Visual learners are those whose prefered learning style (in a learning situation) is what they see. These learner like seeing teachers body language and facial expressions, pictures, illustrations, diagrams, posters, cartoons, collages, slide shows, TV Shows, videos, flowcharts, coloring books, graphs, charts, maps, flash cards, underlining and highlighting. So these forms are more effective for them to catch information.
Maybe you already use some graphic organizers in daily tasks, teaching and learning, this links to a collection of these basic concept tools. “Chart of Visualization Method” mentioned in the previous post is to creatively display the ways of visual presentations. The great wiki “educational origami“(licensed under CC-BY-SA) owned by Andrew Churches (@achurches) has organized almost all the tools for building visual learning resources. The table of contents listed below is from the wiki which is very useful. You will find how visualization tools can be integrated into every aspect of learning. A deeper understanding on learning styles can be found in the wiki, it’s important that people can’t be defined into one of those different learning styles completely, the preferences could depend on learning subjects too.
- TV Shows Video and Movies
- Mind Maps, Flow charts and Brain Storms
- Pictures, illustrations and collages
- Visual Planning
- Flash Cards
- Mapping Tools
- Charts and graphs
- Visualisation & Simulation
- Presentation Tools
- Web Publishing
- Comic Creation Tools
- RSVP – Rapid Sequential Visual Presentation
- Online Dictionaries and Thesaurus
Hans Rosling is a well-known master of telling stories by data visualization, his website GapMinder gives us a whole new fact-based perspective on this world. Of course educators can learn from him and might use his presentations in classrooms. This page “For Teachers” features quality examples of using GapMinder in classrooms.
Some more creative data visualization tools turning static information into a compelling educational experience are shared by Mayra Aixa Villar, a tech-focused instructional designer, in How data visualization promotes eLearning through effective story telling(by Elissa Vallano). One of her favorite tools is IBM’s Many Eyes. Data visualization tools can also be used to analyze different stories from a linguistic point of view. Establishing relationships between sentences and also characters, it’s all about finding new ways to present content. (Stanford University created Constellation to help linguists on this field.) Villar also uses a Flickr-based visualization called Tag Galaxy and Revisit, a real-time visualization of the latest twitter messages around a specific topic. Watch her video here : http://www.screenr.com/embed/713s .
Actually, visualization isn’t only useful in interpretation and organizing information. After studying and testing over 100 environments, Harrison College has built a online learning platform called “KnowU“, because they found visualization is the most engaging way. The virtual world appearance is very appealing to learners, it also integrates social, searching and knowledge tools together. This could be the future model of LMS.
The instructional design and learning environment design are like the user interface of learning activities. They definitely enhance learning outcomes when well-crafted based on pedagogies and researches.