Visuals for Learning


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  • In order to prepare a revised set of visuals that support the activity of the study, we have explored the images and the activity design in three areas. We have reviewed these images through the lens of message design (Fleming & Levie, 1993), through the collective experience of the group members who have worked in visual design professionally and EFL materials design, and through the cultural knowledge of group members who share linguistic and cultural backgrounds with the prospective learners. The revised images, unified in style and altered for both semantic clarity and cultural appropriateness, will be presented together with detailed explanation of the redesign. An example of one such image is presented in Figure 1.
  • Figure 1: Illustration of the removal of extraneous visual cues for use in instructional materials via stylistic rendering for the image “boy in a library” which the research team affectionately calls “Dr Carspecken”
  • The selection and creation of activity designs Activity designs which allowed the leaner to select correct choices without interaction with the images could not be included. Process of elimination strategies needed to be addressed in order to redesign the material in such a way as the images became integral to the learning process. An example of such a configuration will be presented. The appropriateness of illustrations in the already existing materialsSome materials contained encrypted cultural perspectives which posed a potential threat to authentic use as learning materials. An illustration of one such case will be presented.  The shortfalls for learning of opportunistically chosen images Opportunistically chosen images often contain visual cues extraneous to the learning process. Examples of these will be presented.  The stylistic focus of re-created images (what elements needed to be removed or added) Figure one exemplifies one such example. The removal of the individual characteristics of the boy, the re-contextualization into a more stereotypical setting, and the inclusion of stylistic cues instead of realistic cues are proposed to aid learners in the process of using the images for learning. Other examples will be supplied. The potential paths learners would need to take in order to complete the task using imagesThe activity included a mixture of vocabulary items ( concrete and abstract nouns, observable and covert verbs) that needed to be paired with descriptive images. A variety of vocabulary options puts more emphasis on the learning, as opposed to direct recall, making the association of words to images manifest multiple possible strategies for completing the task. The greater possibilities for more than one of the items in the activity to represent a single word requires enough supplemental visual cues for students to differentiate between vocabulary items successfully. We present possible strategies learners might take to complete these activities. Are we going to use both “sitting” and “structure” set? For the “sitting” set, we don’t have abstract nouns. (Sitting set - library, floor, blood, missing, pupil, garden, listening, concern; Structure set - university, brothers, publishing, respect, pupil, industrial, customer, surface, library)
  • Visuals for Learning

    1. 1. visualsforlearningprofessor elizabeth bolingstudents craig howard, abdullah altuwaijri, karen caldwell, colin gray, jean jung, seolim kwon, micah modell, justin whiting, tzu-feng wu, cagri yildirim
    2. 2. research questionidentifying strategies learnersuse to make sense of images during the learning process
    3. 3. background andrelevant literature- Extend existing research on the role of learner interpretation of visuals (Boling, Eccarius, Smith, Frick, 2004)- Literature reviewed includes readings in: semiotics (von Engelhardt, 2002; Kress, 2004; Sless, 1986; Van Leeuwen, 2001), aesthetics in the design of instruction (Parrish, Wilson, & Dunlap, 2010); message design (Fleming, 1987); document design (Schriver, 1996); and cognitive load theory related to multimedia (Mayer, Hegarty, S. Mayer, & Campbell, 2005)- A gap currently exists between theories prescribing characteristics of visuals and the authentic use of visuals in learning
    4. 4. naturalistic research design- Dyads will work in pairs, agreeing on their choice of images to answer vocabulary questions- Some dyads will use existing materials, while others will use revised (stylized) versions- Prompts may be used by the researcher to encourage verbalization of what they’re doing- Thematic analysis
    5. 5. participants & context- Male EFL students- Students at Zayed University located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)- Vocabulary activity during their lunch break
    6. 6. data collection- Use of existing level-appropriate language activity with visual and textual elements video- Subjects will be video recorded while working in teams to interpret instructional images in the arabic context of completing the chosen instructional transcription activity, reflecting on the activity in their native language english- Video recordings will be transcribed and translation translated into English for further analysis- We will have lively discussion for many weeks trying to figure out what it all means
    7. 7. redesign methodology- Message design (Fleming & Levie, 1993)- Applying the lived experience of members (EFL materials designers & professional visual designers)- Cultural knowledge of group members
    8. 8. image redesign original image stylistic rendering
    9. 9. redesign criteria- The selection and creation of activity designs- The appropriateness of instructional illustrations in the existing materials- Learning obstacles when using opportunistically chosen images- Stylistic focus of re-created images- Potential paths learners must take to complete the learning task
    10. 10. referencesBoling, E., Eccarius, M., Smith, K., & Frick, T. (2004). Instructional illustrations: Intended meanings andlearner interpretations. Journal of Visual Literacy, 24(2), 185-204.Fleming, M. L. (1987). Designing pictorial/verbal instruction: Some speculative extensions from researchto practice. In The psychology of illustration. (pp. 136-57). New York: Springer Verlag.Fleming, M., & Levie, W. H. (1993). Instructional message design: Principles from the behavioral andcognitive sciences (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Educational Technology Publications.Kress, G. (2004). Reading images: Multimodality, representation and new media. Information DesignJournal, 12(2), 110-119.Mayer, R. E., Hegarty, M., Mayer, S., & Campbell, J. (2005). When static media promote active learning:Annotated illustrations versus narrated animations in multimedia instruction. Journal of ExperimentalPsychology: Applied, 11(4), 256-65.Parrish, P., Wilson, B. G., & Dunlap, J. C. (in press). Learning experience as transaction: A framework forinstructional design. Educational Technology.Schriver, K. A. (1996). Dynamics in document design: Creating text for readers. New York: WileyComputer Publishing.Sless, D. (1986). In search of semiotics. Totowa, New Jersey: Barnes & Noble Books.van Leeuwen, T. (2001). Semiotics and iconography. In T. van Leeuwen & C. Jewitt (Eds.), Handbook ofvisual analysis. (pp. 92-118). London: Sage Publications.von Engelhardt, J. (2002). The language of graphics: A framework for the analysis of syntax andmeaning in maps, charts and diagrams. Amsterdam: Institute for Logic, Language andComputation, Universiteit van Amsterdam.