Images in your Online Course

Targeted images can help students visualize the concepts they are trying to understand and apply in a course. We encourage all SMEs to include images in their lesson materials as long as they help support the content and provide a visual of the content (try to avoid just decorative images).

Your eLearning partner can create custom images for you, or you can find open, free-to-use images online. Please find items that have Public Domain or Creative Commons. We have included sites below for you to access:

Public Domain

Here are a few examples of public domain resources. Public domain works have no licensing requirements, do not require permission or attribution, and can be used for any purpose.  

  • Pixabay: High-quality photos, illustrations, and vector graphics.
  • Pexels: High-quality photos and videos.
  • BURST: High-quality images under the CCO license.
  • Public Domain Vectors: A site that provides royalty-free and copyright-free vector clip art and graphics.
  • Getty Open Content: Getty Images has a collection of public domain works free to download.
  • The Public Domain Review: Reviews and listings of images, audio, video and other media, all in public domain and freely downloadable.
  • Unsplash: High-quality photos that can be downloaded and shared for free. The license covers commercial and non-commercial purposes and does not require permission or attribution.
  • The Gender Spectrum Collective: High-quality images of trans and non-binary models.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons licenses make it easier for people to share, remix, use, and learn from others’ work as long as attribution, or credit, is given

Remember: Even if something is CC licensed, you still need to give attribution! Please provide eLearning with a link to your image so that citations can be included.

Here are some resources that are Creative Commons licensed:

  • CC Search: Provides an easy way to search for particular Creative Commons content.
  • Flickr: Flickr has a specific section for Creative Commons searching.
  • Wikimedia Commons: Wikimedia content (including media on Wikipedia itself) will specify the specific license on the content page.  Remember that even though an image is available on Wikipedia, it still may be licensed.
Creative Commons licensing information