For decades, scholars and researchers have explored the effects of instructional graphics on learning. In doing so, instructional graphics have been described, labeled, and classified in multiple ways based on their content, composition, medium, mode, and function.
(Sweller, van Merrienboer, & Paas, 1998)
Representational graphics physically depict someone or something and “share a physical resemblance with the object they are supposed to represent” (Rieber, 1994, p. 36). Representational graphics depict a particular subject and can be used to visually describe someone or something.
Learning often takes a learner down the path of what is known (prior knowledge) toward new knowledge (Reigeluth & Curtis, 1987; Rieber, 1994). Analogical graphics can be used to activate prior knowledge and bridge the learning gap from the known to the unknown. Therefore, “The usefulness of [analogical graphics] . . . is largely dependent on the learner's prior knowledge (Rieber, 1994, p. 39).
Types of VisualsEDIT 9990: Information Design Spring 2012
Levin’sCategories • DecorativeLevin (1981)categorized graphicsbased on their • Representativeinstructional function • Organizational • Interpretive • TransformativeEDIT 9990: Information Design 2 Spring 2012
• SymbolsSaunders’Categories • MapsSaunders (1994)proposed categories • Graphsbased on content,composition, and • Diagramsmedium • Illustrations • Photos • Three-dimensional models • Graphic devices and elements 4
Braden’s • Semiotics and video conventionsCategoriesBraden (1996) • Signs, symbols, and iconsintroduced fivegraphical categoriesbased on existingareas of educational • Images and illustrationsresearch • Multi-images • Graphic representations 5
Representational GraphicsRieber’s • Share a physical resemblance withCategories the object they are supposed toRieber (1994) representprovided specificexplanation for threecategories Analogical Graphics • Provide learners with a comparison between a familiar and unfamiliar artifact or concept Arbitrary Graphics • Clues, but do not share any physical resemblances to the concept being explained 6
Clark, Lyons, & Surface featuresHoover’sCategories • Static art, dynamic art, and true virtual realityClark, Lyons, andHoover (2004)categorized Communication functionsinstructional graphics • Decorative, representational,based on factors thatcontribute to their mnemonic, organizational, relational,effectiveness transformational, and interpretive Psychological functions • Supporting attention, activating or building prior knowledge, minimizing cognitive load, building mental models, supporting transfer of learning, and supporting motivation 7
Four Categories Decorative Representational Analogical OrganizationalEDIT 9990: Information Design 8 Spring 2012
Decorative GraphicsPros Cons Add interest to the Often overused appearance Potential to distract Improve the aesthetic from the content appeal May cause a split- Ornamental attention affect Used to gain a learner’s attention Motivational 9
Representational Graphics Physically depict someone or something Share a physical resemblance with the object Farm Animals 10
Analogical Graphics Depicts someone or something Explains a likeness, correspondence, or similarity Makes a comparison between two things Activates prior knowledge Bridges the gap between known to unknown Both birds and airplanes have wings, aerodynamic bodies, and can fly. 11
Organizational Graphics Provides structure to information Arranges data spatially Visually defines relationships Illustrates connections http://www.visualthesaurus.com/ 13
Types of GraphsFavorite Types of Music Favorite Types of Music Jazz 15 Rock 33 15 Country 25 Rap Classical 5 Classical 11 Rock Rap 1133 5 Jazz Country 25 0 20 40 14
Branch, R. (2000). A taxonomy of visual literacy. In A. W. Pailliotet, & P. B. Mosenthal (Eds.), Advances inReadings reading/language research VolumeExplore visual 7: Reconceptualizing literacy in theliteracy, types of media age (pp. 377-402). Newvisuals, and the use ofvisuals further with Jersey: JAI/Ablex Publishers.these readings. Krause, J. (2004). Design Basics Index. Cincinnati, OH: How Design Books. [Pages 62-77] Wainer, H. (1997). Visual revelations: Graphic tales of fate and deception from Napoleon Bonaparte to Ross Perot. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. [Chapters 8-13]EDIT 9990: Information Design 15 Spring 2012
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