Review on: New Perspective on Visual Communication Design Education: An Empirical Study of Applying Narrative Theory to Graphic Design Courses
In this paper, the authors, Chao-Ming Yang, & Tzu-Fan Hsu, create a study based on using visual communication design (VCD) in graphic design. The authors study teaching activities to “verify the feasibility of applying narrative theory to graphic design courses” (Yang & Hsu, 2017, p.188). VCD is created to help students express themselves in a nonlinguistic way, “which requires visual creativity and communication skills (Yang & Hsu, 2017, p.188). The authors looked at a study conducted in Taiwan that states that originality of student’s work has begun to fade in recent years. This study found that multiple factors were increased with students through adding narrative theory to graphic design. Summary of Literature Review Yang and Hsu (2017) studied many articles on Narrative Theory. Narrative dates back to prehistoric times and has been used since to tell stories. The history of narrative is discussed as well as detailed information on what narration is and how it can be used. Yang and Hsu (2017) refer to one author who states, “In its essence, iconology is the narrative design of visual communication (Young, 2009)” (p.189). They mention many ways to use a narrative, image, voice, language, or architecture. Also mentioned in the study are how memories are formed with the use of narratives, especially when a topic is vague or difficult to understand. Yang and Hsu (2017) also make reference to literature on visual communication. They state that since Bauhaus, design has become a comprehensive discipline where students must also acquire drawing skills. Yang and Hsu (2017) go on to quote, However, VCD is presently at a crossroads, at which the past training method of artistic intuition and the current training method of logical design are in a conflict because the principles of VCD remain unconfirmed and are not fully established in the field of graphic design (Bennett, 2006) (p.190). VCD, they state, is a combination role of artists and graphic designers, and commonly referred to by customers as commercial artists. Research found that “designers often fail to distinguish appropriately between visual creation and visual manipulation” (Yang & Hsu, 2017, p.190). Analysis of Methodology This study was conducted in Taiwan. The authors used the ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation) method for this experiment. Yang and Hsu collected of 30 college freshman, age 18-19, who had never had a graphic design class before. All 30 students were asked to create a poster dealing with environmental conservation that required picture and text. These posters were used as pretests, graded by three teachers. Once graded, the 30 students were divided into two groups, an experimental group and a control group. Both groups received four weeks of instruction (a total of 720 hours). Both groups were given the exact same content for week one. After this, the control group was only instructed using the case method, the experimental group taught using narrative theory. Students were assigned to complete a poster dealing with public welfare, to be graded by the same three teachers that completed the pretest, grading on four dimensions: Thematic concept, image creativity, visual aesthetic and expressive technique. Results Summary The experimental group achieved higher scores in each dimension (thematic concept, image creativity, visual aesthetic and expressive technique) that their peers in the control group. My Opinion/What I learned I was very interested in this study as I began reading into it. It seemed to be very well thought out and fair. Methods were also used to determine the fairness of the three grading teachers and kept them accountable. This study seems very relatable to the art room and could be used in the same manor at the elementary level. I would be interested to see if the results were the same if the students were seniors that had the same tasks given to them. What I learned from study, was not what I expected. When I started researching this topic, I thought I would find a study about visual communication specifically, and not how important the narrative is that goes along with it. While I do think a picture can tell a thousand words, it is also important to have a good narrative to go along with your picture. Text can make or break an advertisement and it is important to remember that visual communication and words as a combo are much stronger together than apart.
Reference: Yang, C. & Hsu, T. (2017). New perspective on visual communication design education: An empirical study of applying narrative theory to graphic design courses. International Journal of Higher Education, 6(2), p. 188-198.
Review on: The Impact of Active Visualization of High School Students on the Ability to Memorize Verbal Definitions
In this paper, Smajdek & Selan (2016) aim to test the “impact of visualization on the ability of high school students to memorize text” (p.163). First examined is the concept of visualization and different kinds of visualization. Also performed is an experiment to evaluate the effects of visualization when students are trying to memorize a difficult written definition. Two hypotheses are developed and corroborated in this study. Discussed in this paper are the advances in technology and how education must adapt to the changes of visual literacy gaining force and influence. “We distinguish between teaching about visuality, teaching within visuality, and teaching through visuality” (Smajdek & Selan, 2016, p.165). Teachers should not only be a source of knowledge but must also set up classrooms that provide a learning environment for the individual. Summary of Literature Review In this study the authors distinguish the difference between passive and active visualization. One reason Smajdek & Selan differentiate between active and passive is to show the importance of a pencil (or drawing tool) to really see an object like you have never seen it before, when attempting to draw an object it changes completely, and you really see you didn’t know it at all beforehand. Also reviewed was an article that shows the importance of visualization for even a blind person and how after only feeling an object, how they use that to create what they felt. This helps explains what we see and how we see objects. “Based on these findings, Frelih concludes: ‘What a person has not yet understood, has not yet discovered and invented, is equally invisible to the blind as to seeing’ (Frelih, 2014, p.100)” (Smajdek & Selan, 2016, p. 167). “The second reason for differentiating between active and passive visualization is educational” (Smajdek & Selan, 2016, p.167). Teachers prepare visualizations that are for the students to communicate information (passive), and visualizations created by students while they are learning (active). Smajdek & Selan (2016) quote Trumbo (1999) saying, “Visual communication is the process of sending and receiving messages using visual images and representations in order to structure the message” (p.168). Smajdek and Selan (2016) also review literature from Muhovic (1998) that explains “visualization strategies between appearance-based and form-based analogies” (p.168). Visualization is also important in the educational world. According to the research, learning is much easier when perceived by multiple senses. Pictures are used as a tool for learning words, which is why young children begin by “reading” picture books. Acquiring knowledge through images helps information become more permanent when a student is learning. “Visualization can be used in all stages of the learning process: as an introduction of the topic or to provide motivation; at the core of the lesson to articulate concepts and illuminate content; and, at the end, to summarize, repeat and reinforce the knowledge and its application” (Smajdek & Selan, 2016, p.169). Also mentioned is literature that states that overloading students with too many images can wind up doing the opposite effect of helping students retain information. Analysis of Methodology The ADDIE method was used in this study. Four classes of first year students ages 15-16 years old were used, two classes from two different high schools. A total of 96 students were used, in the experimental group, 51, in the control group, 45. The experiment lasted from January 2015 to May 2015. This experiment was completed in art classes. Both groups were presented with the definition to a word and asked to memorize it. The control group was asked to memorize the definition off the board, then when the definition was removed, the students had to share what they understood/remembered from the definition. After doing this they were asked to write down the definition and finally asked to write down the definition from the board and compare it to what they had written from memory. The experimental group visualization was added in the form of drawings. The students were asked in step one to reading the definition off the board and draw it. The drawings were then shared with classmates and how they understood the definition. The third and fourth step was the same as the control group. Three weeks after lessons, the students were asked for three things: draw the definition, write the definition and pick the correct statement. Smajdek & Selan (2016) say: Hypothesis 1 – the use of appearance-based schemata – was investigated by the formal visual analysis of the student’s lesson drawings in the experimental group. Hypothesis 2 – the impact of visualization on the ability to memorize and undertand a verbal definition – was investigated using the results of the test. The results of the test were analyzed qualitatively (using formal visual analysis and codification) and quantitatively (using statistics) (p.173). Results Summary Both hypotheses were confirmed. “It was confirmed that the active visualizations that students use spontaneously are appearance-based schemata visualizations; it was also confirmed that the memorizing of verbal definitions by students in the experimental group, where visualization was added to verbal learning techniques was better than the control group. My Opinion/What I learned This was a very in-depth article, but I really enjoyed reading the research because it was conducted in an art room. I really learned the importance of including visual communication when learning definitions. I think many times in the art room there are so many opportunities to use visual representation, that when you are providing definitions, you may think that this is something you don’t have to do. But from the research you can see how important it is to include with words. I think this study was conducted fairly well, one thing I would maybe try changing was having even more visual communication in steps three and four to help further prove that images can make a big difference when learning.
Reference: Smajdek, A. & Selan, J. (2016). The impact of active visualization of high school students on the ability to memorize verbal definitions. CEPS Journal, 6(4), p. 163-186.
Review on: The Role of Visual Learning in Improving Students’ High-Order Thinking Skills
This study introduces a concept based on a visual learning strategy. Discussed are the three components of this strategy: a teacher, student, and learning process. This study promotes the use of information in visual form (images, diagrams, flowcharts etc.). The teacher should be fostering ways to improve higher-order thinking (HOT) skills. Studies show that 75% “of all information processed by the brain is derived from visual formats” (Raiyn, 2016, p.115). Learners in the classroom understand information better when they see it. Using the above-mentioned formats teachers can provide clear ways to display lots of information in an easy to read way. Visual learning also develops visual thinking. “This study focuses on interactive 2-D games” (Raiyn, 2016, p.115). This study introduces a PBL (problem-based learning) based visual environment. Summary of Literature Review One review was conducted on Rodger et al (2009) that integrated Alice 3-D into a middle school with lessons in math, science, language arts, social studies and technology. Ben-Ari (2012) is also referenced in this study for using Scratch. He used programmable interactive media. Others used game-based learning to engage children with computer programming concepts at a young age. Alice, Kodu and Greenfootare also mentioned as visual programming that supports the development of computational thinking, also involving reasoning, pattern matching, and recursive thinking.
Analysis of Methodology The method used for this study was SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) to evaluate the HOT skills in the heterogeneous classroom. Three sub-groups of three students were created. Students were asked to give a presentation on an issue in computer science, after which, a face to face meeting and oral test were given. Sub Groups were then created based on information gathered. The teacher then shared a lesson in visual learning and how to present visual material. Goals were set by the student and questions/problems handled by the teacher. The teacher used simulation, video, image and a flow chart to enhance the students learning. Out of the three students, the student with the highest HOT skill was the leader of the three-person group. Visual HOT skills were compared to those of traditional learning. Results Summary The results show that students using visual learning to increase higher order thinking skills as opposed to traditional ones, were successful in selection, ordering, comparison, contrasting, analysis and evaluation. “In primary and middle schools, the effects of visual learning on the development of student’s HOT skills are significant” (Raiyn, 2016, p.120). My Opinion/What I learned This article was very easy to follow and concise. I really enjoyed the study, although I wish there would have been greater detail about the study and how it was specifically conducted. I didn’t think there were enough fine details in the text. This seemed to be more of a general overview. What I did learn however, is the importance of visual communication in higher-order thinking. In my county we are always asked about HOT and how we are creating this environment in our classroom. It gave me some ideas of how I could incorporate HOT into my classroom and what benefits my students could receive from it.
Resource: Raiyn, J. (2016). The role of visual learning in improving students’ high-order thinking skills. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(24), p. 115-121.
OVERALL REFLECTION ASSIGNMENT 7 This project was very enjoyable to me. I feel like I always put of reading and writing of papers because I feel that those are not my strong suits in education. What I learned from my masters and continue to learn in my specialist is how important reading articles is and what an impact it can have on your own personal classroom. I use so much of what I read while getting my masters in my classroom now, and I am finding that I am constantly taking notes in my specialist to do the same. I love technology and love reading how it is incorporated into classrooms. This project was more focused on visual communication, which I chose because that is the nature of my job, art is all about visual imagery. However, what I discovered was not even what I thought I would discover, which is using visual imagery to show examples. What I learned from this is that visual communication can come from so much more and should really be utilized with text and information to help students retain it. Visual communication can help build higher order thinking and help students with retention.