Visual Learning Overview
Visual thinking is a learning style where the learner better understands and retains information when ideas, words and concepts are associated with images. Visual learning helps students organize and analyze information, integrate new knowledge and think critically. Graphic Organizers, diagrams and outlines are just some strategies of visual learning.
A graphic organizer is a visual display that demonstrates relationships between facts, concepts or ideas. A graphic organizer guides the learner’s thinking as they fill in and build upon a visual map or diagram. Webs, concept maps, mind maps and plots are some of the types of graphic organizers used in visual learning.
A concept map helps students organize and represent knowledge of a subject. Concept mapping links concepts and ideas together with words and phrases that explain the relationship. Concept maps encourage learners to discover new concepts, clearly communicate ideas and information, and enhance their knowledge on any topic.
Mind mapping is a visual form of note taking that offers an overview of a topic and its complex information. Through the use of colors, images and words, mind mapping begins with a central idea and expands outward to more in-depth sub-topics. Mind maps help students brainstorm on any topic and think creatively.
A web is a visual map that shows how different categories of information relate to one another. Webbing is a brainstorming method that provides structure for ideas and facts, creating a flexible framework for idea development, organizing and prioritizing.
An outline is a preliminary summary of written work, typically organized in headings and subheadings. Used to organize one’s thoughts and information related to a project or paper, outlining helps students clarify their ideas and demonstrate their thinking process behind an essay or report. Structuring and organizing large amounts of information in an outline is the first step in the writing process.
Plots & Graphs
Plots and graphs are a type of visual learning diagram that visually represents a relationship between sets of numbers as a set of points having coordinates determined by that relationship. Venn diagrams, bar graphs, stack plots, pie charts and axis plots are some examples that help students develop data literacy by interpreting information and drawing conclusions. Plots and graphs also help students acquire the skills of reasoning, inquiry and communication.