Multifaceted graphics for learning: A case study on explaining projectile motion in a university physics course
Tingyi S. Lin, The University of Wisconsin - Madison, United States
The University of Wisconsin - Madison . Awarded
Multifaceted graphics is defined as a visual representation that explains subjects, procedures, and events through multi-sided or compound layers and that explains concepts, the relationships among them, and their function as a unified whole. I generated the data of this study from my examination of users' responses to (1) material from a currently used physics textbook, (2) my revision of the currently used material, and (3) my revision of the revision. The topic of each of the three materials was projectile motion, and I approached the redesigned materials from an information-design perspective. In this study, I employed participatory research and user-experience research to analyze the data collected from college students, professionals in physics, and practice designers, and to determine how traditional design and contemporary multifaceted graphics affected users' perspectives, reading patterns, and perceived understanding.
This study shows that multifaceted graphics affect how users interact with visual materials, thereby shaping human cognition. Three user groups shares similar response patterns and there are differences among the groups. Users believe that the fusion of graphics elements and textual elements-multifaceted graphics-resulted in material that (1) was interesting to read; (2) explained complex concepts; (3) was different from that in a standard textbook format; (4) reinforced real-life connections; and (5) was sufficiently flexible to allow for various reading patterns.
The application of multifaceted graphics to instructional material focuses on human-centered information design that enables both users to understand complex concepts and anyone who is interested in designing instructional materials to do so with rigor. The application is a significant move toward the interweaving of technology, science, aesthetics, and the humanities in the design and the production of learning materials.
Lin, T.S. Multifaceted graphics for learning: A case study on explaining projectile motion in a university physics course. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Wisconsin - Madison.
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