Selection is the “cognitive process of attending to particular visual and auditory stimuli” (Lohr 2008, p. 100). We select things we want to remember from other stimuli and then we organize it into a mental model and integrate it into long term memory. One of the jobs of the instructional designer is to help learners to select what is important. We can help our learners select by using contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity (CARP). We use tools like type, color, shape, design, and space to accomplish CARP. I helped you pay attention to “selection” by having it contrast with the surrounding text by making it blue (color) and bold (type). These same principles can be used in graphics.
I am designing a blended course on arthrocentesis (inserting a needle into a joint to either remove fluid or inject medication). The graphic demonstrates two bony landmarks that guide the location of insertion of the needle for arthrocentesis of the shoulder joint. This graphic will be used in the “Shoulder” section of the course. I created the image using Google Drawings.
Write a justification paper for the activity you select. Describe the following:
- Your users and the assumptions you make about them (such as age, reading level, and assumed skills). My users are internal medicine residents who have graduated from medical school. They know the terms used in the graphic.
- Why you think your solution will work; include at least two ideas from the book, including page numbers and your interpretation of the passage used. Initially I was going to use drawings of the shoulder to demonstrate the anatomy and landmarks but as noted in our text “in areas such as medical education and engineering, realistic images are considered more effective” (Lohr 2008, p. 101). Also, my learners are advanced and familiar with shoulder anatomy. As such, their visual cognitive processing will not be overloaded by the realistic image as might a novice’s visual processing. While this is not an elaborate graphic I think the use of a bright, contrasting color (blue) to outline the bony landmarks serves the role of selection (Lohr 2008, p. 108). I also made the text in a different color than the bony outline to serve the role of contrast. In this image the landmarks are the figure and the rest of the image is the ground.
In the second image, I use a black circle to note the point of needle insertion. The use of shape (circle) guides the learner and the black color contrasts with the skin and blue outlines of the bony landmarks. I removed the labels of the landmarks so that the focus becomes the point of insertion and not the labels. In this image I wanted the circle to be the figure and the shoulder with the landmarks to be the ground.
- What you learned from a “user-test” (have someone look at the image and verbalize their thoughts while looking at the image). I asked 2 faculty to evaluate the image. They thought the images easily demonstrated the anatomic landmarks and where to insert the needle. They didn’t feel the syringe gave enough information about the intricacies of the angles and directions of needle insertion. I use the syringe with an arrow just to convey the idea that the black circle is where you stick the needle.
- The changes you will make based on user comments (or create a revised image). I didn’t make any changes.