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VSTE Goes Green: Over the years we’ve made an effort to reduce the amount of paper waste that gets accumulated by reducing the scope of the printed program. This year we will provide a printed conference program with only a summary schedule of the sessions available during each breakout session. For the full detailed listing of each session we encourage attendees to make use of our online schedule here which will work on mobile devices and all major platforms.

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Monday, December 8 • 9:45am - 12:00pm
Designing Visuals for Any Content Area

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With the advent of high-resolution graphic displays and widespread availability of content authoring applications, educators are more frequently faced with having to design the layout, appearance of materials, and graphics for instruction. Although graphic design skills historically were not considered the realm of teachers, basic graphic skills are increasingly required to meet students’ demand for high quality instructional products. Visual literacy is now considered a core skill for teachers and students alike. There has been growing recognition of the importance of visual literacy skills among professional associations (ISTE, ACRL, ASTD, IBSTPI) and organizations that set standards for learning (McREL’s Language Arts Standards and Benchmarks – see http://www.mcrel.org , the National Council of Teachers of English – http://www.ncte.org/standards ). Although many teacher education programs routinely integrate technology into the curriculum, few include visual literacy as a topic of instruction. Unless teachers are specifically educated in visual communication principles, they may unknowingly overtax the working memory of their students by including too much complex visual information in their lessons. Using Mayer’s multimedia theory, dual-coding theory, cognitive load theory, active processing and limited capacity constructs as a backdrop, we will explain how the five types of instructional graphics (decorative, representational, organizational, interpretational, and transformational) may be used to engage the learner, combat cognitive overload, and ultimately maximize learning. We then will use web-based (free) applications to: 1) teach basic design principles, and 2) provide participants with structured activities that will enable them to develop visual literacy competencies. After participating in this workshop, participants will have a greater understanding of the kinds of instructional images and how to use them effectively when creating instructional materials for any content area.


Jane Thall

Associate Professor & Department HeadJames Madison University

Diane Wilcox

Associate ProfessorJames Madison University

Monday December 8, 2014 9:45am - 12:00pm

Attendees (32)