For this week’s assignment, I created a brief Haiku Deck visual aid for a live presentation about visual literacy, a topic that I’ve been addressing with some of the classes I’ve visited this semester at the university where I work. In my deck, I made an attempt to use visual elements that, combined with the words I chose for each slide, would encourage viewers to actively process the information that would be delivered in the accompanying oral presentation (the speaker’s notes that appear adjacent to each slide). Conceptually, I found this assignment challenging; the six types of graphics that Clark and Mayer (2016) discuss in terms of supporting learning (p. 73) seem much better suited to procedural instruction. My goal with the visual literacy presentation is to get learners thinking about their own thought processes as consumers and creators of visual information.
I was inspired by Nancy Duarte’s TEDx talk to employ the model she discussed for structuring communication. My first and second slides serve as the opening to my presentation, and provide the “status quo,” which is that we tend not to have strong visual literacy skills. I hoped to emphasize this by asking questions that help learners focus on the image in slide 2, considering how they respond to it emotionally and how their preconceived notions about the subject of the photo might influence that response. In the third slide, I attempt to show the “what could be” by addressing how visual literacy can benefit us in solving some of society’s problems, like the cholera map might have helped scientists better understand the spread of cholera. I then revert back to where we are now, and the traps we often fall into, in the fourth slide. In the fifth slide, I provide learners with the information they need to take action and gain visual literacy skills.
This assignment reinforced for me that it isn’t easy to find visuals that are capable of facilitating learning and that are licensed for reuse. It’s also difficult–but so important–to create a visual presentation that helps convey a message without being the message itself. It’s more important for the visual aid to help learners make connections between what the presenter says and what appears on the screen than for the visual aid to present the message.
Check out my Haiku Deck, Visual Literacy Matters.
Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). e-Learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
TEDx Talks. (2010, December 10). TEDxEast – Nancy Duarte uncovers common structure of greatest communicators 11/11/2010 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/1nYFpuc2Umk