tech-ucation reformation

Goodbye overheads and chalkboards! Hello virtual "paperless" classrooms!

Combining Text and Graphics is Essential to Learning June 22, 2014

Filed under: 5110 — S. Michele Holmes @ 1:17 pm
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The focus this week in my Multimedia in Technology Applications class has been on combining both images and text for our instruction sets.  I am feeling so much more comfortable with the combination than without.  Having so much experience with younger students and the ESL population, I embrace the use of pictures and diagrams to support ideas and develop vocabulary, so I did not feel as though I was stepping too outside the crayon box.  I am also feeling as if I spent less time on creating a lesson which I may not use even use next year because I just accepted a change of assignment and more like I was focusing on how to use the program, which is one of the main objectives of the course.  What I did notice was how much more efficient the combination can be.  I could have deleted a great deal of the text from my original text-based instructions when paired with the graphics because the graphics represent the concept well, but I did not for the sake of the lesson design.  The vocabulary and explanatory nature of the text is an important part of the learning the concept.  Sure, I will assess the students on their ability to actually construct the circuits, but their state assessments will not do that.  The state assessments will provide them with a text-based prompt and perhaps a diagram.  I repeatedly tell my students that the science test is also a reading test; they must actually read the questions because just relying on any graphics or diagrams will not be enough.  The questions could lead to an unexpected answer, such as with my favorite style of questioning, “which of the following is NOT an example of . . .” which will only be understood by reading the text.  However, if the text is too long, some students will not even read it, or worse, not understand a thing the text said after they have read it.  I suppose the same could happen with graphic-only instructions.  Pictures can be confusing without any explanation whatsoever.  So in summary, learners benefit from seeing both text and graphics.


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