotor


Fotor is a free online photo editor that you can use to edit any photo just as easily. It comes with powerful online photo editing tools allowing you to crop images, resize them and add text to them, remove the photo background, create collages and graphs especially for educational purposes – yearbooks, class schedules, lesson plans, and report cards.

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10. Pixlr


Pixlr is amongst the most popular photo editing and design tools in the market. Use its advanced editor – Pixlr E to create a photo editing project or Pixlr X to create a range of visual designs. It comes with a picture collage maker and offers the ability to remove the image background, create animations, add filters, and effects.

11. Snappa


If you are looking for a simple tool to create online graphics, Snappa is your best option. With it, you won’t need to hire a graphic designer as you can easily create graphics for many purposes – social media, adverts, blog posts, and many more. Snappa also comes with a background remover and gives you access to a large database of high-resolution stock images.

12. Quotes Cover

Quotes Cover

If you want to produce motivational quotes to make a great impact and motivate your learners, start creating your own with Quotes Cover. This tool offers a quote maker solution that allows you to transform any text into beautiful graphics. The best part is that you don’t need any design skills or to sign up in order to use it.

13. Google Photos

google photos

Everyone is familiar with Google Photos, but what most probably didn’t know was that it offers the ability to edit your photos. Use it to upload your photos automatically, add color filters and make basic adjustments to them.

While it doesn’t come with the editing options other tools in this list have, Google Photos can be used to store your photos, create a visual library of your memories.

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Ready to design outstanding visual content?

Each of these tools in the list comes with a unique set of features, capabilities, pricing, and customer support.

Before you are ready to choose, explore the different types of visual content you want to create based on your business needs, and then use it to boost engagement in your online classroom or improve participation in your online courses.

Whether it’s graphics, diagrams, or animations, they can improve your overall performance and help you engage with your learners in a more profound and meaningful way.