Use Analogies But Use Them Smartly In Your Online Courses

by Anand Tiwary July 27, 2020

All popular online courses have one key component: High impact content with easy understanding. But how can you create such content? Are visual appeal and graphic cues enough to engage your reader or do you need more?

In this article, we are going to help you create high impact content using a simple tool: Analogies. Most educators and content creators are familiar with the concept and application of analogies but are you using them smartly? Go through this article to know how to apply analogies smartly to create and sell online courses over accessible platforms.

What are Analogies?

An analogy can be simply explained as a comparison or likeness drawn amongst related things. For example, “Light as a feather” is actually an analogy that likens a given item with a feather with respect to its lightness. So what does this translate to in the world of learning? It has been observed that students understand concepts better when learning is supplemented with layers of analogies that relate unknown concepts with known objects. This way, young minds just need to apply known concepts to new scenarios. Most of you know the concept of analogies but are you using them smartly within your online course? Here’s what you need to know.

How can you apply analogies to your online course?

Experts suggest that using analogies to explain a concept is not enough. A wrong comparison or analogy might provide a mistaken concept for a student which is difficult to un-learn. So how do you apply them to create online courses? The solution is mapping. You can easily choose a few concepts that you want to create an analogy with the following which you need to map their similarities and differences. Analytically examine the similarities to work out if the analogy might actually work. For example,

Statement 1: The atom is like a football field with its nucleus positioned like the goal post within it. It also has a considerably smaller size.

This statement likens two entities which have their own set of similarities and differences and it helps the readers understand the size difference of the atoms and their nucleus. Mapping allows you to easily look over the merits of an analogy so that you can use the best solution to guide your learner. Now that you know how to create smart analogies, here’s a checklist of guidelines that you can follow while creating useful analogies:

  • Check whether you need an analogy at all. If a video or graph can explain the concept better then go with an easily understandable solution.
  • Create alternatives for your analogies and choose one which is suitable for the educational background of your learners. Depending on the agility of the minds of your learners, choose a suitable analogy.
  • Research your material and fact check before posting any analogies.
  • Target analogies that use concepts your learners definitely know about.
  • Ensure that there is no room for misconceptions due to the analogy used.
  • In the case of a complex concept or topic, consider using visual aids or cues to guide the user to the conclusion that supports your analogy. provides you with creative learning aids and online course creation tools that will help you to generate the perfect analogies for your online course.

What are the benefits of using analogies for learning?

Valid analogies are an exceptional teaching aid and often students prefer analogies over plain theory or reasoning. Here’s a list of more benefits that can boost your online course and help your students gain a better understanding:

  • Analogies boost retention. Analogies are often prepared in a manner that allows learners to visualise a concept and thus retain it better.
  • Reduced frustration and dropouts. Experts suggest that 43% of students struggle with theoretical courses without visual cues or analogies to aid learning. Thus, smart analogies can reduce a learner’s frustration and amp up their progress through your course.
  • Reduces learning disabilities. Analogies amp up the perception of a concept within the minds of your learners and hence they are better understood by almost all students enrolled in your online course.
  • Less is more. As a content creator, you have often focused on creating precise bite-sized learning nuggets that are easily understood by your students. With smart analogies, you can hit a gold mine of learning nuggets without boring your readers with chunky data. is the ultimate online course building platform that allows you access to high impact tools and bespoke graphics that help you with your creativity. Along with this, COA also offers a highly dynamic LMS with unsurpassed marketing support and an arsenal of tools that can help you launch your online course in no time.

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