Instructional Infographics

A picture says a thousand words, and an infographic says even more! In this age of abundant visual stimuli, most of us learn more quickly and effectively when presented with visual content. Data visualizations, in particular, take quantitative data and communicate it in a way that tells a story.

Using infographics supports Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies by providing a variety of content materials. It’s also effective for student engagement because of its real world authenticity.

Evidence-Based Practices

Make infographics authentic.

Make infographics authentic.

Teacher Presence

The story an infographic tells (based on the data it shares, how that data is framed, and what design choices have been made) communicates your personality and perspective. Even if you’re not sharing details about your own life, be sure to convey your humor, passion, or “take” on an issue in your infographic design.

Diverse Perspectives

As with other class materials, consider what perspectives are being represented in your infographic. This starts with your data — does it represent the diversity of the content or populations that you’re discussing? Are there viewpoints or experiences that are being left out?

Make infographics engaging.

Make infographics engaging.

Organized

The whole point of an infographic is to present a lot of data quickly and effectively. If your infographic is not organized, then this will not be the case. Consider the sequence of the points you want to make and then use graphic design principles to organize them in a way that is clear visually. (For details on pre-production organization and graphic design principles, check out Create an Infographic from the ITS blog.)

Chunked

Remember an infographic should be designed to tell a story in a concise format. Infographics are not pages and pages long – they are short and to the point. Ideally, an infographic should be designed to be read in 40-60 seconds. If you have a lot of information that you want to cover, consider a series of infographics, each covering a particular subtopic.

Provide options for student response and reflection.

Provide options for student response and reflection.

Students will retain information much more effectively if they have to do something with it. When you present students with an infographic, consider inviting them to annotate it with questions, comments, and/or additional data (works well in VISME). You could also use an infographic with an online discussion forum or with some self-check questions for basic understanding.

Model ethical behavior.

Model ethical behavior.

Digital Citizenship

Your own infographics are an excellent opportunity to model digital citizenship for your students. Clearly cite your sources so students are aware of the value you place on using credible sources to support ideas.

When you’re creating your infographic, you must consider copyright issues. Respecting copyright is a crucial element of digital integrity and social responsibility, but copyright laws can be hard to understand and take real effort to investigate. Consider any images, direct quotes, or data sources in your infographic that are owned by others — be sure to give credit where due.

A great resource for faculty is the Copyright at Messiah page from our website. In particular, we recommend checking out the Messiah College Fair Use Evaluator. Also, copyright applies to your work too. Will you choose to keep your infographic private to your class or share it more broadly with a Creative Commons license? This is an opportunity to model sharing your own work for your students.

Accessible to Diverse Learners

Consider students who may have different cultural backgrounds. Be careful not to make assumptions about what your students already know based on how they look or how they speak. Make sure that students in the class have the necessary background knowledge to decode any symbols or references in your infographic that may not be clear. 

In addition to the content of your infographic, consider how accessible the format itself is to diverse learners. Infographics are a great way to make information accessible to students who process information more effectively visually and/or have language barriers. However, infographics are less accessible to those who are visually impaired or have visual processing issues, so creating a text transcript gives you the best of both worlds. The video below will show you how to create a transcript and use a bit.ly link to share it.

Learn More!