Learning through seeing
The Instructional Role of Illustrations
Excerpt from U.S. Department of Labor "People tend to eye-minded, and the impacts visual aids bring to a presentation are, indeed, significant. The studies, below, reveal interesting statistics that support these findings: - In many studies, experimental psychologists and educators have found that retention of information three days after a meeting or other event is six times greater when information is presented by visual and oral means than when the information is presented by the spoken word alone. - Studies by educational researchers suggest that approximately 83% of human learning occurs visually, and the remaining 17% through the other senses - 11% through hearing, 3.5% through smell, 1% through taste, and 1.5% through touch. - The studies suggest that three days after an event, people retain 10% of what they heard from an oral presentation, 35% from a visual presentation, and 65% from a visual and oral presentation. "Presenting Effective Presentations with Visual Aids" May 1996 OSHA Occupational Safety & Health Administration U.S. Department of Labor http://www.osha-slc.gov/doc/outreachtraining/htmlfiles/traintec.html Excerpt Recognition Information To communicate information that people need to recognize, pictures are extremely effective. In one study (Shepard, 1967), people looked at 600 pictures, sentences, or words. On an immediate test, recognition accuracy was 98% for pictures, 90% for sentences, and 88% for words. Another study (Nickerson, 1968) found that people had 63% recognition accuracy for a group of 200 black and white photographs one year after initial viewing. Other researchers (Standing, Conezio, & Haber, 1970) showed people 2,560 photographs for 10 seconds each. After three days, the study participants recorded recognition accuracy of over 90%. Read and Barnsley (1977) showed adults pictures and text from the elementary school books they used 20 to 30 years ago. Recognition accuracy rates for pictures and text were better than chance, with pictures alone being recognized more accurately than text alone. Finally, Stoneman & Brody (1983) found that children in visual or audiovisual conditions recognized more products in commercials than children in an auditory only condition. Pictures seem to allow very rich cognitive encoding that allows surprisingly high recognition rates, even years after the initial encoding took place. Spatial Information Illustrations are superior to text when learning spatial information. For example, Bartram (1980) arranged for college students to learn how to get from a starting point to a destination using a minimum number of buses. The researcher presented the bus route information via maps or lists and asked the students to provide as quickly as possible the correct list of bus numbers in the correct order. Bartram measured the time it took to correctly complete each bus route task. The study found that the students learned the bus route information more quickly when they used a map than when they used lists. Bartram believed that the students performed a spatial task, and the maps were superior to lists because the map presentation of information is consistent with people's preferred internal representation of spatial information. In an exploratory study, Bell and Johnson (1992) allowed four people to select pictures or text for communicating instructions for loading a battery into a camera. Qualitative results showed a strong preference for pictures rather than text. The researchers believed that the information to be communicated was spatial, and that the results supported the hypothesis that spatial information should be presented pictorially. " "Multimedia Information and Learning" by Lawrence J. Najjar, School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1996 Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 5, 129-150. http://mime1.gtri.gatech.edu/MiME/papers/multimedia_and_learning.html Excerpt "Long-Term Retention One of the basic ways that illustrations aid retention relates to the well-researched (but not undebated) dual-coding theory of memory (Paivio, 1971). This theory proposes that information is stored in long-term memory both as verbal propositions and as mental images. It suggests that when information is presented verbally and visually it has a better chance of being remembered. Corroborating research shows that concrete words are remembered better than abstract words, and that pictures alone are remembered better than words alone (Fleming & Levie, 1978). From the dual-coding perspective, an explanation is that concrete words help us generate associated mental images, and that pictures alone help us to generate associated words, in addition to detailed mental images. The combination of verbal proposition and mental image establishes multiple pathways by which the information can be retrieved from memory... Retention in Working Memory Illustrations can also be seen as assisting the short-term or working memory by making more information readily available. Illustrations can present simultaneously all the information needed to explain a topic or perform a task. Where a linear string of words must use a series of semantic cues to its organization over the course of its passage, an illustration can use lines, boxes, arrows, space, color, typefaces, and the relative distance between elements to communicate information about the relationships of those elements. Because the reader can see this information at a glance or with minimal study, graphical presentation can be more efficient than words alone (Winn, 1987). For example, charts with multiple columns and rows can reveal the complex relationships between large amounts of information. Such information would be difficult to present and even more difficult to comprehend in words alone. When students read prose or hear exposition, they have to hold information in working memory long enough to relate it to information presented later– a difficult task in a long passage. Simultaneous presentation can reduce the processing load on the working memory and thus help students better see relationships within the information." "The Instructional Role of Illustrations" Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training http://www.comet.ucar.edu/presentations/illustra/illustrations/illustrations_new.htm Excerpt "Mayer and Anderson's (1992) contiguity principle asserts that multimedia instruction is more effective when words and pictures are presented contiguously in time or space. Studies involving multimedia instruction have shown that learners perform better on problem solving and recall tasks when related text or narration are close to an illustration or animation sequence rather than when they are far away. In a series of studies reported by Mayer and his colleagues (Moreno & Mayer, 1999; Mayer, 1997) students read a text passage or listened to a narration describing a cause and effect system (e.g., how a bicycle tire pump works) and either studied a diagram or an animated sequence illustrating the process that was described verbally. In each study, students receiving text contiguously in space (text physically close to the diagram or animation) or time (narration chronologically close to the animated sequence) performed better on recall and problem solving tasks than students under less contiguous conditions. The current research was designed to determine whether the contiguity principle applies to leaning from geographic maps. Comparing rollover and hyperlink features to a separate narrative allows us to study this variable experimentally.... It was hypothesized that learners who study a map with animated features would more successfully encode both map feature and map structure information than learners who studied a static map. Few research studies have been reported on the role of animation in learning from geographic maps. However, research integrating animation with simulations (Rieber, 1996), graphic organizers (Blankenship & Dansereau, 2000) and problem solving tasks (Ok-choon Park & Gittelman, 1992) have shown positive effects for animated over static displays." "Effects of Fact Location and Animation on Learning from Online Maps" Jul 31, 2001 by Steven M. Crooks, Michael P Verdi, David White Texas Tech University. http://tigersystem.net/aera2002/viewproposaltext.asp?propID=3303 "IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LEARNING PROCESS WHEN MULTIMEDIA IS INVOLVED? At the University of Maribor in Slovenia, electroencephalography (EEG) was used to measure brain activity when exposed to different media... The results show that students find it difficult to form mental models from text alone. Multimedia presentations trigger visualization strategies such as mental imagery, which is crucial to many kinds of problem solving." "The Affect of Multimedia on the Learning Process" Encyclopedia of Educational Technology http://coe.sdsu.edu/eet/Articles/Affectmulti/start.htm
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