Information Designers

I’m sure you’ve seen them but may not know that they are called infographics.

Click an image to view the full infographic.

Information graphics or infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge. –Anders Ross

Consider having your students create infographics as a product to demonstrate learning and teach others. The process of creating an infographic will facilitate deeper levels of understanding. Students will use information literacy skills as they process content; collect, connect and organize data; simplify complex concepts; rank information based on the purpose of their infographic; analyze and interpret statistics; and compare and contrast concepts. Students will use 21st Century skills as they create an appealing graphic representation, choosing the appropriate format for their data, making information relevant, and accurately portraying the data in right chart type. Students become information designers, telling stories with data.

Infographics are used to:

  • condense large amounts of information and presenting it in an easy to understand format.
  • bring to light a problem and how to respond with an action or attitude.
  • present the big picture by showing the implications of the data.
  • put data into context.
  • illustrate cause-effect relationships.

Kathy Schrock’s Infographics as a Creative Assessment

Getting Started with Students

First, introduce the concept of an infographic and share some good examples. Make the student’s first infographic assignment a small scale project, like USA Today Snapshots. Have the students cover a topic that they are already familiar with, such as themselves. Use a a combination of old school and tech: using a posterboard, allow students to write and draw, and print/cut/paste elements created on the computer. Work up to more complex infographics such as the examples above, and going totally digital. Before starting the infographic, provide students with a scoring guide.

Common Formats

  • Statistical: charts, graphs, flow charts, diagrams
  • Timelines: chronological sequence
  • Process: procedure or sequence of steps
  • Location: map with data tied to places

Design Tips

  • Be concise. Explain one idea very well.
  • Visual method: Choose a method that presents your data well. See the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods. Just move your mouse over an “element” to display the method.
  • Size: Use size to show relationships, hiearchy, amounts
  • Color: Use the same color to connect information, use saturation to represent importance or amounts, stick with a scheme,
  • Layout: Use proximity of objects to create groups; place most important information at the top (inverted pyramid)
  • Images: Use noncopyrighted images or create your own, avoid large blocks of text or having mostly text
  • Fonts: Use no more than 3 well contrasting typefaces.
  • Cite your sources.

Tools

What do you teach that lends itself to the production of an infographic?

Sources

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2 thoughts on “Information Designers

  1. Pingback: Misleading Statistical Information in Ads: A Drug Ad Analyzed and Related Evaluation Resources « Health and Medical News and Resources

  2. Pingback: Soda’s Evil Twin – The Dangers of Fruit Drinks (Infographic) « Health and Medical News and Resources

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