Organizing information (or at least helping our learners organize information) is one of the most important roles of a teacher in my opinion. Chunking, using visual cues, and hierarchy are all ways to organize information.
I am designing a blended course on arthrocentesis. The graphic describes the types of fluid that can be obtained from a joint and its diagnostic characteristics. I created the image using Google Drawings. The cells are labelled for reuse from Wikimedia.
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 would recognize the cells in the graphic and understand all the terms.
- 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. I use chunking to help organize the information. Chunking is grouping of information in meaningful or related clusters (Lohr 2008, p. 125). Shape (the circles) facilitates chunking and comparison of the types of fluid (Lohr 2008, p. 252). Each circle is a chunk of information that is related. I also limited the amount of information (5 pieces) in each chunk so as not to overload working memory. I don’t have a lot of white space between my chunks but the circle outlines help delineate the chunked information (Lohr 2008, p. 126). I depict hierarchy (as you go left to right the diagnoses get worse) in this image in 2 ways: increasing WBC from left to right and darkening of syringes from left to right. Also using the horizontal makes the most important information standout (Lohr 2008, p.128).
- What you learned from a “user-test” (have someone look at the image and verbalize their thoughts while looking at the image). I asked 4 learners to evaluate the image. I asked for their overall gestalt about what the image was depicting and then specifically about what each of the circles was depicting. I also asked them what stood out in the graphic (ie what drew their vision).
Learners understood that the graphic was depicting the possible types of joint fluid and what the testing of the fluid would reveal. They said they noticed the circles in the middle of the graphic mainly.
- The changes you will make based on user comments (or create a revised image). Learners had no suggestions for improvement.