January 28, 2016
Using infographics, that is.
People don't all learn the same way. Some people are visual learners, other auditory, others textual, and other kinesthetic (learning by doing). Many educators already know that approaching education from different angles will benefit students' retention of information–and more educators are using infographics as a tool to do so.
According to a 2008 Cisco report, multimodal learning – that is, a combination of visual and textual approaches to learning–increased students’ retention of basic skills (such as learning chemical symbols, individual learning through reading) by 21 percent and higher-order skills (such as critical thinking, problem solving) by 20 percent. And this is the case in both interactive and non-interactive activities – interactive multimodal learning activities like simulations and modelling, involving collaborative work with peers, resulted in an increase in Higher Order Skills retention, while Non-interactive Multimodal Learning like texts with visuals, text with audio, videos and animation resulted in an increase in Basic Skills retention.
Infographics are an interactive way for students to employ both visual and textual approaches to learning. When creating an infographic, students learn to do a couple of useful things that will help prepare them for working in a digital landscape:
- one, they learn to interpret and visualize data by selecting the right charts and graphs;
- two, they learn to plot an interesting and coherent narrative that will present their information;
- three, they will learn to analyze and determine which information would work better as a visual and which information require textual explanation.
A good approach to take is to have students use an infographic maker and choose which template they want to use. For example, if they are to visualize survey findings, or if they are comparing two data sets, or if they are illustrating a process, have them choose which template would best visualize their information. The goal is to get students thinking about information visually.
This infographic describes some strategies and approaches educators can use to employ infographics in the classroom.
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