Even the instructional designer can suffer from the disorder of the ‘white page’..
|triple layers _ image selection_01|
How can I illustrate a particular content? Which kind of communication method should I use? If I use images, how can I choose them and where can I find effective images?
It is demonstrated that images can enhance learning:
|triple layers _ image selection_02|
- It is easier to learn from a text combined with images, rather than from a text-only page;
- It is easier to learn from text and images presented together, rather than from text separated from images (both spatially and temporally).
|triple layers _ image selection_03|
Given the importance of images, we have to choose them carefully and accurately.
|triple layers _ image selection_04|
Images can be:
|triple layers _ image selection_05|
Images can have different functions:
- Decorative: Images with a weak connection with the content of the lesson, a mere adornment. This kind of images can be an obstacle to learning, since they can distract from the object of the lesson;
- Representative: Images with a strong connection with the text, they reflect and reinforce it, for example a picture that shows the same scene described in a text;
- Organizational: Provide a structure for a text, for example a conceptual map or a tree chart. These images can be very useful to the learner, because they help to build mental models and to organize the knowledge in ‘scaffolds’;
- Interpretative: Clarify a text and give the learner a different perspective to interpret it, for example a representation of an electrical circuit;
- Transformative: represent something that changes over time, for example a timeline or a data map. These images can be very useful to memorize information.
|triple layers _ image selection_06|
When we choose an image, it is always recommended to avoid decorative images, to use images that support attention, activate mental processes and help the learner to build mental models and organize information.
|triple layers _ image selection_07|
As usual, the web can help us to find images and design visualization methods. There are a lot of websites that sell images and a lot that provide free images with Creative Commons licences.
|triple layers _ image selection_08|
Many useful and effective examples of organizational, interpretative and transformative images can be found in the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods:
|triple layers _ image selection_09|
|triple layers _ image selection_10|
|triple layers _ image selection_11|
A project of great interest is The noun project, a website that collects icons and symbols to build a “global visual language that everyone can understand”.
There are hundreds of icons uploaded by different designers under a CC licence:
|triple layers _ image selection_12|
|triple layers _ image selection_13|
I will not talk here of the many commercial websites that sell images: finding images is easier than designing and building effective and relevant images.
|triple layers _ image selection_14|
When we have a clear idea of the kind of image we need, and of the function the image must have, it will be easier to search for it or to design it by ourselves.
Post a Comment